February 23, 2012

mia electric qualifies for Government’s Plug-In Car and Van Grants ahead of entry into UK market later this year

mia electric welcomes announcement that all three of its vehicles now qualify for the Government’s ‘Plug-In Car’ and ‘Plug-In Van’ Grants.

This follows months of close consultation and cooperation with the Office for Low Emissions Vehicles (OLEV) which has now
deemed that mia electric’s vehicles meet all the safety, reliability, performance and warranty standards necessary for the UK market.

Having qualified for both grants, any motorist wishing to buy a mia electric vehicle when they go on sale in the UK market later this year will be entitled to a discount of around £5000. This additional Government support means the mia’s standard short wheelbase model (mia-U) will retail at approximately £21,000 and the two extended models, the mia L and the mia box van, will both retail at approximately £22,000.

mia electric particularly supports the UK government’s decision to extend the grant to vans, which are especially suited to electric because of their commercial use. Vans tend to travel the same route and distance on a daily basis and have ample opportunity to be recharged at regular stop-offs and bases.

The mia-U is currently on trial with a major UK company that is considering the switch to electric for its sizeable fleet of commercial vans.

Standing alongside the Secretary of State for Transport, Justine Greening MP, and Minister for Business and Enterprise, Mark Prisk MP, at London County Hall this morning, mia electric’s Head of UK Sales, Richard Deslandes, said, “These incentive schemes are absolutely vital if UK motorists are going to be encouraged to make the switch to zero-emission mobility. Our vehicles are designed specifically for inner-city environments and commercial vehicles account for a significant proportion of traffic in urban areas."

“The box van is a key component of the product range mia electric plans to bring to the UK market later this year. We hope the Government’s decision to extend the grant to cover vans will incentivise business owners to use electric vehicles and so reduce their carbon emissions.”

Justine Greening MP added, “Our new grant demonstrates that you can be a motorist and still be pro-environment."

“Cars and vans are absolutely central to people’s lives – it’s how most of us get around and for many journeys they are, and will remain, the only practical and convenient travel choice. Nevertheless climate change is a global challenge we simply have to meet head on. It cannot be ignored or side-stepped."

“The new Plug-in Van Grant – offering up to £8,000 off one of these seven innovative vans – also makes business sense as it’s been estimated that a small electric van will typically cost £100 less in fuel for every thousand miles driven compared to a diesel equivalent.” 

Unique design perfect for UK market
Having made their UK debut at the EcoVelocity Motor Show at Battersea Power Station last year, mia has been preparing for an exciting entry into the UK market later this year.

The cars were designed by the former head of design at Volkswagen, Murat Gunak, and come in three configurations – the standard short wheelbase model and two extended models, the mia L and the mia box van.

Thanks to its light-weight design concept, the standard model weighs only 765 kg (extended models weighs 786 kg) giving it extremely economical power consumption and low running costs (approx £1.30 per 100 km).

All three vehicles are powered by an 18 kW electric motor at the rear of the car that gives a top speed of 68 mph (100 km/h). A 120 to 130km range is available from the 12 kWh battery pack that comes as standard and the lithium iron phosphate batteries can be fully charged in five hours. This technically sound battery system is exceptionally safe and helps alleviate range anxiety by allowing 'no memory effect' charging. This means the battery can be charged for short top-up periods with absolutely no adverse effect to the life of the battery. (e.g. a ten minute charge will give an extra 8 km of range).

The standard short wheelbase mia has three seats in total, while the extended mia L has four. Instead of three back seats, as in the mia L, the mia box van features a cargo capacity of 1,500-litres.

The most conspicuous feature of all three variants of the mia is the central driving position which allows the driver to get in and out of the car on both sides. This seat arrangement provides the driver with a perfect view of the city traffic and the passengers at the back with plenty of legroom. It also gives the cabin a unique office-style layout that features a display with space to mount a tablet computer and smartphone.

When discussing the philosophy behind the car, Murat Gunak, explains, “As a father of four I wanted to pursue a new, sustainable path towards environmentally-friendly mobility of the future. We started with a blank piece of paper and asked ourselves the same question over and over again - What does a customer really want to be mobile in the city? Our conclusion was a compact-yet-spacious electric vehicle that’s well organised and single-mindedly focused on urban transportation.”

David Wilkie, the former design director at Italian styling house Bertone and now design partner at mia, said, “Working on the mia project was like reinventing the car itself. It hasn’t been designed to look swoopy and fast, it’s designed to be practical and likeable. A lot of cars are derivatives of mainstream cars but this is all new and perfect for big cities. It will undoubtedly become harder, and maybe even illegal, to drive petrol cars in downtown urban areas, so electric city cars like the mia have enormous potential.”


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