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Recharge Wrap-up: Electric trucking, Mitsubishi plug-in sales boost

EVs are popular company cars in the UK.

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A company called Oakridge Global Energy Solutions is providing batteries to Minnesota's Freedom Trucking. Oakridge claims the electric freight trucks can haul nearly 40 tons of cargo almost 400 miles on a single charge. "The custom battery design for Freedom Trucking is an absolute game changer," says Oakridge CEO Steve Barber. The Melbourne, Florida-based startup also says it is providing lithium-ion batteries for Harley-Davidson, Indian, and Victory motorcycles. (Notably, Oakridge was accused last year of failing to pay its employees. Also, of note, Oakridge trades as OGES on OTCQX, the same over-the-counter market as Elio Motors.) Read more from Energy Matters.

A new UK poll suggests that nearly a third of drivers would choose a plug-in vehicle for their company car. 23 percent of respondents said they'd choose a plug-in hybrid for their fleet car, while 8.2 percent would choose a battery electric vehicle. Another 7.1 would choose a conventional hybrid, and 47.2 percent still prefer diesel, while only 12.4 percent would choose gasoline (it is, after all, the UK). In all, the poll (with an admittedly small sampling of 282 respondents) shows that alternatively powered vehicles will make up 40.4 percent of future fleet orders will. A recent survey from KPMG shows that 79 percent of auto executives believe hybrids will be the go-to powertrain in 2030. Read more from Fleet News.

A reduction in plug-in car subsidies has boosted Mitsubishi's UK sales in February. As the Plug-In Car Grant was set to reduce from £5,000 to £2,500 ( from about $7,117 to $3,559) on March 1, Mitsubishi saw a run on its Outlander PHEV by customers looking to take advantage of the larger subsidy. Outlander PHEV sales were up 41 percent compared to a year before. The launch of the L200 Series 5 also helped Mitsubishi's performance in February, as pickup truck sales were up 34 percent. Read more in the press release below.
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CIRENCESTER – Sales of Mitsubishi vehicles in February were up 28 per cent compared to the same month last year according to figures released by the SMMT. The rise was driven by a 41 per cent increase in sales of the Outlander PHEV, ahead of the reduction in the Plug-in Car Grant from £5,000 to £2,500 beginning March 1. The UK's favourite plug-in continues lead the hybrid and electric car sector in 2016.

The Mitsubishi brand is still out-performing the market overall, which increased in February 2016 by 8 per cent. Mitsubishi has been the UK's fastest growing mainstream car brand for three straight years.

Boosted by the launch of the L200 Series 5, sales of Mitsubishi pick-ups grew by 34 per cent against a February market increase of 20 per cent.

All other models performed strongly.

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