European boost for electric vehicles

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Electric vehicle manufacturer Modec says it will soon have full N2 EC Type Approval, allowing it to sell its vehicles in all EU member states without the need for individual national approval.

Approval is critical to Modec’s expansion plans. Dealers are being set up in The Netherlands, Ireland, France, Spain and Denmark thanks to strong market demand for the electric commercial vehicle.

All tests have been completed and final paperwork is being processed which means Modec’s vans should soon be the first commercial electric vehicles to gain EC Whole Vehicle Type Approval.

Modec chief  Bill Gillespie said: “Expanding to European markets was part of the original Modec business plan. Many international businesses recognise the benefits of zero emission Modec vehicles and demand continues to grow.”

Millbrook, the proving ground in Bedfordshire, was chosen by Modec to undertake the programme. This is the world’s first N2 category European Economic Community (EEC) Type Approval programme for electric vehicles.

“We are delighted to have been instrumental in helping Modec to achieve this Type Approval, the first of its kind,” said Tony Soper, Millbrook’s principal engineer – homologation and type approval. “With electric vehicles becoming more prevalent, Millbrook is in a prime position to offer Type Approval facilities to manufacturers,” concluded Soper.

Type Approval is a process of ensuring that vehicles meet the required environmental and safety standards outlined in the relevant EEC Directives and ECE regulations. Historically, European Type Approval has been available to ‘M1’ passenger cars, motorcycles and agricultural vehicles. Other types of vehicle, including electric, needed to gain Type Approval, where required, from each individual member country. From the end of April (2009), a change in legislation will make it possible to Type Approve all cars, buses, commercial vehicles and trailers, so that one Type Approval will be valid in all EU member states.

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