Written on June 30, 2015 at 9:18 am
Manbat – A Glimpse Of The Future Through The Reality Of Today
“Although, just like the latest supercar or luxury express, fully electric and advanced electric hybrid vehicles such as the Toyota Mirai and Hyundai ix35 fuel cell dominate the headlines in the motoring press, it is difficult to see that either will really have a significant impact on the UK vehicle parc and therefore GROUPAUTO members in the short term,” says Manbat’s marketing manager, Myles Pemberton.
“The challenges concerning the investment required to convert the national infrastructure to fully support a significant number of plug-in electric vehicles, let alone the environmental impact on the national grid to charge them for several hours a day, should not be underestimated.
“Equally, despite the obvious attraction of a virtually zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicle, the magnitude of the task to add several hydrogen pumps alongside their petrol and diesel counterparts in the average filling station, let alone the cost in both monetary and energy consumption terms to extract hydrogen from the environment, means they are no ‘quick fix’ for the entire vehicle parc.
“Simply in relation to the batteries, there is also a question mark over the real-world environmental credentials of both fully electric and advanced hybrids. This is because the cost to produce the advanced batteries they utilise is considerable and the extent to which they can be truly recycled is not as great as a traditional lead-acid battery, which now stands at an impressive 99.97%.
“Despite this ‘reality check’ there is also no question that both vehicle manufacturers (VMs), in concert with their specialist supply partners and national governments, including here in the UK, are moving, albeit cautiously, in the direction of an electric/hydrogen electric fuel cell future.
“Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI) is one of those specialist supply partners and as one third of all the vehicles currently in production utilise a JCI battery, it is clearly at the forefront of battery developing technology. Therefore, as the predominant UK distribution partner for its renowned VARTA® brand, Manbat is strategically aligned with JCI and well positioned to provide the necessary support to GROUPAUTO members and their workshop customers as the technology develops and the nature of the batteries used in these futuristic vehicles leaves the utopia of the design studio and enters the reality of the aftermarket.
“However, the logical conclusion for VMs and the average motorist, both faced with the huge costs associated with developing and purchasing these ‘alternative fuel’ vehicles, is that vehicles based around the current technology will continue to dominate the market for many years to come.
“This will inevitably mean that the number fitted with a Start-Stop system will continue to rise, as it is currently the only affordable way for VMs to meet the emission reduction targets that legislation around the world is beginning to demand.
“For battery suppliers, distributors like Manbat and GROUPAUTO members, this will mean that the big change will come with the transition between supplying mainly traditional flooded lead-acid to the EFB/AGM batteries required for Start-Stop vehicles.
“However, with one in three of the 30 million plus cars on the UK’s roads estimated to be more than 10 years old, the vast majority of the service and repair work for the foreseeable future, will be with the batteries that remain very familiar.
“Therefore we remain totally committed to members with a comprehensive range of products to allow them to cater for every possible requirement from the most cutting edge VARTA, to the most modest Powerstart. Whatever is required, Manbat is ready for action!”
For further details, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk