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DESPITE a drop in general new vehicle activity during the Covid-19 Pandemic, the fleet space is proving remarkably resilient as far as Land Rover is concerned.

Fleet Manager Andrew Jago said there is still a lot of interest from fleet buyers who have been holding back since the beginning of the year because of an element of ‘wait and see’ regarding new BiK tax measures introduced in April.

He added: “As for general business, we are not at the normal run rate. Rental business has ground to a halt although at Land Rover we are not heavily exposed to that. But we are doing enough business to keep the lights on.”

Land Rover has waited for those new BiK rates to be introduced before launching two new models aimed specifically at fleets and SMEs.

The new Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport premium compact SUVs are now available with plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) technology, delivering the performance, refinement and capability with an electric-only range of up 41 miles and CO2 emissions as low as 32g/km

Jago said: “The Evoque, with BiK at 6%, is a segment-leading proposition and part of our key strategy to go deeper into fleet business. Along with the Discovery Sport at 10% will take advantage of the move towards EVs and low emission models.

“The Evoque has always been a popular and highly desirable model and we hope this latest low-emission version will open up the user chooser market.

“A fully electric range of around 40 miles means these new models will cover the average commute and drivers will have the option of electric, combustion engines or a mixture of both.

Jago said he expects a 40-60 split in favour of retail will shift to 50-50 with the new PHEV models taking 30% of total Evoque and Discovery Sport sales

Badged P300e, both the new Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport plug-in hybrids are based on Land Rover’s Premium Transverse architecture, which was designed to support electrification while maintaining Land Rover’s signature off-road capability.

The new plug-in hybrid P300e models join the existing 48-volt mild-hybrid SUVs, bringing new levels of efficiency to the premium compact SUV sector.

The new models offer sustainable performance by combining a 200hp (147kW) 1.5-litre three-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine with a 109hp (80kW) electric motor integrated into the rear axle and powered by a 15kWh lithium-ion battery located below the rear seats.

Performance and capability are uncompromised, with acceleration of 0-60mph in just 6.1 seconds (0-100km/h in 6.4 seconds) in the Range Rover Evoque. Meanwhile, the Discovery Sport offers 0-60mph in 6.2 seconds (0-100km/h in 6.6 seconds). Both can reach speeds of up to 84mph (135km/h) using electric power alone.

Efficiency is remarkable: the Range Rover Evoque P300e emits from just 32g/km of CO2 (WLTP) and has an all-electric, zero tailpipe emission range of up to 41 miles, with fuel economy of up to 201.8mpg (1.4L/100km).

The Discovery Sport P300e can travel up to 38 miles (62km) using all-electric power and delivers fuel economy of 175.5mpg (1.6L/100km). Thanks to its electrified technology, the Discovery Sport P300e produces CO2 emissions as low as 36g/km.