PUBLIC RELATIONS HOLDSWORTH ASSOCIATES

Launch by Brahms Electric Vehicles

The automotive industry needs new brands and new thinking says entrepreneur

The UK’s first electric hearse is will be joining an eclectic array of eco-vehicles in daily parades during EcoVelocity, a celebration of low-carbon motoring. Developed by British start-up Brahms Electric Vehicles, it promises to be one of the first electric vehicles to be truly commercially viable. It will be on display to the public for the first time at EcoVelocity (8th-11th September).

Interest in ‘green funerals’ has increased substantially over recent years. Funeral Directors currently offer woodland burials as well as a range of environmentally friendly coffins. The industry now sees a demand for a quiet, low-energy, low-pollution hearse.

PR press release for Brahms Electric Vehicles, launch of electric hearse

Steven Cousins, founder of Brahms Electric Vehicles, says that the plug-in electric hearse offers Funeral Directors a real green choice. It also gives a good return on investment from energy savings and through the growth in demand for green funerals.

“Electricity is a natural solution for this sector,” he explains. “The hearse needs a smooth ride at speeds less than 30 miles an hour for relatively short journeys. This makes it ideally suited to electricity and the stage where today’s technology has reached.”

Initially Brahms is converting existing hearses but the company is looking to offer its own electric hearse based on a carbon fibre vehicle technology in the near future.

“The UK has a strong history of automotive innovation but what the industry needs is new brands and new thinking to deploy that technology effectively,” says Cousins. “In the UK we have the largest range of vehicle test facilities in Europe and world leading knowledge of vehicle powertrains and new materials. But the automotive industry is still focused on making vehicles more powerful rather than using less energy. New brands and new companies can deliver the real efficiency gains required.”

Brahms is a sister company to Axon Automotive one of the first to develop a carbon fibre car that would travel a 120 miles on a gallon of petrol. Cousins sees lightweight as the future of the car industry.

“Electricity is not the answer alone; lightweight is vital too. Finding commercially-viable applications such as hearses that work without public subsidy paves the way for wider applications of light vehicles powered by electricity and other fuels.”

Interestingly the appeal of the ‘green hearse’ has been the philosophy behind it not just the energy efficiency. Cousins says: “It’s a way of celebrating someone’s life and environmental interests as well as signalling a concern for the future of their descendants as we enter a much more uncertain world.

“Funeral Directors say that the interest in woodland burials is more about the restorative feeling of nature. The appeal of the electric hearse is that it is non-intrusive and non-polluting so doesn’t intrude in a natural setting.”

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Notes for Editors:
Media contacts: Rebecca Nesbit/ Rachel Holdsworth, PR consultants, Holdsworth Associates, Tel: 01954 202789, email: rebecca@holdsworth-associates.co.uk

EcoVelocity:
The low-carbon motor festival, 8th-11th September, Battersea Power Station, London.
www.ecovelocity.co.uk.
Brahms Electric Vehicles’ electric hearse will be part of the WhatCar? Parades, taking place each day at 11.30am, 2.00pm and 4.30pm.
Axon’s carbon fibre car will be showcased on stand 73.

WinterWillow:

The wicker coffin carried by the hearse was made by WinterWillow, a Cambride-based social enterprise.

Brahms Electric Vehicles:
Brahms Electric Vehicles is a spin-out of Axon Automotive www.axonautomotive.com established to provide a bespoke service for the Funeral Industry.

Axon Automotive is a British car company that aims to manufacture the most fuel efficient cars in Europe. Axon is a specialist in carbon fibre, and its new manufacturing techniques mean that this Formula 1 technology is now affordable, offering the potential for a new generation of light, safe and fuel efficient eco-cars.

Axon is producing a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) which will have carbon emissions of 60g/ km, and has established Brahms Electric Vehicles to tailor its offering to meet the specific requirements of Funeral Directors.

Brahms’ electric hearse retains its combustion engine to ensure it has motorway capabilities – whether it runs on petrol, diesel or biofuel – allowing the vehicle to be used also as a retrieval ambulance. The traditional gear box is replaced by a patented transmission and electric drive.

The new technology means hearses can be retro-fitted with electric capabilities. The hearse is plugged in to a normal 3-pin socket, and left over night for a full charge. Once charged, it can accelerate smoothly to 35 mph and has a range of 50 kilometres, which is ideal for the short journeys typical for a hearse.

Savings on petrol will be in the region of £1,500 a year and electric vehicles are exempt from tax. The hearse was positively received when it was previewed to funeral directors at the National Funeral Exhibition.

©2015 Holdsworth Associates