By Stephen Hucklesby, managing director, Paragon
The extension to the electric vehicle grant scheme to include van buyers, along with the Plug-in Car Grant being funded until 2015, is an ideal opportunity for fleet managers looking to replenish their vehicles to buy these green vehicles.
With the grants in place, electric fleets could prove a cost-effective, realistic business option for fleet managers, and their presence in the sector could increase.
However, there are some concerns that need to be addressed to provide reassurance for the remarketing industry and fleet leaders to give them confidence to buy.
Concerns surround how electric vehicles in large fleets can be maintained and managed, as well as a lack of confidence that vehicles can be recharged quickly and practically.
Another task to address is how electric vehicles are managed at end of life as, unlike traditional petrol and diesel fleet vehicles where there is a clear process with an established supply chain, this is not yet established for electric vehicles.
Consumers and fleet managers must be confident that the electric vehicle supply chain is well established and if not, they will not buy en masse.
The Government investment is a step in the right direction toward a strong electric vehicle market (which will ultimately bolster the used electric vehicle market).
To partner this, fleet processing, management and remarketing businesses must also invest – in training, technical expertise and up skilling – and embrace emerging technologies.
PDI, fleet management, de-fleeting, mechanical repair and remarketing companies with the technical expertise will play a vital role in establishing that electric vehicles can be maintained and remarketed as easily as traditional vehicles.
It is vital that all aspects of the fleet industry are considered in making electric vehicles a success.
We strongly believe that fleet management and remarketing has an important role in the electric vehicle revolution.