Headline-grabbing fleets that invest in one or two electric vehicles are doing nothing to make the industry more sustainable, according to the boss of one of Britain’s biggest fleets.
Janet Entwistle, managing director of BT Fleet, warned fellow fleet operators that there are ‘no quick wins’ when it comes to creating a more sustainable industry.
“If we are going to do things that make a difference then it is about taking this issue seriously and working for the long term, and crucially it’s about working together,” explained Entwistle at BT Fleet’s Powering Your Future Fleet event in London.
“We can’t do this alone, manufacturers can’t do this alone, fuel companies can’t do this alone and those of us who are operators of vehicles can’t do this alone. We are going to have to cooperate and work together or we’re not going to achieve any real step change.”
Price is the biggest barrier to the immediate electrification of Britain’s fleets, according to Entwistle, who estimates that for an electric vehicle to be viable for operators it needs to cost no more than £6,000 than its standard equivalent.
However, the reality is that an electric alternative is more likely to cost fleets tens of thousands of pounds more.
For example, the price of a Mitsubishi i-Miev at £38,699 compares to £8,495 for a similar-sized, petrol Peugeot 107 - £30,000 less.
“So whether we like it or not, the reality is that the internal combustion engine is going to be around for a while and electric vehicles are going to form part of the strategy in the long term,” said Entwistle.