Fleets must put measures in place to ensure that they are carefully monitoring the performance of electric vehicles, says CFC Solutions.
As the first deliveries begin of the Nissan Leaf – the first mainstream electric car available in the UK – the fleet software specialist says that fleet managers need to find out as much as possible about the real world facts of EV operation.
Neville Briggs, managing director at CFC, said: “There are a range of parties including government, motor manufacturers and environmental groups who will spend the next few years pushing for fleets to adopt EVs as widely as possible.
“What fleet managers need to do is gather as much information as possible about the way in which these vehicles work in everyday situations so that they can enter into an informed debate about their pros and cons.
“The main questions are over range, cost and driver acceptance. These are relatively easily monitored areas and fleet managers should be using their software or other system to ensure that they can quickly build up accurate data.
“It could be that several EV fleet manager forums and user groups are formed, and these would allow the industry as a whole to work out how this new technology fits into the overall profile of the UK fleet car parc.”
Briggs pointed out that perhaps the strongest pressure on fleet managers to adopt EVs would come internally, from their own senior managers and other parties.
He said: “It is possible that in large, corporate organisations, there will be a desire to be seen to be as ‘green’ as possible and adopting EVs as company cars and vans is a very visible way of doing this.
“Fleet managers would benefit from having information to hand that would allow them to fight their corner in these debates. There is no point your company buying 100 EVs if they are operationally useless for your needs.
“Of course, the opposite could also be true. It may be that EVs fit the operational profile of your fleet very well, in which case they could soon be widely used within your organisation. But making these decisions means gathering data.”