Fleet News

Fleet demand high for ACFO EV seminar

More than 140 fleet decision-makers have to-date booked places to attend next month’s electric vehicle seminar hosted by ACFO.

The fleet-decision-makers’ organisation is joining forces with BMW and a wide range of other electric vehicle experts, including the Energy Saving Trust (EST) and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), to provide managers with the very latest information.

The seminar is being held on Tuesday, February, 18, 2014 at BMW Oxford - the home of the Mini - from 10am-4pm. With the expert speaker line-up now finalised.

Free to attend, the seminar is open to ACFO members and non-members from across the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Non-members attending who have operational fleet responsibility will have the opportunity to join ACFO at the special rate of £127+VAT, saving a third off the annual subscription of £190+ VAT.

The Government has forecast that by 2050 it anticipates almost every car and van on the nation’s roads will be an ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) - and that implies a huge take-up among fleets and consumers for electric power.

BMW’s first fully-electric production car, the i3, has just gone on UK sale and it will be followed later this year by the plug-in hybrid i8 sports car.

Meanwhile, BMW-owned vehicle leasing and fleet management company, Alphabet, which is also involved in the seminar, says support for electric vehicles from global car makers has reached a crucial tipping point, which will make 2014 the year fleets finally switch on to the vehicles.

But how suitable are electric vehicles for fleet operations today in terms of day-to-day operation from both a fleet and driver perspective, are whole life costs realistic, what is the tax position and what does the future hold?

Those and many other questions will be answered by a range of experts at the event as they address the key issues confronting fleet decision-makers.

The seminar speaker line-up has been completed and includes:

• Anna West, head of consumer initiatives at OLEV, who will focus on Government support for electric vehicles and available funding to fleets, the Plugged-in Fleets Initiative and tax issues.

• In three separate sessions David Nicholas, the EST’s fleet partnership manager will highlight: ‘The Business Case’ - the electric vehicle market background, operational opportunities, whole life cost methodology and current barriers to adoption; ‘Vehicle Charging and Infrastructure’ - charging times, charging modes and where to charge; and ‘Tax and Electric Vehicles’ - including company car tax and business mileage rates.

• Jim McNally, asset risk manager, and Nigel Trotman, strategic fleet consultant, both from Alphabet, will focus on the challenges faced from a leasing company perspective and how fleets can tackle the introduction of electric vehicles to their fleet policies.

• Phil Redman, ACFO director and fleet manager at IBM UK, will discuss the issues he confronted when choosing to add zero emission cars to the company car choice list.

• And finally, Gerry Keaney, chief executive of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, will host an open question and answer and discussion session during which delegates will be able to gather further information on key issues addressed during the seminar or raise any other electric vehicle issues of concern.

Delegates will also have the opportunity to put the BMW i3 through its paces by pre-booking ride and drive slots at three separate times: 8-10am, 1-2pm and from 4pm.

ACFO director Julie Jenner, who has been instrumental in arranging the seminar with fellow director John Pryor, said: “The Government, motor manufacturers, such as BMW, and vehicle recharging companies are collectively spending billions of pounds on developing the electric vehicle market and bringing zero and ultra-low emissions cars and vans to the fore.

“Organisations are responsible for buying the majority of new cars in the UK and, therefore, fleet decision-makers have a critical role to play in helping to accelerate demand for electric vehicles if sales are to soar.

“The number of fleet decision-makers that have so far booked to attend the seminar reveals that there is significant interest in electric vehicles from the people that ACFO represents.

“However, we are also aware of much uncertainty among fleet operators as to the viability of electric vehicle technology and the operational cost of such vehicles.

“The seminar will address all those issues so that fleet chiefs will depart the event with a comprehensive understanding of the road ahead for electric vehicles in corporate applications.”

Jenner added: “The seminar also demonstrates ACFO’s ability to bring together a top-class speaker line-up to address key issues facing fleet operators and we hope the event will result in many more people with responsibility for company cars and vans joining the organisation.”

Anyone who would like to attend the ACFO Electric Vehicle Seminar should register by Friday, January 31, 2014, and delegates who would like to participate in the BMW i3 ride and drive should email the ACFO Membership Services’ Organisation at info@acfo.org or go to www.acfo.org.

Click here for electric cars and hybrids best practice and procurement insight

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