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Charging infrastructure is holding back fleet EV and PHEV growth

Nissan Leaf, EV, electric vehicle, EV chargingg infrastructure, plug-in vehicles.

The UK’s current charging infrastructure needs development if the growth potential of electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid EVs (PHEV) is to be fully realised for fleets, says Arval.

According to the vehicle leasing and fleet management company methods of accessing charging points are inconsistent, potentially creating a barrier for fleet drivers.

Fleet consultant David Watts said: “It seems to us that there is a disconnect between the charging infrastructure providers, of which there are now many, and the users of the networks themselves. It appears to be creating a real barrier against the take up of pure EVs as well as being a frustrating obstacle in the growth and efficient use of PHEVs.

“Charge point access is currently unnecessarily complicated with multiple memberships being required if you want to ensure nationwide coverage. Then the payment model itself makes little sense, with some charging on a fixed-cost, per-use basis rather than in pence per kWh used. This inadvertently leads to ‘charger hogging’ with drivers taking their complete time allocation rather than simply what they need to get to their home or office.”

Watts believes a pay-as-you-go model would be more effective where the fleet driver could pull up to the charger, use a contactless debit or credit card, and pay for the electricity they need without a requirement for membership or registration.

He added: “More chargers are being installed across the country all the time but the number of vehicles needing to use them will also grow. We need to ensure that the use and management of the charging infrastructure is handled as well as possible if we are to encourage more and more fleets to use these vehicles. Frustrating experiences will inhibit uptake.”

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  • John Miller-Wilson, - 06/01/2017 10:51

    Arval are spot on. I'd go further though. its impossible to know how much you will be charged in advance, whether you will have an account with the charger operator, whether it will be in use or broken. I've now almost given up using the public network; I charge at home and work only. I would not go full electric based on my experience which is a great shame.

  • Robberg - 06/01/2017 11:58

    With obstacles like this, it's no wonder widespread use of electric vehicles will never be achieved. I wonder if the general public are aware that electric vehicles and charging points are not always compatible with each other.

  • DavidMG - 07/01/2017 14:58

    At least one charging station provider requires the use of a Smartphone, rather than a simple RFID card (or simply a credit card which is all that's needed for petrol / diesel purchaes). Not all drivers have Smartphones - and no Smartphone is needed to buy petrol or diesel.

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