The reduction in driving range electric vehicles suffer in cold conditions could lead to an increasing amount of seasonality in fleet usage, says FleetCheck.
The fleet software specialist says it is becoming clear that battery electric vehicle range can be affected by as much as 30% to 40% in real-world conditions by cold weather.
Depending on the vehicle and the job it is being asked to do, this could have a direct impact on its day-to-day utility, said Peter Golding, managing director of FleetCheck.
He added: “We see this impacting in two ways. One is that journeys that have a degree of discretionary decision making attached, such as driving 100 miles to visit a client for discussions, may become weighted to spring and summer, with more video-conferencing in winter.
“The other is that all-year fleets, such as commercial vehicle operations, may need to manage range much more carefully in the cold seasons.
“This could present specific challenges. For example, home shopping fleets will be facing the Christmas rush just as range falls.”
He said solutions lay in better journey planning and vehicle utilisation, as well as in educating drivers and fleet managers about the best ways to preserve range.
“The fact is that all company car and van drivers are going to have to become expert at managing range, and learning about all the small and large things that you can do to eke out the maximum range from each charge when the necessity to do so arises.
“When it’s clear that loss of charge in cold conditions is going to be an issue, such as potentially for parcel delivery fleets, then the need to recharge should be built into the daily schedule or other solutions found, such as vehicle swapping.”