Fleet News

Fleet decision-makers lack electric vehicle expertise

Almost one-in-three (29%) fleet managers do not feel they have the necessary level of expertise to advise their drivers on electric vehicles (EVs), research from LeasePlan suggests.

In a survey of 200 fleets, half of which already operate EVs, one-in-four (24%) said that they would benefit in further training around EVs.

When asked what kind of training they would most benefit from, the most common answers were ‘how to maximise a battery range’ (53%) and ‘how to carry out vehicle checks (53%).

This was followed by ‘EV charging’ (51%), ‘key differences between EV and ICE vehicles’ (40%) and ‘health and safety’ (30%).

The survey also found that demand for EVs is growing among fleet drivers, with nine out of 10 respondents saying they were expected to be the EV expert within the business.

Four-in-five (80%) fleet managers said that that their drivers have asked them about EV driving in the past 12 months, while nine-in-10 (91%) said there has been a noticeable rise in conversations around EVs among their drivers.

Alfonso Martinez, managing director at LeasePlan UK, said: “Our research reveals a significant knowledge gap around EVs within fleet teams. This is something that businesses urgently need to address, as a successful transition towards a zero-emission fleet requires the right expertise and support to be in place. Otherwise, they could be faced with costly and disruptive setbacks.

“Behind any smooth and efficient transition is a well-trained and resourced fleet manager. They are the backbone of the company fleet, and in most workplaces are considered the go-to person for all matters related to EVs. This means that they are the first port of call whenever anyone has any questions or issues.

“The trouble is that while they may be EV champions, many fleet managers feel like they lack the sufficient expertise to advise their team with confidence. Therefore, it’s essential that we provide comprehensive training and access to the right tools so that fleet managers can fulfil their role and provide the necessary support to their team.”

The LeasePlan survey also revealed a lack of confidence among fleet managers in their business’ EV strategy. While four-in-five (82%) respondents said their company has a strategy in place for transitioning to an EV fleet, one-in-five (22%) said that they feel their company is moving too fast and two-in-five (41%) said they wish their company were more ambitious. Only one third (35%) said that their company has the right strategy.

Martinez said: “The message we want to get out there to fleet managers and the wider company team is that they’re not alone.

“Navigating an entirely new sector and technology can be a daunting task, and with the added pressure on finances and reliable operations during the pandemic, they might find themselves short on time and headspace.

“For this reason, we’ve taken these pain points into consideration and developed a number of tools and training courses to support them throughout the process.

“Not only will these allow fleet managers to feel confident when posed with EV-related questions from the team, but it will also allow decision makers to deliver on their environmental commitments with conviction as they’ll know they have the right supporting data and research behind them.”

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