Fleet News

Fleet managers give their views on the challenges of an EV fleet

Fleet200 Executive Club meeting September 2018

Fleet200 members gave their views on the motivations and the challenges of transitioning all or part of their fleet from diesel and petrol powered vehicles to wholly electric or hybrids.

Here is a summary of views given at the September 2018 meeting.

Why EVs:

  • Meeting environmental and Co2 targets such as “Road to Zero”
  • WLPT pushing cars Co2 Bands up vs reduction Co2% targets.
  • Increasing BIK tax is costing drivers too much. So desire to move to more tax efficient versions such as EVs and PHEVs.
  • EV mileage ranges now improving to make EVs a real alternative.
  • Profiling of staff and Job roles so targeting low mileage, office based perk drivers or London based staff.
  • More charging points starting to be made available
  • We are reaching the tipping point when electric vehicles become desirable to company car drivers

  • Sustainability has pushed fleet operators in the public sector to increase the adoption of electric vehicles as they have to report on their organisation’s emissions, including fleet

  • Research is taking place around incentivising people to charge their EV at a time that suit the network.

Challenges:

  • Payback to home owner for Home charging.
  • Access to charging points for drivers with no driveways (on street parking, flats, etc.)
  • AFR rates. Ensuring fair reimbursement to drivers.
  • Getting drivers to change their driving styles use EVs efficiently.
  • Low emission zones being introduced in certain areas/city’s.
  • Use of pool cars not knowing where they are going to be used or what for (access to car share etc.)
  • Diverse fleet profiles (motorbike, small car, large, van, HGV) so who should be allowed EVs
  • Early adopters of electric vehicles among the Fleet200 faced the challenge of having to buy the vehicles and take the residual value risk. They’ve since been able to switch to leasing and they believe there is now more demand in the second hand car market.
  • Driver attitudes can be barrier but fleet operators have found that once the drivers are in the vehicles they don’t want to go back to diesel. They appreciate the quietness and the acceleration. However, some still have concerns about range e.g. if they want to take their company car abroad for a two week holiday. And for those doing high mileage (at one fleet drivers clock up 27,000 miles a year) an EV isn’t suitable
  • Benefit-in-kind tax savings have led company car drivers to choose electric vehicles but current government policy is slowing down adoption. “If the 2% rate applied now we would see an uptake,” one fleet said.
  • There are a multitude of challenges with electric vehicle charging. Businesses feel a responsibility to offer workplace charging, particularly if drivers don’t have off street parking to charge their vehicle at home. However, it can be costly to invest and they have consider whether employees should pay to use the charging point. The age of buildings is another infrastructure barrier
  • Some have experienced problems with charging points not working, as one delegate said: “It’s problem if your phone doesn’t charge, if it’s your car it’s a nightmare.”

Concerns:

  • Will the National Grid be able to cope with the demand?
  • Lack of high speed charging points
  • How will cars doing 30k miles a year be able to charge up (detailed journey planning)
  • Increased weight and payload issues could impact vehicle choice
  • Increased driver training costs to ensure efficient use of the vehicles to maximise economy
  • All cars must be able to do a minimum of 200 miles per charge
  • Paying for and reclaiming expenses for on road EV charging points
  • Reliability & maintenance concerns including the number of dealers able to carry out work on EVs
  • Cost of the EVs (lease or outright purchase)    
  • Availability of new vehicle stock, lead times and options available.
  • Like-for-like EV hire or loan cars for vehicles off road
  • Government position around the future of diesel
  • Diesel versus EVs whole life cost.


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

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