Fleet News

The first steps in adopting electric vehicles: Fleets share their experiences

Electric vehicle charging

While talk of electrifying fleets has been growing over the past few years, many organisations are still in the infancy of their journey to operating significant numbers of EVs.

The fleets in this Fleet 200 virtual roundtable discussion were all in the early stages of EV adoption.

One public sector fleet has operated two fully electric vans for the past five years, but despite a desire by the local authority to improve its green credentials, its funding method prevents it from taking on more EV of ULEVs.

“My organisation has an outright purchase policy so we have to pay for vehicles out of capital – it won’t let us lease vehicles,” said the fleet manager.

“The downside (of EVs) is the capital cost tends to be a bit more and when you’ve got a limited capital budget, do you buy three Euro 6 vans or two electric vans and have a bit of money left over?

“It’s that sort of judgement that we’ve got to make. At the moment, we’ve got a fairly aged fleet so anything we buy is much greener than what we are operating.”

Another fleet – with 500 diesel vans - had taken on its first three electric vans around a month before the Fleet 200 event.

After initial issues over who would be operating the vehicles due to many employees not living in properties where a home charger could be installed, the feedback from the relevant drivers has been positive.

The company hopes that it will also be able to demonstrate to drivers that electric vans can be used by people who have to rely on public chargepoints, which will allow it to roll-out EVs to more employees in the future.

A third fleet does not currently operate any electric vehicles in the UK, but is expecting its first ones in October/November.

These will be management cars and is due to “partly sustainability, partly driver demand”, due to the significant benefit-in-kind tax advantages of running ultra-low emission vehicles.

“We recognise 2021 is going to be a big year for EV growth,” said the fleet manager.

“The majority of the benefit is going to the drivers because they are picking up the BIK tax advantages, so we are writing a policy to say employees take responsibility for providing home charging points and for vehicle charging, and then they can claim back business mileage.”

> The above was shared with Fleet News at the July meeting of the Fleet200 Executive Club.

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The Fleet200 Executive Club is a group of the most influential fleets operating in the UK.

It produces research on key fleet trends and holds events which bring together the UK’s most professional fleet decision makers to debate the issues of importance to their businesses, share ideas on new initiatives and industry developments, and hear from outstanding, thought-provoking speakers.

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