One fifth of Panasonic UK’s fleet now electric or hybrid cars
Electric and hybrid cars now account for almost 20% of the 170 company vehicles at Panasonic UK.
The company had 19 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) on fleet in November 2016, with three more on order, plus a further 10 standard hybrids. Panasonic claims that fleet emissions has fallen by 37.5% since 2008.
Fleet strategy at Panasonic is driven by Jason Plummer, senior manager in the general affairs department. A strong advocate of ultra-low-emission vehicles, Plummer sets an example by driving a PHEV mainly using battery power.
In his first year in the vehicle he covered 9,231 miles and spent £129 on petrol, which equates to a real-world MPG of 337mpg.
A 50-kWh solar electric array on the roof of the company’s head office at Bracknell, Berkshire, provides drivers and visitors with free EV charging at four bays in the car park.
Vehicle allocation policy is strictly driven by a vehicle’s suitability for its role. If a driver’s mileage and/or journey profiles are inappropriate for a PHEV, Plummer steers them toward a conventional hybrid or a low-CO2 petrol or diesel car.
The company discourages staff from taking a PHEV primarily for tax purposes, however. It recently switched a driver from a PHEV into a diesel for that reason.
The vehicles are leased by a couple of key suppliers, including Alphabet. As well as drawing on Alphabet’s expertise in EV deployment through the AlphaElectric solution, Panasonic uses Alphabet for vehicle supply and administration, and driver risk management.
The company has not had a fleet manager since 2013. An in-house administrator handles the day-to-day needs of the fleet with close support from Alphabet.