The drive for a renewable future
The onus on EV adoption is most certainly growing. Central to this is the fact that the UK is moving towards a much greater renewable and nuclear future, whereby energy could potentially become totally green. The result is that the long-term benefits of EV adoption will be more apparent, as drivers will be able to use clean energy to recharge their vehicles. Thus with wider adoption comes a greater contribution towards the government carbon reduction targets and general environmental policy.
However, there are still challenges to be met. The inherent issue of the high cost of vehicles and the inadequate charging infrastructure remains. As such, the existing government subsidies are still required in order to attract more buy in on a consumer level.
Another issue is the fact that the UK has a large number fleets which need to be migrated to EV options. However, the problem remains that in heavy-duty fields, such as parcel delivery and public transport, most current electric vehicles, apart from specialised small scale products fail to meet the requirement of an eight hour duty cycle. The good news is that the next generation of vehicles will be more capable with manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Nissan and Ford placing serious investment in this area. The consensus is this will significantly drive uptake.
For the fleet manager then, as the prime potential beneficiaries of EV adoption, there is a strong need to take a lead role.
As the first point, they should offer attractive, flexible and cost effective EV packages for employees that cover all practicalities. For example, an EV contract should include access to a conventional car for a number of days per year for long distance and holiday usage.
Conversely, commercial vehicle fleet managers should invest in adoption of new EV vans or cars to replace a proportion of their fleet in urban areas or where shorter daily mileages are made, for example up to 100 miles per day.
Obviously, while the initial outlay may be more for EVs, there are numerous medium and long-term benefits for fleet managers. These include compliance with government targets on CO2 reductions, immediately realised reduced fleet fuel costs, taxation savings, congestion charges and the added benefit of lower maintenance and insurance costs.
Indeed, as a nation we still have a long journey ahead when it comes to EV adoption. However, with major investment by leading car manufacturers, advances in charging technology and the continued build of the charging infrastructure, stable progress is being made as the once so distant EV revolution comes quickly into our emerging tomorrow.