Fleets ramping up home charging plans, says Centrica
A third of UK fleets are planning to install charging points at drivers’ homes as a result of increased remote working, according to Centrica Business Solutions, aimed at supporting wider uptake of electric vehicles.
The company commissioned a study of 200 UK businesses with a turnover in excess of £1m and a vehicle fleet, which was carried out in March.
Although some had reduced their fleet size, respondents projected a £15.8bn investment in vehicles and charging equipment over the next 12 months – 50% higher than the year previously. One fifth said they had accelerated plans to invest in electrification following the Covid-19 pandemic.
With an increase in home working, respondents also said it was important to provide drivers with the right equipment to make the electric transition easier. A third (34%) said they planned to install chargepoints for drivers, and 81% cited the growth of home working as the reason why this was under consideration. Two thirds (67%) expect to be all-electric by 2030, when sales of non-hybrid petrol or diesel cars and vans will be stopped in the UK.
However, there are challenges. More than one in ten (13%) said they had cancelled plans to roll out electric vehicles post-pandemic, while 42% claimed the complexities of managing home and public charging were a barrier to using them. Companies with no plans to install home chargepoints said up-front cost (53%), operational challenges (41%) and limited knowledge about installation partners (35%) were ongoing barriers.
Based on experiences with its own heavily electrified fleet, Centrica Business Solutions offers a home chargepoint which can be integrated with a business’s payroll software, automatically reimbursing drivers for the energy used and issuing monthly statements to fleet managers. It also offers a ‘virtual fuel card’ which can coordinate home and public charging expenses and send that data to the company payroll for reimbursement.
Greg McKenna, managing director of Centrica Business Solutions, said: “A third of drivers don’t have access to off-street parking, meaning businesses will need a balance of home charging, workplace charging and a robust public charging network to achieve their electrification plans.
“With the ban on traditionally-fuelled vehicles inching ever closer, and on-street charging costs prohibitively expensive, it’s likely we’ll see more employers offering to install home charging, alongside systems to help them manage the chargers and the energy they use.”