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Going electric? The GBFE 2020 Electric Vehicles Masterclass is here to help

It’s no secret that the industry is going electric, but where does that leave fleets? As the traditional early-adopters, fleets remain at the cutting edge but electrification raises a lot of questions. The GBFE 2020 Electric Vehicle Masterclass – on Thursday, 30 January 2020, at Novotel London West – aims to put an end to the myths and uncertainty, with its focus on the future delivered by industry leaders.

The Electric Vehicle Masterclass is one of four Masterclasses taking place at the Great British Fleet Event on Thursday 30 January 2020

Kicking things off is José Manuel Carvalho, director marketing & sales at Efacec – the Portuguese electricity infrastructure giant –opens the discussion with a talk about transitioning from fossil fuel to electric power. Obviously no small or easy task, this forms the backbone of the electric global trend, and with Efacec’s infrastructure already being rolled out worldwide, there’s no better person to inform on how this fundamental change will occur.

Although fleets have, up until now, largely focused on vehicles from a user perspective, infrastructure does of course facilitate business mileage. Roads and parking are important, but with the advent of electric vehicles, so too is electric charging infrastructure, for both home and workplace. Cutting edge Urban Electric’s co-founder Oli Freeling-Wilkinson will talk about how electric vehicles can work for everyone, whether that’s a dedicated fleet hub or an employee with on-street parking their only means of charging. Urban Electric’s pioneering work in the field of popup charging offers a neat and effective solution that brings electric plugged-in parking solutions and rids us of potentially hazardous and unsightly cables draped across pavements.

The cars themselves play a hugely important role in all this, of course, and manufacturers are being forced to produce zero-emission vehicles in order to lower their overall fleet emissions average, else face massive financial penalties from the likes of the EU. Talking from a manufacturers perspective is Helen Lees, head of EVs & connected services at Groupe PSA who’ll discuss whether battery electric vehicles really the answer.

With vehicles and infrastructure largely being taken care of, Fiona Howarth, CEO at Octopus Electric Vehicles, offers insight into the third tranche of electrification – electricity supply. Octopus offers a number of services for fleets, including innovative charging solutions, electricity tariffs and leasing solutions of electric vehicles. It’s the kind of thinking that can make a huge difference in making a fleet transition to electric vehicles simple and effective.

Last but certainly not least in the Electric Vehicles Masterclass is Joshua Gordon, marketing manager UK & Ireland at Geotab, who’ll be discussing the electric transition from a commercial vehicle standpoint. Electric car sales aregaining traction, but commercial vehicles appear to have been a bit late to the party, putting certain CV fleets in a predicament, especially considering the introduction of Clean Air Zones and Low Emission Zones. Fortunately, there’s light on the horizon, with a plethora of electric vans imminently coming to market, but how they can be made to work and fit into your fleet remains an unanswered question.

The Great British Fleet Event takes place on Thursday, 30 January 2020, at Novotel London West in Hammersmith. The free-to-attend event consists an exhibition and conferences. To pre-register and secure your free entry, click here:

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Jonathan Musk

Jonathan turned to motoring journalism in 2013 having founded, edited and produced Autovolt - one of the UK's leading electric car publications. He has also written and produced books on both Ferrari and Hispano-Suiza, while working as an international graphic designer for the past 15 years. As the automotive industry moves towards electrification, Jonathan brings a near-unrivalled knowledge of EVs and hybrids to Fleet World Group.