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Fleet Management Issues – What would make you switch to an electric company car?

Fleet Management Issues – What would make you switch to an electric company car?
16th January 2012 Run Your Fleet Blog

Electric Cars in Company Fleets

What is stopping companies from integrating electric vehicles into their fleets?

  • Concerns over life of the actual car battery.
  • Concerns over charge life of battery.

Do you think that if you could trial an electric car first you might change your mind and see the benefits of electric company cars as part of your fleet management strategy?

Cenex – the UK’s first Centre of Excellence for low carbon vehicle technologies – has announced the results of a five month trial incorporating electric vehicles (EVs) into twelve major fleets across the UK.

The companies taking part in the trial included Asda, Indesit and Stagecoach and in their opinion the trial was a success, meaning that some participants have brought forward participants’ plans to incorporate EVs into their company fleets.

  • 68% of fleet managers said that trial involvement had accelerated their company’s interest in EVs
  • 63% seeing that EVs could be integrated into their fleets before 2013, compared to just 25% prior to the trial.
  • Three quarters of fleet managers said their opinion of EVs improved over the course of the trial, demonstrating the importance of experiencing the new generation of electric vehicles.

The full results of the Smart Move Case Studies trial are available to download here

Charge Anxiety” can be avoided by making sure that a charging plan and strategy is in place, building up the confidence of the users and drivers of the EVs.

The fleets that gained the highest benefits from EVs were those of companies such as Stagecoach which adopted an ‘opportunity charging’ policy, recharging during the working day rather than relying on a single overnight charge.  Over a quarter (26%) of Stagecoach’s daily deployments used over 100% state of charge (SoC) per day, with the highest daily SoC being 160%.

Key findings from the trial include:

  • Individual EV drivers were enthusiastic about their vehicles, with average performance rated as better than a conventional vehicle
  • 75% of drivers said they would be happy to change working procedures to use an EV
  • Drivers wanted a higher real world range (up to 130km) than those experienced during the trial, where the range averaged under 80km
  • 100% of fleet managers rated environmental aspects and low running costs as the main advantages of using EVs
  • Fleet managers recognised that purchasing EVs cost more, and they were willing to spend up to 50% more to buy one, attracted by lower operating costs and emissions
  • Using the Cenex Fleet Carbon Reduction tool, modelling showed emissions savings of up to 15% were achievable even when compared to the best-in-class diesel smart Cdi (which has an emissions figure of just 86 gCO2/km)

This trial is the final element of the two year Smart Move EV programme, a suite of EV studies carried out by Cenex which tracked the performance of electric vehicles through laboratory testing, track testing and real-world usage to obtain and disseminate information to help advise and support early market adopters of EVs.

The most interesting statistic is that even though drivers want EVs to have a higher range, three-quarters of them would be happy to drive and charge them. Fleet Managers are happy with the performance and cost of an EV.

What would it take for you to change your company car fleet to include EVs?

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