FROM THE INDUSTRY
Beverley Wise > sales director, UK & Ireland, Webfleet Solutions
According to the latest SMMT figures, UK sales of battery electric vehicles have soared by 262% in the last year, with BEVs now accounting for 6% market share. To date, fleet operators have been slow to embrace the move to electric, citing high purchase costs and TCO (total cost of ownership) compared to ICE equivalents as their main objections. Range anxiety, lack of charging infrastructure, poor model availability, inadequate load bearing capability and the need to adopt a new mind-set have also hampered growth. Three recent developments, however, look set to help spur on adoption. The blanket ban on selling new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans in the UK has been brought forward to 2035, and could now start as early as 2032, giving fleet operators just 12 years to think greener. A new zero Benefit-in-Kind tax rate for pure electric vehicles was introduced in April, making EVs a more affordable proposition. And with the number of EV models available to European buyers set to increase by about 75% in the next 12 months, a sharp hike in vehicle availability will also help to push purchase prices and TCO down. For businesses looking to embark on their EV journeys, the smart use of telematics-based fleet data remains pivotal to unlocking the full value of a switch to electric.
For businesses looking to embark on their EV journeys, the smart use of telematics-based fleet data remains pivotal to unlocking the full value of a switch to electric.
By confirming average trip distances, type of roads driven and the frequency of short versus long journeys, telematics can provide the insights needed by fleet decision-makers to select which drivers should swap to EV. As the UK increasingly adopts an Ultra-Low Emission Zones strategy, fleet operators can utilise clever geo-fencing techniques to identify which vehicles are frequently entering these zones to help highlight where EVs could otherwise be used more cost-effectively. Crucial EV performance data such as how much charge a vehicle has, and how far it still needs to travel, can help fleets gain the necessary insights to re-charge at the right time and location, avoiding queues and potentially higher charging costs during peak times. Data can also be used to reduce range anxiety and ensure proper maintenance by constantly monitoring battery level and remaining driving range. Fleet managers can plan jobs more efficiently and dispatch vehicles based on real-time charge information. It’s clear that connected vehicle data will play a crucial role in helping businesses to shape the most cost-effective future EV strategies.