I do worry about some (okay, most) of our drivers, and their ability when it comes to vehicles. Doing their jobs seems fine, but around cars and vans, it’s like someone has turned their brains off.

The other day one of the younger members of the team phoned up, I could tell immediately he wanted something or was in bother. He was very timid, asked how I was, how was the family, just general chit-chat until he told me his problem.

It turns out his keys were locked in the back of the van! The cab was open, but the rear doors were well and truly locked, as our vans have additional security measures because we carry some expensive bits of equipment.

Anyway, I think I said, “Well you’ll need to go and find an adult to help you!” Still, a local garage was found, and a mechanic with some sense turned up. Complete with a drill, metal cutters and a fishing rod. I’m presuming the rod was in his car, as it turned out he was a keen angler! 

He drilled a hole in the bulkhead, then made a bigger hole with his cutters, (we’ll worry about that later) and after the driver told him where the keys were, the keys were carefully hooked and brought through the hole, and back to the relieved driver. 

Sorting lost or missing keys seems to take a lot of my time these days – it’s definitely time I could spend doing other things. There must be an answer to this key problem, but I haven’t found out what it is yet?

As I’ve said before, I am being ‘encouraged’ to try and make our fleet ‘greener’. Not by buying more green coloured cars but buying some EVs. Or so says our MD, who drives a 3.0-litre diesel and wouldn’t be seen dead in anything electric. I must admit though, I’m very nervous about putting any electric vehicles on the fleet, although we do have one Tesla already. 

I’m all for helping the planet, but will adding EVs to our small fleet really help global warming? I’d like to think so, but then reality kicks in. Initially, my biggest concern was the infrastructure, but now it is the cost of charging EVs. I’ve heard some quite frightening statistics on how expensive it is to ‘charge up’ the battery either at home using or public charge points, and it’s not going to get cheaper any time soon – it can only get worse.

Plus, with the introduction of VED on EVs in a couple of years, who knows what else is around the corner! All ready to clobber any EV drivers, and potentially the company. 

In my opinion, BIK is almost certainly going to go up, maybe the free ‘charging at work-perk’ will disappear – I believe it should! Although we don’t have any charge points in our car park. Another worry is that I’ve heard the tax on the imports of batteries from non-EU countries will go up – putting up the cost of EVs by up to 10%. 

More and more manufacturers are offering electric vans, and although we have quite a few vans, I really can’t see any of my drivers having enough patience to sit charging them, nor do  many of them have off-street parking. 

To me, putting any EVs on my fleet now, is going into the unknown and a risk I’m not prepared to take. So, as they say on Dragons Den. ‘I’m out.’

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