Jo McDonnell's blog: Preparing drivers for the future
24 March 2020
BP's UK Fuel Cards manager offers tips for managing your fleet on the road to electrification
Now that the government has confirmed that it will be giving financial and tax incentives to help fleets reduce their emissions, many businesses will be considering making the switch to electric vehicles (EVs) this year.
For fleet managers, after you've convinced your business stakeholders that it makes financial sense, one of the hardest parts about switching your fleet over to electric or plug-in hybrid will be making your drivers feel supported and comfortable with the decision.
Planning and educating on the little things will help you manage drivers' concerns and keep your fleet happy while going green.
Bust myths around charging
One of the main concerns from a driver's point of view is charging and range anxiety. On 11 March, the budget revealed that there will be significant investment pumped into charging infrastructure, on top of the already available circa 14,000 charging sockets at 8,625 locations. This will ensure EVs are accessible for all, so assure them that there's no need to worry.
On top of the increased availability of rapid charging units, drivers should be reassured that charging is simple, cheap, and will not significantly impact journeys. Drivers can easily plan ahead using mapping tools online to see where charging points are, meaning finding ways nearby to charge up their electric vehicles is quick and easy.
BP's Fuel and Charge card also offers one simple solution to keep fleets on the move no matter what the engine type. Drivers can check the BP Fuel and Charge Card app or the Polar network's Polar Plus app to find the closest available EV charging point or forecourt.
Check options for roadside support
Many drivers are particularly concerned about roadside support, and whether the standard breakdown assistance they receive will cover EVs. In your driver training programme, you should have details of the servicing and breakdown cover you plan to supply.
Most major roadside assistance partners now have experts for EVs, and many leasing companies have 24/7 driver support built into leases, so it's worth double checking this to ensure you pick the right partner.
Educate drivers on tech
Many people think that EVs are sluggish, they have limited range, and even that you can't take them through car washes.
Instant torque delivery means that EVs can accelerate from 0-30mph in little more than three seconds, which is in fact quicker than many petrol or diesel engines. You can also take an EV through a car wash with no impact on its mechanics.
Ensure that these myths and fears don't exist among your drivers and help drive the change through assurance and education on new vehicles and the technology involved.