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IBM proves enlightening drivers is key to electric vehicle take-up

Date: 25 February 2014   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

Delegates at ACFO's electric vehicle seminar heard from IBM's fleet manager and ACFO director Phil Redman, who documented his experience of successfully running two electric Nissan Leafs on his fleet, both of which were used as daily commuting vehicles and for longer trips. 

Redman initially arranged a six-month demonstrator loan of a Leaf. "There was only one week when that car wasn't out" he said.

He made staff aware of their EV options via the company intranet and magazine and produced a separate tab for EVs on the company's choice list to increase the chance of take-up. He also advised that considering where and when the vehicles would be charged was essential if they were to work as company vehicles, as it rarely happened at the firm's offices. 

Employees were given the option of a hire car for business trips if they needed it, and IBM was invited to set its own appropriate mileage rate by HMRC, which was 3.8ppm. This was agreed for the life of the vehicles on the fleet. 

The company now has a new Leaf on a four-month demo loan and four Leafs and one Vauxhall Ampera on its permanent fleet, with six BMW i3s and another Leaf on order.