Call for guidance to help fleets lead EV roll out
04 March 2019
Author: Sean Keywood
A clear, direct policy is needed to encourage fleets to adopt electric vehicles (EVs), according to a new report.
'Arming the Fleet - Accelerating Businesses Scale Adoption of EVs' argues that not only are fleets not being considered adequately in the current EV debate, but that there is a gap between the fleet industry and the power sector, where a mutual understanding of key objectives and opportunities for collaboration is needed.
The report by Pixie Energy, a subsidy of research company Cornwall Insight Group, says these challenges will need to be overcome before fleets adopt EVs on a larger scale.
It recommends driving cross-sector engagement through the creation of a forum, immediate policy action and the building of 'innovation bridges'.
Pixie Energy analyst Tom Lusher said: "The momentum for electrifying road transport is growing with battery EVs expected to dominate as we head towards 2040.
"Early electrification of the fleet network could accelerate the achievement of the government's objectives.
"However, the EV policy debate thus far has paid inadequate attention to the interest of the fleet industry, with a lack of a clear policy and direction directly related to how fleets are going to be electrified.
"This is hindering fleet managers achieving large-scale EV adoption. This is further exacerbated by the understandable but limited engagement between the fleet industry and the power sector."
Lusher said greater engagement was needed, which could identify the challenges posed by fleet electrification and spark collaborative working to overcome them.
He said: "The opportunities here for positive impacts on both sectors are significant. There is excellent potential for fleets to capitalise on EVs, and the supporting infrastructural and regulatory and policy architecture being built around them.
"There are strong possibilities for fleet managers to derive financial benefits to their organisation, as well as benefits to the power system.
"However, to do this, fleet managers need to know about the relevant developments first."
Lusher said there was an opportunity for fleets to move EVs from an 'innovative niche' to a serious business proposition with significant environmental and financial benefits.
He added: "If properly supported, fleets could lead the way on EV roll out but to be able to do this there needs to be a fundamental shift in the thinking of all parties involved."