A Fleeting Glance – News Round-up | 8th-14th June 2021

A Fleeting Glance – News Round-up | 8th-14th June 2021

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A Fleeting Glance – News Round-up | 8th-14th June 2021

Here’s the first in our new series of weekly round-ups of news items for all things fleet over the last seven days.

Bosch to open Semi-Conductor Factory

With the well-documented “semi-conductor” shortage affecting many industries, most notable automotive production – Bosch has announced welcome news of opening a new factory in Dresden, Germany, to focus specifically on semi-conductor production.

The €1 billion (£860m) semiconductor fabrication facility is the largest single investment the company has ever made.

Production starts as early as July –with the first semiconductors made in the new plant to be installed in Bosch power tools. Production for chips for the automotive industry will begin in September.

First “BP Pulse Rapid Charging Hub” Opens in London

The first BP Pulse rapid charging hub for fleet vehicles is now available in the UK. Situated on Park Lane, London, Uber are among its first customers.

With rapid charging available for 10 vehicles simultaneously – BP Pulse plans to more than double its capacity in the coming months and then look to roll-out similar hubs in major Cities across the UK.

Study shows fleet vehicle increase since start of pandemic

A survey by Opinion Matters has revealed some rather interesting statistics in relation to fleet vehicle usage since the pandemic started.

The first interesting point – and somewhat predictable – is that 80% of businesses surveyed have had to adjust their businesses since lockdown.

This has lead to several knock-on effects. The most notable changes are that a quarter of the businesses surveyed has added more vehicles to their fleet (or had to get vehicles) whilst a similar number reported an increase in fleet management running costs.

There has also been a huge shift in how fleets are managed – with almost half surveyed switching vehicle management systems and a third have digitalised their fleet.

What is blatantly obvious is that the shift in business needs is placing a greater emphasis on the role of fleet managers and understanding of fleet vehicles.

Peugeot Charged with Diesel Emission Fraud

Another week, another major vehicle manufacturer has been charged with diesel emission fraud.
French authorities have brought the charges against Peugeot following an investigation into vehicles manufactured between 2009-2015.

Following hot on the heels of fellow French rivals Citroen, investigators say that their investigations found some of the cars produced on-the-road nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions more than 10 times regulatory limits for some models.

BVRLA Highlight Lack of New Vans Is Genuine Concern

The issue in the supply in new vans – particularly for the rental and leasing sectors – is something we have touched on recently, and our concerns are shared by the BVRLA.

Following a survey carried out in May, 90% of respondents said the supply of vans was a problem. Worryingly – almost half of those said it was an extreme barrier when trying to meet customer needs.

The Chief Exec of the BVRLA said

“The van parc is growing exponentially at a rate double that of cars, yet the supply of battery electric vans is an acute problem. Although we have seen an increase in the number of makes and models coming to market, there is a particular dearth of vans capable of long ranges or towing.

“Vans play a vital role in the UK economy with one in ten workers relying on a one to do their job. A special focus on vans is needed if this sector is to achieve parity with the more developed electric car market and the BVRLA will be making recommendations to Government.”

The silver lining though was that most of those surveyed did anticipate things to improve significantly over the next 6 months.

Royal Mail Commit to 3000 More Electric Fleet Vehicles

Following the roll-out of Clean Air Zones, Royal Mail have added a further 3000 electric vehicles in addition to their existing 300 plug-in vehicles.

The new vehicles will be concentrating in the areas with Clean Air Zones and will be being to be used from October onwards.

Working with Peugeot and Mercedes, the Peugeot e-Expert, Mercedes e-Vito and e-Sprinter have been chosen as Royal Mail to ensure a low-emissions per parcel service.

This news comes just days after DPD announced they had order 750 electric vehicles from Maxus, doubling it’s electric fleet to 1500.

And finally….

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe Is Now Available for Orders

The eagerly-anticipated BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is now available for orders pending it’s arrival in the UK in November.

The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe combines some of the practicality of the 4 series into the fun and vigour of a 4 Series Coupe – bringing the best of a lot of worlds into one and making it equally adept for business and pleasure.

With prices starting from £40,465, it comes with a range of petrol and diesel engines, an 8-speed automatic gearbox fitted as standard and the option of rear or all-wheel drive.

We will of course be reviewing the car in more detail this summer and give it the full Fleet Adviser overall review treatment.

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How to plan for switching to Electric Vehicles

How to plan for switching to Electric Vehicles

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How to plan for switching to Electric Vehicles

What are the considerations for your business in switching to electric vehicles?

You’ll have no doubt heard many times about the importance of switching to all-electric vehicles.

The reality though is that switching to all-electric fleets comes with a lot of considerations that many businesses either aren’t aware of – or are perfectly aware of and exactly why they are kicking the can down the road in terms of deciding when to switch.

But, for those businesses amongst you who like the idea of switching, but aren’t sure where to start, we’ve put together a guide on some of the main things you will need to consider.

Choosing the right electric vehicles.

Well, obviously. But it isn’t as straightforward as you might think.

There are literally hundreds of all-electric models available currently and even more in production as we type.

When considering what vehicles to switch your fleet to, it might be tempting to simply make the switch to the electric equivalent of your current petrol/diesel vehicles (and in some cases, this is a valid shout).

But not all things are equal – particularly with electric vehicles.

When it comes to switching to electric vehicles, the objective here needs to be identifying your needs first and then finding the most suitable electric vehicle for your needs.

The main considerations will be things like;

  • How far do you need a vehicle to be travelling each day?
  • What is it carrying?
  • Is there any financial support available (e.g. through “plug-in” grants)?
  • How reliable is the technology/any known issues?
  • Would an initial short-term agreement be a viable way of “dipping your toe in the water”?

The switch to all-electric vehicles also provides an excellent opportunity to take stock of how you use your fleet vehicles.

Making the switch to electric vehicles could offer up some huge savings on running costs you weren’t even aware of as being an issue.

The vehicles themselves though aren’t the only consideration…

Powering the vehicles

Probably the greatest factor stopping people in switching to electric vehicles is the anxiety around range and charge points.

The scenario everyone probably over-plays in their head is an electric vehicle slowly grinding to a halt in the middle of nowhere. The battery light being the last thing you see before it all shuts down.

The reality however is that this is extremely unlikely – infact, it’s about as unlikely as you running out of petrol or diesel.

Vehicle ranges and our understanding of them has improved massively.

There are also now far more initiatives being realised to meet the power supply demands of people switching now that the switchover is becoming mandatory.

There have been huge leaps forward in the amount of public charging points available.

On your journeys around major towns/cities you have probably noticed the increase in public charging points yourself.

The reason why you are noticing there are more power points isn’t a coincidence.

There is a concerted effort to make charging electric vehicles as simple and as quick as possible.

Charing an electric car – something we’ll all be doing soon enough…

Public Charging Points

One such initiative has recently seen BP Pulse announce a new partnership with EVN (Electric Vehicle Network) – which is an electric vehicle charging infrastructure designed to help with the roll-out of ultra-fast charge points – with BP themselves looking to reach 16,000 charge points in the UK by 2030.

Then there is Gridserve who opened their first all-electric forecourt in Braintree in 2020.

This allows upto 36 vehicles to be charged simultaneously. This is the first of 100 such sites Gridserve is planning to build in the next 5 years as part of a £1bn project.

These are just a couple of schemes of the many such schemes taking place – all countering the rapidly increasing demand for supply.

Then there is the technology of charging the vehicles themselves. The pre-conception is that electric vehicles have to take hours and hours to charge.

But this isn’t the case.

There are already Rapid-charging charge points which mean some vehicles can be charged to 80% in around 35 minutes. Even most standard charge-points can charge vehicles to 80% in just over an hour.

Of course, if you are choosing the right vehicles in the first place, these issues should hardly ever be an issue if the planning is right.

Also, the availability of websites like www.zap-map.com provide useful information in relation to charging points and planning tools – helping fleet managers plan journeys better.

Private Charging Points.

The most neglected part of owning an all-electric fleet is setting aside the cost of having your own private charging points installed.

Having your own charging points means you aren’t reliant on public charging facilities – and the vehicles can be charged overnight as required.

With your own charging points, you can monitor usage and measure costs both with workplace chargers and also for the individuals, who would have charging points fitted at home.

There is also the Government’s OLEV grant which will contribute towards the cost of a home charging point being installed.

For larger businesses, there is also the option to generate your own electricity. Being “off-grid” has its benefits and having capacity to generate your own power could have other significant benefits worth looking into.

Coping with the pace of change.

The technology behind electric vehicles is evolving all the time. From the vehicles themselves to the power behind them – huge leaps forward seem to be being made every day.

It is likely that the pace of change in the electric vehicle landscape is also putting people off making the change right now.

Businesses could well be waiting for things to “settle down” before making the switch – or worrying that they commit to something and then the technology improves and/or becomes cheaper in the meantime.

Again, the reality is that these issues are put to bed by one major over-riding factor – all the incentives (in the form of grants etc…) to help your business make the change are out there right now.

They won’t be there forever.

The other major factor is that even in its current embryonic state, switching to electric vehicles can offer huge savings if you switched right now – and the great news is that those savings will only get better as the technology improves.

So rather than being put off by the pace of change, it is actually the perfect time to grab the bull by the horns – so to speak.

At the very least, you need to start weighing up your options, costing things up and looking at what factors are involved for your business in making the switch.

Because whichever way you shake it, by sticking with what you have right now is likely to be far costlier in the long-run.

Now over to you. If you have any questions about any aspect of switching to electric vehicles, or even where to start – please feel free to submit a comment at the bottom of this page – or if you want any information directly, message us using the form below. One of our electric vehicle specialists will be happy to contact you to discuss your circumstances further.

 

Advice on switching to all-electric vehicles.

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