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.
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.