A report by fleet management and accident repair company AX has shown that fleet managers are reticent to start replacing their fleets with plug-in vehicles because of some real problems but other reasons best described as misconceptions.
For the survey, 151 fleet managers were asked about the issues around EV adoption. It found that some 34.4% hadn’t even started electrifying their fleet, while just 11.3% had a fleet of 35% or more
The first figure is out of step with the known rates of adoption in the UK as businesses have leapt at the preferential company car tax and other benefits to support the change to EVs. However, what the research showed among those who were reticent to change was very interesting.
Two very real problems were shown as barriers to wider adoption among fleet managers.
Many hadn’t installed chargers at their business premises (despite government money being available to do so). Among these were worries about connection to the grid, as in some cases three-phase AC electricity would be required.
There were genuine concerns over poor public charging infrastructure. Currently more new EVs are coming on the road than new public charging infrastructure is coming online, proven by SMMT data.
Thanks to negative press around electric vehicles, many fleet managers not only understood the real problems but had proven misconceptions:
• 51.9% of fleet managers without EVs in their fleets expected greater downtime of EVs.
• Just 24.2% of those fleet managers with EVs reported this was a reality.
• 44.2% of non-EV fleet managers expected an increase in maintenance costs
• While 20.2% of those with EVs found this to be the case
• 38.5% of non-EV fleet managers expected off-road times due to service and maintenance to increase
• As against 14.1% of those with EVs reporting this to be the case.
In short, there is a measurable gap between preconceptions and reality among fleet managers as to their life with an EV fleet.
Scott Hamilton-Cooper, Managing Director of AX Automotive said “Businesses that are yet to electrify their fleets are noticeably nervous about implementing changes and do not appear to be fully informed on the reality of electrification. Despite the accelerated rate of EV uptake in recent years, there are still myths perpetuating within the industry that are hampering its progress.”
A New Reality
Time and again we see reality clashing with myths, and for normally straight thinking, logical fleet managers to be caught up in it, this shows how poorly understood EVs are!
The fleet manager’s job will be different with EVs. They perform differently - almost every EV accelerates far more quickly than one with an internal combustion engine for example. Tyre wear is an issue due to that acceleration and the increased weight on those tyres from the batteries. Engine maintenance is a thing of the past - no more oil changes, air filters or spark plugs to swap out. Software updates are the new norm!
Where it comes to charging infrastructure, not all chargers require three-phase AC. Here at ZPN we are certain of this as we make and sell rapid chargers that don’t! Look at our Street Hubz chargers that trickle charge using single phase AC yet can offer up to 50kW of rapid charging as required due to their innovative battery storage system.