As part of a newly struck partnership, Gemserv and Dodona Analytics have been developing an evidence-based service that will help to mitigate the operational challenges UK businesses face in their transition to EV.
But what are these challenges?
The EV transition for fleets poses a significant threat to business as usual, with substantial commercial and operational disruption not just for engineering vans, but also for fleets of hire vehicles, both short and long term. Here we set out what we see as the five key challenges to overcome, to ensure the impact on the day-to-day operation for fleets is neutralised as the transition marches on.
1. Which vehicles first?
As the deadline looms, a staggered approach to electric transition would make the most sense for the majority of UK businesses, but deciding which vehicles should be swapped first is not an easy road. A multitude of factors regarding the vehicle operation, leasing contracts, age and day-to-day scheduling must be considered when choosing which vehicles could be changed today, not to mention size and the impact of the vehicle’s payload.
2.Which EV to choose?
Whilst the number of electric cars on the market steadily increases, there still exists limited choice with only 20 models available for all shapes and sizes of electric light commercial vehicles (LCVs). This presents a challenge should a fleet operator swap today, to understand the real-life performance aspects of what is available on the market that most suits their business as usual.
3. Charging operations
The logistics of charging operations remains the biggest challenge facing fleet owners in their transition to electric vehicles. There exists significant complexity for commercial fleet owners, regardless of being return-to-base (RTB) or return-to-home (RTH). RTB charging comes with issues of grid constraints and space, whilst RTH charging faces conundrums of choosing to either install infrastructure on employee’s homes, or to trust the rollout of public infrastructure to charge on street.
4. Building the business case
Whether it is an SME or a larger business, the challenge is fundamental, fleets must lead the way to electrify road transport whilst ensuring as little impact as possible on their day-to-day business operations. With the impending petrol/diesel deadline, fleet owners will be forced to consider new factors in their operations that can directly impact their bottom-line. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to green our business transport, but we must do it in a way that is commercially viable.
5. The need for speed
As the Net Zero transition quickly moves higher up everyone’s agenda, doing nothing now is not an option, with new requirements for fleet owners to have a zero-emission fleet, or risk losing business. This may significantly shorten the anticipated timescales for fleet electrification for multiple fleet owners, across UK business. It is essential that fleet owners begin developing a strategy today, to ensure they are not left behind by the shift to green mobility.
Whilst the road to fleet electrification might be fraught with difficultly, waiting is not an option. We would welcome the opportunity to better understand your fleet’s electrification strategy, with a view to supporting your clean transport ambitions using an evidence-based approach. Gemserv and Dodona Analytics are on a mission to ensure it is business as usual for fleet operators, to find out how we can help, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
 PwC – Fleets Ahead!, 2021