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On-street charging: The iceberg challenge for electric vehicle fleets

14th Feb, 2023

Last month, Lloyds Bank found that 44% of UK homes are “unsuitable” for electric vehicle ownership. How do we make electric vehicle charging more accessible? 

As part of our Street Fleet project, we found that even though business employees have access to off-street parking, this however, does not mean a business vehicle can use it to ensure charge for the next working day. In fact, in one instance we found a fleet where 60% of the employees had access to off-street parking, and not one of them could use their off-street parking to charge a fleet vehicle. This shows that publicly accessible vehicle charging is critical to UK businesses being able to electrify.

The reason employees can’t charge vehicles on their own drive could be due to several factors. These include challenges such as employees only having one parking space and more than one vehicle at the home. Which one will they park on the drive? What if there are two business vehicles at the home? Or an employee already owning a private electric vehicle that is charged on the drive. The install of another charger may not be possible due to home fuse limitations – creating the issue of which vehicle do you prioritise charging, private or business on the private property? Challenging.

We aren’t saying that home charging isn’t going to form part of the solution for fleets – it certainly is. What we are saying is that the challenge of public infrastructure is a bigger issue than most realise when thinking about how we shift fleets to electric. An iceberg, so to speak.

This is one of the challenges that the team at Street Fleet are trying to resolve – ensuring public charging infrastructure to meet the need of not just UK businesses but also the public, providing fast and rapid options. There are fantastic solutions out there for home and depot charging for fleets, but public charging infrastructure must have some barriers removed in its roll out to ensure businesses can electrify with as little disruption as possible.

The positive here is that even with these challenges, businesses are already trying to shift their fleet to electric with the sales deadline of 2030 for fossil fuel vehicles in mind. We have seen many success stories for the low hanging fruit vehicles, but this will increase in difficulty before it improves. We believe fleets can lead the way to a successful roll out of public and semi-public charging infrastructure, meeting the needs of businesses and the public whilst being commercially viable, avoiding the blind roll out of under-utilised assets. How will this evolve? Data-led solutions are the way forward…

Are you facing an electrification headache? Reach out to our Street Fleet team at Streetfleet@gemserv.com and see what we can do with your data and how we will roll out charge points to meet your needs.

 

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