EV policy debate should give more thought to fleets, claims report

A lack of policy initiatives to encourage fleets to adopt electric vehicles (EVs) is preventing EVs from fullfilling their potential in the sector, a new insight paper suggests.

The report by Pixie Energy, a subsidiary of energy market analysts Cornwall Insight, has found that not only are fleets not being considered enough in the current discussion around EVs, but that there is also a gap between the fleet sector and power sector that prevents them from building up mutual aims and understanding.

The insight paper, titled Arming the Fleet – accelerating business scale adoptionhas concluded that the fleet sector must overcome challenges such as these before it will be able to take up EVs on a larger scale.

Tom Lusher, analyst at Pixie Energy, said: ‘The EV policy debate thus far has paid inadequate attention to the interest of the fleet industry, with a lack of a clear policy and direction directly related to how fleets are going to be electrified. This is hindering fleet managers achieving large-scale BEV adoption.

‘This is further exacerbated by the understandable but limited engagement between the fleet industry and the power sector.’

Fleets form a huge part of the UK transport industry with around five million fleet vehicles on the roads of Great Britain.

However, Pixie’s insight paper raises into question whether this is accurately being considered in the push towards EVs.

Pixie Energy’s insight paper recommends several interventions including creating a forum to drive engagement across the fleet industry and power sector.

It also stresses that ‘simple’ and ‘effective’ policy action must be taken immediately, while innovation bridges must be also drawn between the two sectors.

‘For the fleet industry to be able to roll-out EVs effectively there needs to be greater engagement between all stakeholders across the power sector and fleet managers,’ Lusher concluded.

‘By allowing a broader conversation around EVs that spans the two industries, they will be able to identify the challenges facing fleet electrification and cooperate on innovations designed to combat them.’

Pixie Energy’s report comes as businesses are increasingly considering EVs as viable options for their fleets.

Last week the car-sharing companies car2go and DriveNow announced that they have merged to form a new company called Share Now.

Following the merger between the BMW and Daimler-owned firms, a fleet of more than 20,000 BMW, Mercedes-Benz, smart and MINI vehicles will be available in 30 cities in Europe and North America.

DriveNow recently expanded its electric car fleet in London in a move it said will help tackle air pollution in the capital.

DriveNow has added 130 new all-electric BMW i3s to its existing fleet of electric cars in London, expanding the city’s fleet of BMW i3s to 180.

Chris Ogden

Chris Ogden

Digital News Reporter

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