Sue Branston, country head of Fleet Logistics UK and Ireland, on why fleets should be thinking about all things EV now and the starting steps in the process.
Sue Branston, country head of Fleet Logistics UK and Ireland The UK electric vehicle market has reached a tipping point and UK businesses have never been better placed to review their transition to EVs and grasp the opportunity to take advantage of all grants while still available. Tax incentives, both corporate and personal, as well as government funding for EVs and home and workplace charging, plus a range of excellent new models coming onto the market, have meant that the timing is right for EV transitioning.
And this means that all businesses should now look at their policy and mobility roadmap very seriously. A good starting point on the road to electrification for any business is with driver profiling to assess which drivers would be most suitable to move to an EV in the course of their normal working and personal circumstances. Something the new Fleet Logistics driver profiling tool can help with by putting drivers through a series of questions to identify their priorities.
Selecting the correct vehicles for your fleet is paramount in the success of any EV change or pilot programme. Firstly, part of the review is to discuss with your chosen vehicle manufacturers the opportunity to test their products in real-world scenarios. A review may be required to consider manufacturers outside of your current policy with a view to assess their suitability and sustainability versus the need in the new normal.
This can be done by benchmarking or an RFP (request for proposal) to determine available bonuses and any additional dealer discounts on top of the manufacturer discount percentage. It may also be relevant to review the acquisition method and maintenance approach for some fleet operators that have not considered this for a while. Each business will be at different stage of their transition business plan and adoption must be at the correct pace for each specific use case.
Many UK fleet operators are still unsure whether their organisation is ready to make the switch. However, as more businesses pledge to take action to reduce their emissions, and with cities across Europe focused on reducing congestion and air pollution, creating a roadmap to a greener fleet will become a future core requirement. Some 50% of our clients have now introduced sustainability reporting as part of CSR initiatives and a further key reason to adopt electric vehicles is that the cost savings take multiple forms. Start small and scale up if you are unsure and track results as you roll out your fleet transition programme.
Mileage reimbursement for electric vehicles is frequently asked about in the UK. There are service providers that can help with this, but the Advisory Electricity Rate of 4ppm does require review as it has remained at the same level since 2018. The Association of Fleet Professionals and BVRLA have joined forces to request that the Government review this rate and consider different engines sizes to mirror the approach to other fuel types.
A separate rate has also been requested for vans. In the main, the perceived obstacles to electrification can be overcome. Our specialists help businesses roadmap, review policy and procure vehicles at the right pace.
If in doubt, ask experts for help, as now is the time to start the process.