EVs Archives - Fleet Summit
  • Covid-19 – click here for the latest updates from Forum Events & Media Group Ltd

Posts Tagged :

EVs

How much would it cost to drive the British coastline in an electric van?

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

If you’ve seen the news recently, you may have seen that a man called Nick Butter has successfully completed a challenge like no other: running the length of Britain’s coastline.

That’s right, Nick completed this epic, extraordinary journey after 128 days on Sunday 22nd August 2021. In doing so, the ultramarathon man clocked a whopping 5,255 miles, covered more than 12,000,000 steps, spent more than 1,400 hours running, and burnt out 14 pairs of trainers – a rather impressive feat to say the least!

That got us thinking. The transport industry is up against it when it comes to emissions, and with Boris Johnson having announced his decision to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, everyone is having to start looking at more environmentally friendly alternatives – for example, the humble electric vehicle.

So, inspired by this challenge, van leasing company Van Ninja have delved into how long Nick Butter’s amazing record would take if you were to do it an electric van, rather than on foot like he managed to do.

The route

If you were to follow the exact same route as Nick, you’d begin your rather exquisite adventure on the coast of Cornwall at the world-renowned Eden Project, before navigating your way up the coast towards Hampshire, and on towards Kent.

Now starts the extensive journey north, as you travel up the East coast, passing through the likes of Norfolk, Yorkshire, and Northumberland, before crossing the border into Scotland and weaving your way up towards the capital. Then, you get onto the now-famous North Coast 500 (the UK’s best road trip).

Then begins the long descent south, back down towards Dunbarton, Dumfries, Cumbria, Cheshire, and through into Wales. After you navigate your way through the stunning Welsh countryside, you prepare to complete the penultimate stage of your journey, departing Monmouthshire and ticking off Gloucester, Somerset, Devon, and then of course, you’re back in Cornwall.

The time

According to Volkswagen, the e-Transporter’s battery can be charged from empty to full in five hours 30 minutes, offering a range of 82 miles.

With this in mind, during the course of the 5,255-mile expedition, you’ll need to stop on 65 occasions. This is based on access to a 7kWh vehicle charging point, which is the standard device in homes around the country and often available at the likes of hotels, pubs, and other hospitality venues.

So, the number you’ve all been waiting for – in order to do a full swoop of Britain’s coastline in an electric van, it would take you 357.5 hours in charging times and 51 hours of driving (if we were able to travel at an average speed of 50mph). If you incorporate the government and RAC suggestions of taking a break for 15 minutes following on from two hours of driving, this will add an additional six and a half hours onto your total journey time.

So, there you have it – to drive the entirety of the British coastline in an electric van, you’d need to set aside 17 and a half days!

But, what about the cost? Well, you’ll be pleased to know that despite taking the same amount of time as a cruise around the Mediterranean, it’ll only set you back 2-3p per mile – meaning you could do this trip for between £50 and £75 in comparison to £745 in a diesel alternative.

So, now we’ve crunched the numbers, all that’s left is for you to do is plan your journey and hit the road – and identify where the charging points are in the Highlands!

How Octopus is trying to eliminate range anxiety with virtual charging

960 640 Guest Post

By James Morris, Editor, WhichEV

Business is about certainty, data and accurate predictions. One of the most important aspects of running a modern business is cost control. Moving to your staff across to electric vehicles can raise a lot of variables – especially when it comes to key questions like where can I charge and how much will I be paying?

One year ago, Octopus put together a virtual charger network – inviting top brands like Ionity to join in order to offer broader choice and more standardised pricing. Members can easily find the best/nearest charger for themselves and billing happens directly onto your Octopus account at a suitably discounted rate.

Click here to read more…

ACEA highlights lack of EV charging infrastructure across EU

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

There is a serious lack of electric charging points along the road networks in most EU member states, according to new data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).

The findings show that 10 countries do not even have one charger for every 100 kilometre of key roads. All of these countries also have an electric car market share of less than 3% (except Hungary). 18 EU member states have under 5 charging points per 100km of road, with just four possessing more than 10 chargers for each 100km of streets.

As part of its Fit for 55 climate package published in July, the European Commission proposed that by 2030 CO2 emissions from new cars should be 55% less than 2021 levels – up from the 37.5% target for 2030 set only three years ago. European automakers will have to bring millions of electrically-chargeable cars to the market over the next years to meet this challenging new target.

“Consumers will not be able to make the switch to zero-emission vehicles if there are not enough charging and refuelling stations along the roads where they drive,” said ACEA Director General, Eric-Mark Huitema. “For instance, if citizens of Greece, Lithuania, Poland and Romania still have to travel 200km or more to find a charger, we cannot expect them to be willing to buy an electric car.

“Massive progress on infrastructure deployment will have to be made across the EU in a very short timeframe. The advances made in a few Western European countries are encouraging, but should not distract us from the dire state of the charging network in other EU countries.”

Indeed, the contrast between the Netherlands – the country with the most chargers (47.5 for each 100km of road) – and a vast country like Poland (eight times bigger, but only one charging point for every 250km) is striking.

Huitema added: “Unfortunately, the proposal for an Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Regulation – also a component of the Fit for 55 package – is out of sync with the Commission’s ambitions for the CO2 targets. While we appreciate the introduction of much-needed binding targets for charging and refuelling stations in each member state, they will need to be strengthened significantly if we want to meet our climate goals.”

ACEA is therefore calling on the European Parliament and the Council to grasp this opportunity to put the right conditions for e-mobility in place during the upcoming negotiations on Fit for 55.

BVRLA wants government plan for non-zero emission HGV phase out

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The British Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association (BVRLA) has responded to the Government’s proposals on phasing-out the sale of new, non-zero emission heavy goods vehicles.

When considering the phase-out date, the BVRLA believes there is still a huge amount of uncertainty about which powertrain technology will work best and what infrastructure will be available to support the transition to zero-emission HGVs.

It says the vast variety of use cases requires a more nuanced and studied approach. The association suggests that, as a minimum, the split between 2035 and 2040 phase out dates should occur at 18 tonnes not 26 tonnes and that another earlier split at 7.5 tonnes should be considered.

The use of low carbon fuels has been instrumental in helping reduce emissions and should continue to be supported to create immediate carbon reduction gains while zero emission product is not viable.

There should be an increase to maximum permissible weights to cater for the additional weight and loss of payload when moving to zero-emission vehicles. A wider review of vehicle weights should be considered to prepare for a range of zero-emission technologies being used.

Finally, the BVRLA calls for the Government to produce a delivery plan like that seen for cars and vans. To support this, the association has recommended the setting up a taskforce with a range of stakeholders, including end users, to make recommendations for the delivery plan.

It says this group should also have a role in identifying the challenges in reaching the phase-out dates and in developing the solutions needed to overcome them.

SMMT calls for vehicle decarbonisation plans before government bans

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has called on government to work with industry to develop a plan that facilitates the transition to zero emission HGVs, before it commits an end of sale date for conventionally fuelled trucks.

All of Europe’s major truck manufacturers have agreed that new HGVs will be fossil fuel-free by 2040, and are investing billions in new powertrains to replace diesel, the most commonly used HGV fuel.

However, at present there is no clear technology that can provide full zero emission operations for all weights and uses of HGVs.

The need to support powertrain research and infrastructure development has been underlined by a new report, Fuelling the Fleet: Delivering Commercial Vehicle Decarbonisation. SMMT analysis has revealed that the commercial, technological and operational barriers currently associated with new technologies such as batteries and hydrogen meant that in 2020, only 0.2% of HGVs were alternatively fuelled – contrasted with cars, which reached this proportion in 2007.

Battery electric van usage, meanwhile, reached 0.3% in 2020 – the same proportion as cars in 2019. Uptake rates for electric vans have continued to grow rapidly, reflecting how battery power can effectively replace fossil fuels in this vehicle class, but just 2.6% of new vans registered between January and July 2021 were battery electric vehicles (BEVs), compared to 8.2% of cars.

Established manufacturers have already brought a range of fossil fuel-free HGVs and vans to market, while several new players have also entered the market with dedicated zero-emission commercial vehicle portfolios. With new technology comes new opportunities and the UK, as a manufacturer, of vans, trucks and other HGVs must accelerate the transition to fossil fuel free commercial vehicles and their component parts.

To achieve this, the SMMT says the government should develop a roadmap that supports UK manufacturers and the supply chain, creating a strong domestic market and helping companies seize the opportunities that emerge.

Specifically, it says the UK needs a dedicated public HGV charging network, as only operators who can afford to invest in expensive depot infrastructure and operate on a back to base model can currently make the switch. This network needs to be rolled out urgently – ACEA forecasts that by 2030, the UK will need 8,200 public HGV charging points, equivalent to more than two new charge points opening every single day until the end of the decade. Alternative technological solutions, such as hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, face an even tougher challenge with only 11 refuelling locations across the country.

Decarbonising the commercial vehicle sector will therefore need more support from government and other stakeholders outside the automotive industry. New technologies need new skills, so the workforce that maintains these essential vehicles must have access and support for the training courses essential to high voltage and other system work. Above all, the industry needs a stable, long-term regulatory and fiscal strategy to deliver a vibrant zero emission HGV market so that manufacturers and operators can confidently plan and prepare for the future.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “The industry is committed to be fossil fuel free, but there is not yet a clear technology path for every weight class and every use case. Before it sets a deadline for the sector, the government must support the technological development and market proposition and provide the right framework, so hauliers don’t defer their decarbonising decision to the last minute. Plans before bans is the key.

“Vans face fewer obstacles in this decarbonisation journey than HGVs but adoption rates remain low, driven by the lack of charging points and higher operating costs relative to diesel. The new models are there, with many more coming, but without investment in incentives and infrastructure, the commercial vehicle sector will struggle to meet our shared ambition to reach net zero.”

Low emissions car registrations hit record share in Europe

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

According to data from 26 European markets, new car registrations slowed in July, recording a year-on-year decline of 24% as total volume decreased from 1.27 million units to 967,830 – But low emission cars took a greater share of sales than ever before.

Similar results were recorded in July 2012, when the market registered 966,090 units. The year-to-date results remain positive, up by 17% compared to 2020 with 7,381,735 units registered, but down by 24% when compared with January to July 2019.

Felipe Munoz, Global Analyst at JATO Dynamics, which analysed the data, said: “Despite the efforts of national governments to boost consumer confidence, the impact of the pandemic is still being felt by the industry.”

While volume increased in Norway, Croatia, Greece, Latvia, Romania, Estonia, Ireland and Lithuania, this combined accounted for only 8% of total registrations during the month.

In contrast to the overall trend, consumers in Europe continued to buy more low emissions vehicles. In July, a total of 160,646 BEV and PHEV vehicles were registered, accounting for almost 17% of total registrations. This is the second highest monthly market share after June 2021, and the third highest ever in Europe – BEVs accounted for 47% of that total.

Munoz added: “Consumers continue to respond positively to the deals and incentives attached to EVs which have made these vehicles far more competitive in terms of their pricing. But despite becoming increasingly popular, consumer uptake has not been enough to offset the big drops posted by diesel cars.” JATO data indicates that between July 2019 and July 2020, the market share for diesel vehicles dropped by just over 2 points, while their market share dropped by almost 8 points between July 2020 and July 2021. During the same period, the market share for EVs grew by the same amount lost for diesel vehicles.

The market share for gasoline cars has steadily declined from 63.4% in July 2019 to 59.8% in July 2020, and to 59.0% last month.

Munoz continued: “We are beginning to see the impact of campaigns that favour EVs over ICE vehicles playout in the market, however the industry is not yet doing enough to enable EVs to absorb the losses sustained by traditional powertrains.” While diesel registrations decreased by 166,000 new units between July 2020 and July 2021, and almost 207,000 between July 2019 and July 2021, EVs gained only 49,000 units between July 2020 and July 2021, and 125,000 units between July 2019 and July 2021.

In July’s model rankings, the Dacia Sandero secured the top spot for the first time since its launch back in 2008. Thanks to the new generation, the subcompact posted significant gains in Germany (+15%), Romania (+24%), and topped the rankings in France and Spain – alongside being the 8th best-selling car in the year-to-date rankings.

The Sandero’s volume fell by only 2% compared to July 2019, while other leaders such as the Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen Polo, Dacia Duster, Toyota Corolla, Volkswagen Tiguan, Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, Skoda Octavia, Peugeot 208, Mercedes A-Class and Renault Clio, posted drops between 17% and 52%.

Last month, there were also strong performances in the SUV segment as both the Hyundai Tucson and Ford Puma entered the top 10. JATO data shows that SUVs recorded the highest ever monthly market share in Europe during July at 46.1%.

Although the registrations volume fell by 15%, these vehcicles gained market share at the expense of larger declines posted by the traditional cars (-28%), MPVs (-48%) and sport cars (-37%).

Electric vehicle range is the wrong thing to be worrying about 

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Fleet Managers staring down the barrel of the 2030 ICE vehicle sale ban have become preoccupied with the issue of electric vehicle range. It’s often cited as the number one barrier to the adoption of EVs, alongside concerns about where to charge. But what if that’s the wrong thing to be worrying about?

Mark Roberts, CEO of Lightfoot, argues that the real issue isn’t vehicle performance, but driver performance.

Read on here…

The WhichEV View: JATO market data confirms massive increase in EV registrations in Europe

960 640 Guest Post

By James Morris, Editor, WhichEV

For more than 30 years, Jato Dynamics has provided precision data on changes within the car market and their reports always make for interesting reading. Its latest update includes a summary of new vehicle registrations from across Europe for June 2021.

With the pandemic seemingly well behind us now, the patterns are becoming clear – with a strong emphasis on electric vehicles. WhichEV powers up the spreadsheet and checks the graphs.

Overall sales of 1.27 million vehicles is slightly down on the 1.47 new vehicles million registered in 2019, but it does mean that sales for the first half of the year finished up 27% compared to the start of 2020.

Pure battery electric vehicles totalled 126,000 units – around 25% ahead of the PHEV collective with 104,000 registrations.

It will come as little surprise that the companies with the strongest EV offerings did best in the sales charts – especially Tesla, the VW group and Ford. While the overall best seller in Europe is the evergreen VW Golf at 27,247 units, Tesla was right behind them with 25,697 sales of the Model 3…

To read the full article, hop over to WhichEV.

The electric vehicle revolution: How our homes are driving the green transition

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

By Ella Pumford (pictured), Content Manager at St. Modwen Homes

Electric vehicles are driving the UK’s green transition, helping the nation on its journey towards sustainability and net zero emissions by 2050. To achieve this goal, the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned after 2030, meaning that the future roads are guaranteed to look more electric.

But with the increase of electric vehicles comes the issue of charging. Of course, it makes sense that we should all be able to charge our cars at home. Nipping to the petrol station during the rush hour commute will be no more, as recharging will be done on our doorsteps. But do you have an electric vehicle charger at your home yet? The answer is most likely no. After all, we’ve not had much use for them up until now.

At some point, we’ll all need to upgrade our homes to be compatible with new electric cars. But with a rapid increase in the use of electric vehicles, how can our homes sustain the electricity demand? It’s clear that our homes will become central to the green revolution, even on the roads.

Here, we explore how homes will navigate the electric vehicle revolution and help our national environmental ambitions.

What’s the charge?

There are over 35,000 charge points across 13,000 locations in the UK. This means that there are now more public places to charge than there are petrol stations. However, the time it takes to charge can vary between 30 minutes and 12 hours, depending on the size of the car battery and the efficiency of the charging point.

It’s clear that the solution for electric vehicle charging lies at home. Leaving your car on charge overnight while it sits parked on the driveway or in the garage means that you’ll never fall on an empty tank again. But how much will your electric car contribute to your home electricity expenses? The answer: less than your petrol or diesel costs and with the added benefit of being more environmentally friendly.

In fact, on average, electric cars cost 4p per mile while petrol cars cost 9p per mile to run. This means that petrol cars cost over twice as much to run in comparison to electric cars. So, shifting your petrol costs to your home energy costs may boost your home bills, but you’ll be saving in the long run.

Even better, charging your car from your home has additional environmental benefits. The ban on new non-electrified cars aligns itself with the target to power all UK homes with wind by 2030. So, we can rest happy knowing that our cars will be charged with renewable energy at home.

Steering homes towards sustainability

It’s not only our roads that are becoming more sustainable. Our homes are quickly becoming leaders in the green transition, finding more sustainable ways to improve energy efficiency, use more renewable electricity, and lowering our home expenses.

Charging your electric car could instantly become an act of environmental proactivity when you install solar PV panels on your roof. In fact, PV panels are quickly becoming a popular option for homeowners to lower their home energy costs and reduce their environmental impact. Estimates suggest that you could save around £270 a year on your energy bill when using a PV system.

The average UK driver had a mileage of 7,090 miles in 2019. If your electric car costs 4p per mile, this means your annual electricity cost would be £283.60. This is close to the annual savings on your energy from a PV system. Of course, to charge your electric car at your existing property, you will need to install an electric vehicle charging port. The average cost of which is £450 after financial assistance from the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme. Even then, the long-term savings are worth the investment. So how will our homes of the future be designed for the future of electric vehicles?

Ready for the future

It’s expected that 80 per cent of electric vehicle charging will take place at home. As such, the government has outlined proposals to change building regulations in England to require all new-build homes to be fitted with an electric car charging point.

However, some housebuilders already offer the opportunity to install electric vehicle charging ports on your new home. St. Modwen Homes believes that electric vehicle charging points don’t just offer convenience to homeowners, but helps their customers be more environmentally friendly. Ella Pumford from St. Modwen Homes says: “It’s never been easier to make your new home eco-friendly, and now we can help people choose more sustainable options in their life. Installing an electric vehicle charging point on your home can help you save money, reduce your environmental impact, and ensure that your home is prepared for the future.

“We offer a variety of eco-friendly home upgrades for customers, meaning that alongside electric vehicles, the future of our homes is truly sustainable. The use of PV panels, air-source heat pumps, and wastewater heat recovery units can further help us to lower our costs and boost sustainable lifestyles. The construction of new-build homes, whether they’re houses in Eastwood or new-builds in Wantage, should recognise the needs of the future and adapt to meet them.”

Future roads belong to electric vehicles, but our homes will spearhead the route through the green transition, making their use viable for the next generation of homeowners. As we continue our sustainable journeys, the purpose of our homes and vehicles will change. From simple transport and accommodation, new cars and new homes are allowing us to lead sustainable lifestyles in ways which have previously been impossible.

Can electric vans keep up with the pressuring demands of online shopping?

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The courier sector is currently experiencing two major consumer demands – an ever-increasing expectation for rapid delivery times, and a growing concern for greener methods. Balancing these two requirements has been difficult, and the recent pandemic has only amplified the pressure, with more parcels and packages heading out onto the roads than ever before.

Couriers are ramping up their fleet numbers with van leasing and sending out more drivers to meet this surging demand.

In terms of bringing couriers onto a greener road, electric vehicles are often touted as the way forward. But are electric fleets ready to keep up with current demands?

The demand for doorstep deliveries

Even before the pandemic, shipping levels were increasing year on year. According to the Pitney Bowes 2019 Parcel Shipping Index, global parcel shipping surpassed a staggering 100 billion in volume for the first time that year. The same report predicted that parcel volumes would double by 2026 to reach 220–262 billion – and that was before the pandemic accelerated customer demand for home deliveries across the board.

With so many more parcels being posted and many UK shoppers expecting orders placed before 4:43pm to be delivered the next day, couriers are having to work harder than ever before. It’s vital that their vehicles can keep up. So, how do the fleets of the biggest UK couriers shape up in the modern day?

A slow transformation

The top five most popular UK couriers are:

  1. Royal Mail (52.7%)
  2. Hermes (16.1%)
  3. DPD Group (14.2%)
  4. Parcelforce (4.7%)
  5. DHL (4.1%)

The Royal Mail operates 41,000 delivery and collection vans, alongside an additional 10,000 vehicles such as lorries and heavy goods vehicles. Currently, the firm’s massive fleet contains just 300 electric vehicles, though it plans to add another 3,000. This would take the percentage of its fleet running on electricity from just 0.58% to 6.47%.

DPD shows a slightly stronger input, with a recent order of 750 more electric vehicles bringing its total to 1,700 within its fleet of over 10,000 vehicles. This would increase its percentage of electric vehicles from around 9.5% to roughly 17%.

It’s clear that the bigger couriers have some faith in electric vehicles as a means to bring their processes in line with a green world, but what is holding them back from making a bigger conversion to an all-electric fleet?

Range has improved – so what’s the problem?

Often, when the issue of electric vehicles is raised, the discussion turns to their range. It has been something of a concern for many years, but in truth, electric vehicles have seen substantial improvements to their range. In fact, the average electric range for Auto Express’ best electric vans in 2021 clocks in at 121.64 miles.

If we compare that to the Department for Transport’s latest figures – that light commercial vehicles such as delivery vans travel 12,811 miles per year on average – across 261 working days in a year, that would mean the average light commercial vehicle driver travelled 49 miles on average per day. For a standard delivery driver, an EV would certainly stand up to the challenge.

But for delivery drivers on long-haul routes up and down the country, 100 miles or so before needing a top-up charge just isn’t feasible. While topping up with petrol takes a few minutes, even rapid-charge options tend to sit at around 45 minutes for 80% capacity. A fully charged battery, on the other hand, can need five and a half hours or more.

With the courier sector experiencing such a surge in parcels going through the system, drivers clocking off their shift and handing the keys over to the next shift for back-to-back deliveries will not have time to plug the vehicle in for a five-and-a-half-hour recharge. Compared to a quick stop at the petrol station, electric vehicles still have a challenge to overcome if they are to keep up with the pressures of online shopping deliveries – refuel time.

There’s no doubt that electric vehicles will become a dominant presence on roads in the coming years. However, until the last few hurdles are overcome, we may not see a fully electric courier service that can flourish under the heavy pressure of online shopping demands.