The advantages of electrifying your commercial fleet

Business Insights

As the government continue to outline their plans to improve the UK’s air quality by reduced air pollution, electric vehicles have found themselves in the spotlight – even more so now that the diesel and petrol cars have been branded significantly harmful for the environment.

For business owners, a fleet of reliable vehicles is a vital cog in the smooth running on their business. However, electric vehicles have a level of stigma attached – a smaller mileage range, longer time taken to recharge and less charging points than petrol stations. It can seem like a no brainer to keep running with a petrol or diesel fleet.

The EV market is making significant developments, and as plans from the government begin to get rolled out across the country, now could be the perfect time to start your fleet’s transition to electric or hybrid engines. Here, Van Monster, retailers of used vans explain:

Market growth

Progress is expected to continue throughout 2018, following the most successful year to date in 2016. With the air pollution implications very much in the spotlight – ignorance and a lack of knowledge is no longer an excuse. The end of 2017 marked approximately 132,000 new electric car registrations and over 5,100 electric vans. This could be attributed to the government’s plans to clean up the UK’s air quality, or because there is now a better choice for van drivers and fleet managers.

Van drivers have always experienced a very limited choice when it comes to electric vans – however, most big automotive brands who have a recognisable name in the electric vehicle market, have a van counterpart on the market too – Nissan, Renault, Peugeot and Mercedes to name a few. The market now has more choice than ever before.

New developments

After facing many challenges over the years, the market is making significant progress in stamping out the initial downfalls of EVs. Following criticism from drivers about the lack of charging points, the time it takes to charge and the mileage range, new developments suggest that the market could have finally beaten some of the challenges.

There are now charging points available that can recharge an electric battery in just 20 minutes – a significant improvement on the other charging points that can take between 4-8 hours to charge up. Referred to as rapid charging points, more of these are required to keep up with the demand and appeal to drivers who need a quick charge. Thanks to a multimillion pound deal with ChargePoint back in May 2017, InstaVolt are installing at least another 3,000 rapid charging points across fuel station forecourts across the UK. In addition, researchers claim they could have developed an ‘instantly rechargeable’ method that recharges an electric battery in the same time as it would take to fill a gas tank – a solution to the biggest headache of electric vehicles.

Nissan could be the answer to eliminating the current limitations of mileage range too – their all new Nissan Leaf has recently launched with double the mileage range compared to previous models – a significant indicator that the same can done in the pipeline for their electric van counterpart.

Harmful emissions penalties

As the UK government move towards implementing their plans to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2040, they also have plans to introduce clean air zones into the most polluted cities in the UK. London and Oxford are amongst cities which are introducing Ultra Low Emission Zones and Zero Emission Zones to improve their air quality. Oxford plan to be the first zero emission city in the world by 2020. Other cities such as Leeds, Southampton and Derby are also amongst the cities who plan to introduce clean air zones in their city centres.

An ultra- low emission or zero emission vehicle will be the only vehicles able to drive freely throughout the zones without daily charges. Those which don’t abide by the zone’s emission standards will be required to pay a daily access charge to drive in the zone – failure to pay the daily toxin charges can result in a penalty charge being issued to the driver or registered owner of the vehicle. Although, it has not yet been announced what these zones will mean for commercial vehicles right now, in the near future it is likely that the charges will be applied to all vehicles. Introducing electric vans to your fleet in the first stop to avoiding being affected by the toxin charges.

What do you think? Are you ready to make the transition to electric vans yet?