You might have read our first blog, The EV conundrum: Are electric vehicles the right way to go for businesses? where we discussed some of the key concerns of electric vehicle (EV) ownership. You’re intrigued, but what are your next steps?
The world is changing, and so is our perspective on transportation. There is an increasing focus on sustainability, and electric vehicles (EVs) are at the forefront of this transformation, promising a cleaner, more sustainable future. However, for many, the idea of transitioning from traditionally powered vehicles to EVs can seem daunting with questions like: Aren’t EVs expensive? Isn’t there a ban on petrol and diesel vehicles? What about range anxiety? What if there are no charging stations? As a business, is now the right time to change?
By 2030, no new petrol or diesel vehicles will be sold in the UK. Wait a second – no that’s changed.
OK, so that date is now 2035. In fact, the Government also confirmed that under the ‘new-new plan’ the sale of all hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles would also be banned from 2035. Previously, they said that vehicles that are capable of travelling ‘significant’ distances on electric power would be safe for another 5 years taking the sale of them to 2040. However, that has now been amended, meaning that from 2035, the only new vehicles that can be sold will be fully electric cars and vans.
So where does that leave us? Well, that really depends on how you intend to use your vehicle and the potential budgets you have.
With all this in mind, here are our top tips to consider for making the switch to EV:
1. Assess your business needs
The first step in choosing electric vehicles for your business or fleet is to assess your specific needs. Consider the following factors:
- Vehicle purpose: What is the primary use of the vehicles? Are they for short-city trips, long-distance deliveries, or client meetings?
- Payload capacity: Consider the weight and size of the goods or passengers you need to transport. Ensure that the chosen EV can meet these requirements.
- Range requirements: Evaluate the typical daily driving range of your vehicles. This will help you determine the necessary battery capacity.
- Charging infrastructure: Review your access to charging infrastructure. If you have a central location, consider installing on-site chargers.
2. Consider all financial implications and options
Making the switch to EVs involves several financial considerations:
- Total cost of ownership (TCO): Assess the TCO of electric vehicles, factoring in purchase costs, running costs (charging, maintenance), and any incentives or grants available.
- Incentives and grants: Be aware of the plug-in car grant and other incentives provided by the UK government to reduce the upfront cost of EVs.
- Fuel and maintenance savings: Consider the long-term savings associated with lower fuel and maintenance costs of EVs compared to traditional vehicles.
3. Select the right EV model
With your needs and budget in mind, choose the most suitable EV model for your business:
- EV type: Depending on your needs, consider fully electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, or extended-range electric vehicle.
- Range: Select an EV with a range that comfortably covers your typical daily driving distances.
- Charging speed: Check if the vehicle supports fast charging to allow for quicker turnaround times during stops.
- Cargo space: Ensure that the chosen EV has sufficient cargo space for your business requirements.
4. Take charge of your charging infrastructure
A crucial aspect of transitioning to EVs is ensuring you have a reliable charging infrastructure:
- Charging solutions: Explore on-site charging solutions and collaborate with charging network providers to guarantee convenient access to charge points.
- Charging times: Consider the charging times and the availability of rapid chargers for your chosen EVs.
- Charging management: Implement charging management software to optimise charging schedules and minimise costs.
5. Invest in employee training
To ensure a smooth transition, provide training for your employees on:
- EV operation: Familiarise employees with the operation of EVs, including charging, regenerative braking, and eco-driving techniques.
- Safety procedures: Establish safety guidelines for handling EVs, including charging protocols and emergency procedures.
6. Maximise environmental sustainability
Embrace the environmental benefits of EVs:
- Renewable energy: Consider sourcing renewable energy for charging stations to further reduce your carbon footprint.
- Battery recycling: Investigate battery recycling programs and contribute to a circular economy by recycling EV batteries.
7. Use data monitoring and management
Implement fleet management software to monitor and manage your EVs effectively:
- Telematics: Use telematics systems to track vehicle performance, monitor battery health, and optimise routes.
- Data analysis: Analyse driving and charging data to identify opportunities for efficiency improvements.
Choosing electric vehicles for your business or fleet is a strategic move that aligns with sustainability goals and cost-saving opportunities. By carefully assessing your needs, financial considerations and selecting the right EV models, you can make a successful transition. Establishing a robust charging infrastructure, providing employee training, and embracing environmental sustainability will further enhance the benefits of choosing EVs. Stay informed about government incentives, invest in data monitoring and management, and your business will be well-positioned for a greener and more efficient future.
You can delve into more detail on this with our definitive guide to Electric Vehicles on our free online learning platform, Essentials.
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