With air pollutions levels high throughout the UK, the government has committed to plans to ensure they reduce the level of pollution by 2040. 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.
But, things are changing in the world of electric vehicles. With significant developments in the electric vehicle market, 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 – and here’s why.
A record year for new registrations
2017 marked an all time high for new registrations in the electric vehicle market. Averaging over 4,000 new registrations per month, the end of 2017 marked approximately 132,000 new electric car registrations and over 5,100 electric vans. Progress is expected to continue throughout 2018 with the air pollution implications very much in the spotlight – ignorance and a lack of knowledge is no longer an excuse. The popularity and demand for EV’s 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.
Until recently, there hasn’t been a great deal of choice for van drivers and fleet managers who considered adding electric vehicles to their fleet. However, there is now more choice than ever before. Most big automotive brands who have a recognizable name in the electric vehicle market, have a van counterpart on the market too – Nissan, Renault, Peugeot and Mercedes to name a few.
Improving the market
The EV industry aren’t new to facing challenges – having faced criticism for the lack of charging points, the time it takes to charge an electric battery and the mileage range. However, new developments suggest that the market could have finally beaten some of the challenges.
At the time of writing, early 2018, rapid charging points were the quickest way to charge an electric battery – taking around 20 minutes to fully recharge a battery. If success is to continue in the industry, we will need an influx of more rapid charging points 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.
Furthermore, Nissan are tackling the issue of limited mileage range. Their new Nissan Leaf model has double the mileage range compared to previous models – a significant indicator that the same can done in the pipeline for their electric van counterpart.
The introduction of toxin charges
As part of the government’s plan to clean up the UK’s poor air quality, major cities across the UK who are considered to be the worst polluted areas will be introducing clean air zones into their city centers. 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 centers.
With original plans to only impact buses, taxis and coaches etc., it is predicted that the rules will be rolled out across all vehicles in the near future. Vehicles 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. An ultra- low emission or zero emission vehicle will be able to drive freely throughout the zones without daily charges.
Are you ready to make the transition to electric commercial vans yet?