Electric vehicles (EV) have been a popular topic of conversation in the past few years. It was essentially a second ago that the government announced its plans to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles from UK roads by 2035. As you might expect that news caused a bit of a stir, and not just for automotive manufacturers. Fleet managers and business owners also took note, as refrigerated vehicles will also be ultimately swept up on those plans; some fleets are already taking their first steps in adopting electric vehicles.
Therefore, it’s probably not surprising then that so many people, business owner or not, are considering upgrading their fleets to electric. If so, here are four key considerations worth bearing in mind…
It seems sensible to start with the most universal consideration for business owners – and obviously, that’s the actual cost of upgrading. Now, at the time of writing, most electric fridge vans are still more expensive than those operating on petrol or diesel. However, but it’s important to look beyond the initial purchase price and think more long-term.
Firstly, electric vehicles are naturally cheaper to fuel than petrol or diesel cars, since they’re powered by a renewable resource. Depending on how many vehicles you plan to buy, and how intensively you use them, this could end up saving your business thousands. Service and maintenance is another key area where you could make big savings – repairs are generally more low key and infrequent, since there are fewer moving parts to repair. There are also the various government subsidies to consider, some of which can offer thousands off the purchase price of a new electric van.
Right now, the choice of electric vehicles is relatively limited, compared to the far larger pool of petrol and diesel vans. However, growing pressure on the automotive industry to curb its emissions means that there are plenty of global manufacturers going into overdrive (if you’ll pardon the pun), each determined to edge ahead with their electric offerings to businesses and the wider public. This natural market competition is good for customers, as it means that manufacturers have a vested interest in expanding their ranges of electric vans as soon as they can – so you won’t have long to wait until you’ll have more choice than ever.
3. Charging and range
Right now, range is already a fairly big concern for business owners and fleet operators and dominates most news stories related to electrifying fleets. After all, even a few deliveries can prove a headache if the delivery vehicle only has enough charge to deliver within a very narrow radius. However, just with availability, it’s an area which the government is actively working on, and the number of charging points is growing throughout the UK.
With a bit of careful management, lots of businesses are already getting on perfectly well within urban areas and city centres, although the wait may be a bit longer for national businesses, or those based in more rural areas. Several public charging points and schemes are already active throughout the UK, and home government grants are also available for up to £500 – so, with a bit of investment, you can even have one installed at your business HQ.
4. Clean air zones
With the UK constantly increasing clean air zones, the Ultra Low Emissions Zone in London to name one, now could be the best time to invest in an electric vehicle. For example, if you find yourself in a position to upgrade your fleet to electric – before these regulations come in near you – you could end up saving yourself significant amounts of revenue.
Right now, a vehicle that doesn’t meet the standards set out by the Clean Air Zones can cost the owners £12.50 per vehicle, per day. This can quickly rack up to become hugely expensive. Thankfully, just like other electric vehicles, electric fridge vans easily meet these standards, making them exempt from these charges – so if any of your fleet regularly travels through places like London, Oxford or Manchester, electric vehicles are certainly worth more than a passing glance.
As an extra bonus, electric vans can count towards your Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR – an aspect which is becoming increasingly important to customers and investors given the surge in environmentally friendly alternatives. Not only that, but if you’re evenly matched with most of your competitors, a demonstrable CSR can give you the edge you need to win more business!
Why not get in touch, or have a read of on how we created an all-electric solution for Petit Forestier.