Trakm8 has welcomed the recent accelerated shift towards a greener road network, following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement of a ban on the sale of cars and vans powered wholly by petrol and diesel from 2030.
Part of what the Prime Minister has dubbed a ‘green industrial revolution’ to tackle climate change, includes the funding of more than £2.8bn to help the country make the transition to electric or alternatively fuelled vehicles.
While this is obviously welcome news from a sustainability standpoint, what does it mean for the 5.3m fleet vehicles, many of which are currently petrol or diesel fuelled, currently on UK roads?
Peter Mansfield, Group Sales and Marketing Director at vehicle technology specialist Trakm8, believes the news represents a significant opportunity for UK fleets – but warns the industry must commit to investment to be ready for the change.
Peter says: “The ban on the sale of petrol or diesel cars and vans from 2030 is the clearest sign yet that the government remains committed to achieving its goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
“The impact of this ban will clearly be felt across the entire automotive supply chain; nowhere more keenly than in the fleet sector. The rise of the electric vehicle brings with it a unique set of challenges, never before faced by the fleet industry.
“Chief among these is so called ‘range anxiety’ – a driver’s worry as to whether their vehicle will get them to their destination, or whether they will be left stranded and in search of a charging point. Historically, range anxiety has been identified as the single biggest barrier to large scale adoption of electric vehicles, alongside other perceived issues including high purchase costs and slow charging times.
“These are concerns are well founded. There are 20,197 public charging points nationwide, with estimates suggesting an additional 25,000 will be needed by 2030 to meet expected demand. However, the government has pledged to invest more than £1.3bn to accelerate the development of charge points across the UK; funding which should go some way in alleviating some immediate concerns among fleet managers.
“While this is a great starting point, fleet managers should consider what other technology is available to ensure as seamless a transition to EVs as possible. What if they had access to a joined-up, ‘all in-one’ approach, which ensured the vehicle, its charging point, its battery, the energy provider were all symbiotically linked? This would be a game changing step forward; helping accelerate the process of fleet electrification, while maintaining grid stability and, ultimately, helping to decarbonise the economy.
“At Trakm8, we have made significant investment into telematics technology which can be seamlessly integrated into electric vehicles. Our solutions can provide valuable insights into diagnostics and battery health, giving up-to-the-minute updates as to the vehicles current battery charge. This data can be extrapolated to provide accurate charge times for each vehicle within the fleet. What’s more, our Insight Optimisation route planning solution is especially adapted for EV fleets, with scheduling and routing calculated via machine learning to incorporate EV range, charge point capacity, location, availability, charging times, battery level and required range.
“Ultimately, the government’s recent announcement spells significant opportunity for the fleet sector. By investing in the solutions they need now to successfully run a mixed and, eventually, completely electric fleet, they can ensure they are ahead of the industry curve; shoring up sustainability, increasing efficiencies and, crucially, saving money.”
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