Research from Alphabet (GB) has found that only a quarter of fleet managers are extremely confident in their knowledge of fleet electrification year on year, while over half say they have yet to make any changes to their driver policy for electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), despite many saying they plan to.
While a further 59% said their confidence in the subject is steadily building, many fleet decision makers still have concerns about acquiring electrified vehicles for their business, with cost (32%), charging infrastructure (22%) and driver reluctance (27%) as the main barriers to switching to EVs and PHEVs.
This lack of confidence in fleet electrification knowledge is reflected in the fact that more than half of fleet decision makers (52%) have yet to make any updates to incorporate electrification into their company driver policies. For fleets of less than forty-seven vehicles, this rises to 63%. Even for bigger fleets of over two hundred vehicles, nearly two in five decision makers still need to make updates.
However, electrified vehicle sales have continued to rise at rapid pace, with the pandemic acting as a catalyst for the sector. Alphabet has seen a 248% increase in pure electric vehicle orders year-to-date compared to 2020, and 174% rise in sales for plug-in hybrid vehicles in the same period.
David Rose, head of product, Alphabet (GB) said: “It’s been great to see the demand for electrified vehicles increase at such a rapid pace this last year and demonstrates a change in mind set taking place in both the industry and with consumers.
“This research however shows there’s still work to do in the industry to support fleet managers in moving their electrification strategies forwards and overcoming potential barriers, such as driver reluctance, which more than a quarter of decision makers highlighted as a concern. It is crucial that the correct guidance and advise is therefore provided for drivers, so they feel part of the journey throughout the transition.”
To address this knowledge gap Alphabet has created the “EV Etiquette guide” to help new drivers navigate changing from old ICE habits and embracing a new electric era.
- Make it part of your routine – plan the charging of your vehicle as you would any other part of your journey, so you’re never caught short
- Don’t outstay your welcome – move your vehicle as soon as possible once charged to give others the opportunity to charge up. Setting an alarm can serve as a useful prompt
- Communicate your needs – if there are no charge points available, leave a note on a fellow driver’s windshield asking them to plug in your vehicle when they’ve finished. You can also leave a note to let others know when they can take over a charge point
- Too fast too furious – ensure you use a charger that accommodates your charging needs. Some vehicles can’t receive the higher levels of powers available from newer charge points, so always double check before plugging in
- Be considerate – properly replace the connector and wind the cord neatly, to remove trip hazards for other drivers and prevent damage being done to the charge point
- Keep cool when being ICEd – a charge point blocked by an Internal Combustion Engine vehicle, is known as being ICEd and prevents access to charging. Always be polite when asking the driver to move their vehicle