4 Jan 22

New report: fleets need to be able to reserve EV chargepoints

A new UK government-backed report highlights the developments required in public charging infrastructure to support fleet adoption of electric vehicles

Fleets need ‘certainty of access’ to public chargepoints to support their vehicle electrification plans, according to Commercial EV Fleet Charging Requirements, published by the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce (EVET).

“Chargepoint operators should provide fleets with certainty of access to public charging infrastructure at specific times and locations to allow fleets to operate efficiently. This may manifest as specialised fleet-only charging, the offer of a priority for certain vehicles, or a virtual queuing function through chargepoint apps during defined periods of time at charging sites,” said the report.

Clear pricing and billing

It also called on the Government to ensure public charge points provide clear pricing as well as software solutions that send charging data to fleet managers to facilitate payments and cost control, mirroring fuel card systems for diesel. Fleets will also need to find a way to record home charging costs and for this data to be charged and provided centrally to the fleet, said the taskforce.

The EVET highlights the fact that fleets are at the vanguard of rapidly rising electric vehicle adoption, and warns that their zero emission plans may be constrained unless the nationwide recharging infrastructure can keep pace.

“The fleet market has the potential to be a major driver to expanding the use of electric vehicles but to do this the right type of EV charging infrastructure is required in the right place at the right cost,” it said.

Workplace and home charging  

The report acknowledges that most fleet charging will be done at depots, organisations’ premises and at drivers’ homes, but points out that these solutions will not be available to all drivers and fleets. Some use cases will require vehicles to travel farther than the range of a single charge, while many employees will not have off street parking where they could install a charger.  

“Chargepoint availability is a hugely important issue to fleet owners, as is the reliability of those chargers already installed and in use. When out and about, drivers need to be able to charge quickly, and conveniently.”

This includes ensuring that public charging bays are accessible not just to electric cars, but also large electric vans.

Authored by: Jonathan Manning