Electric vehicles are very much in the spotlight right now. Even more so now that the diesel and petrol cars have been branded significantly harmful for the environment. 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, it is not that simple. 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. Here, Van Monster, retailers of commercial vans explain:
Progress for the market
The electric vehicle market experienced a record year for sales and registrations throughout 2017. 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 end of 2017 marked approximately 132,000 new electric car registrations and over 5,100 electric vans. This 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.
In previous years, there has been a limited choice for electric van drivers but there is now more choice than ever before. Most big automotive brands who have a recognisable name in the electric vehicle market, have a van counterpart on the market too – Nissan, Renault, Peugeot and Mercedes to name a few.
The number of charging points, the time it takes to charge and the mileage range have always been challenges for the market. However, new developments suggest that the market could have finally beaten some of the challenges.
Rapid charging points are required to keep up with the demand and appeal to drivers who need a quick charge. A rapid charging point can charge your electric car in around 20 minutes. 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.
Nissan have also recently launched their new Nissan Leaf vehicle with double the mileage range compared to previous models – a significant indicator that the same can done in the pipeline for their electric van counterpart.
Avoid toxin charges
As the UK government move towards implementing their plans to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2040, in the meantime they are introducing many initiatives to reduce air pollution in some of the most polluted areas in the UK. 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 centres.
These clean air zones will impact a large number of vehicles. 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.
What do you think? Are you ready to make the transition to electric vans yet?