Fleets are key to mass adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK, according to a new report from the Connected Places Catapult.
The report, published in collaboration with the Digital Catapult and Innovate UK, says that fleet operators will play a central role in driving the rapid adoption necessary to reach the UK Government’s target of all new car sales being zero emission by 2040.
Fleet managers that switch their large vehicle fleets quickly will create a significant early impact on reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, while also generating demand for charging infrastructure and capturing data to help drive the private vehicle market.
A lack of co-ordinated and standardised EV data is inhibiting the delivery of better user experiences, the rollout of public and private charging infrastructure, and demand forecasting for the power grid, the report suggests.
The authors recommend that fleet operators are given the tools, information and incentives required to switch to EVs.
Beyond fleet take-up, the report also examines what anxieties and user needs continue to be unmet with respect to EV experiences.
“The user scenarios we explored in the research present a vision of a fully connected digitally-enabled EV world, with rich communications between all stakeholders in a seamless, secure and trusted manner,” said Alan Nettleton, senior technologist at the Connected Place Catapult.
“However, in order to achieve this, we need to keep innovating and finding new ways to give relevant information to potential EV users. Areas such as integrating charging information into sat navs, mobile charging solutions to help manage demand, Vehicle to Grid power solutions and service solutions which combine EV use with other types of transport should all be explored, alongside vital technological developments in battery capacity and charging speed. We need to start planning now for what we will need when a large proportion of vehicles on the road will be electric.”