A new kerbside charging group has been formed by the Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP) to solve what the industry organisation describes as the “last stumbling block” to fleet electric vehicle (EV) adoption.
AFP chair Paul Hollick said that the committee had been very much created to try and promote effective on-the-ground solutions for businesses adopting EVs in places where other charging facilities were unavailable.
He said: “Adequate kerbside charging is vital to the corporate fleet sector being able to achieve its 2030 electrification objectives but many are hitting significant problems with those employees that do not have a home charging solution. This is especially the case for people who live in terraced streets or apartments.
“Effective kerbside charging designs are now available from a variety of providers but they are currently fitted in very few places when they really need to be widely available on every street where drivers of EVs live.
“The government has a programme in place where funds are made available for chargers to be installed but it depends on local authorities, many of which are starved of finances, also making a contribution. In our opinion, it is inadequate for the task at hand.
“The new group is designed to push forward progress in a very practical manner. We’ll be working with fleets, charging providers and local authorities to work to ensure that charging is available in the places where it is needed. We’ll be meeting every month and every month we want to be able to show that we are moving forward.”
Initial members of the group include Denise Lane of Capita, David Fisher and Rod Hogg of Virgin Media, Simon Gray of SSE, Duncan Webb of ISS, Dale Eynon of DEFRA, Julie Madoui and Claire Kershaw of Kier, Olly Kunc of OpenReach, Colin Hutt of Clarion Response, James Rooney and Lucy Simpson of Centrica, Lee Jackson of Marston Holdings, Tony Murphy of Murphy Plant, Aaron Powell of Speedy Services, and Simon King of Mitie.
Paul said: “Together, these businesses are operating thousands of EVs and many are finding that more than half of their drivers really need kerbside charging, especially those that are adopting electric vans, whose drivers are proving less likely to have their own driveway.
“At the moment, it’s not an exaggeration to say that they are muddling through with a mixture of depot-based charging and use of high speed public facilities. However, both of these bring sizeable operational compromises, either needing vehicles to return to base or taking time out of the working day for charging.
“One of our initial tasks is to potentially collate all the fleet data, given to us from AFP members, into a centralised portal to map exactly where we need kerbside charge points. We’re hoping to complete this over the next few months.
“To us, solving this problem is really the last stumbling block to EV adoption for fleets and making rapid progress in this area is absolutely essential. We are very much looking to create effective momentum very rapidly.”