24 May 23

Fleets and telematics companies join forces to identify where EV charging is needed

UK light commercial vehicle fleet operators are working with major telematics companies to map out nationwide locations where they most need public electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

The Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP) has enlisted the support of Geotab, Webfleet and Lightfoot to identify where LCVs ‘sleep’.

Kerbside charging

The AFP had already engaged fleet managers to create a UK-wide map that shows where their vans are parked overnight, if not in a depot, creating a picture of where they would need kerbside charging to support vehicle electrification.

This database has grown to about 80,000 vehicles, and anonymised data from the three telematics companies will expand these records to 300,000 data points, said Paul Hollick, chair of the AFP, with the expectation that other telematics companies will be invited to join the programme.

“We will be able to use this information as a central database for local and central government, as well as charge point operators, so they can create business cases for installing charge points where fleets need them,” he said.

e-LCVs cannot charge at home

Research by the AFP has found that 65-70% of AFP van drivers do not have off-street parking and therefore need either kerbside charging or charging hubs close to their homes, so they can plug in their vehicles overnight without losing productivity during the working day.

Even drivers with off-street parking where they could install a wallbox appear reluctant to relinquish their driveway for a company van if this involves parking their private car on the street.

The AFP is campaigning for public kerbside charging to be made available within a safe four to five-minute walk for all eLCV drivers, but the disjointed nature of the roll out of charging infrastructure makes it difficult for fleets to communicate precisely where these chargers should be installed. Last year, the AFP started to act after two national fleets faced major difficulties in their attempts to electrify thousands of LCVs – building local solutions would have involved working with 408 different local authorities.

Nationwide map

Field Dynamics, a net-zero analytics consultancy, is managing all the data consolidation to establish in granular, street-level detail the locations where any sub 4.25 tonne LCV needs to be charged overnight.

“Field Dynamics will overlay the vehicle data map with the propensity or likelihood that the post code has private driveways,” said Hollick. “It will then build on that data to work out if there’s the ability to charge on a driveway, or if on-road charging is required, and even whether driveways could fit a long wheelbase van.”

THE electrification of light commercial vehicles will be a key element of the LCV EXPERT DAY, that TAKES PLACE ON 15 JUNE AT THE HEADQUARTERS OF SORTIMO IN ZUSMARSHAUSEN, GERMANY. REGISTER HERE.

Authored by: Jonathan Manning