Nissan e-NV200 in British Gas test fleet
Even among fleets, it seems that getting butts in seats in key to increasing EV uptake.
Energy Saving Trust fleet consultant Karl Anders says that fleet owners need to get employees to experience electric vehicles in order to get them to understand that EVs have advantages over ICE.
As Anders stated:
"Some drivers are very anti, but all organizations also have environmental warriors and when employees get to drive an electric vehicle they realize they are a lot of fun."
"Drivers do not have to rev an electric vehicle very hard for it to respond."
"Getting employees to drive electric vehicles and experience performance for themselves is very important."
"They need to be involved in the whole process because different driving skills are required to obtain maximum performance and increased range."
If these drivers aren't involved in the process, then some will no doubt find EVs to be too limiting and will perhaps shun the use of such an automobile. This is especially true for fleet owners who operate mixed fleets (EVs/ICE).
If the drivers don't elect to take the EVs, then fleet owners are often left wondering if purchasing plug-ins was a wise decision.
However, as fleets are forced to become cleaner, EVs will invade, so educating drivers and getting them behind the wheel is an essential part of the process.
As Fleet World reports:
"Phil Redman, manager UK & Ireland fleet management, IBM, said the introduction of electric vehicles to the firm’s company car choice list where he is fleet manager had been accompanied by a major employee awareness programme."
"At IBM, where Redman manages a 4,000-strong company car fleet and 5,500 cash allowance drivers, employees were asking about the availability of electric vehicles and subsequently five employees have selected them with orders placed for a further seven, including six BMW i3s."
Fleet sales represent a huge chunk of total automotive sales and have the benefit of exposing loads of potential future EV owners to plug-in vehicles that they may not have otherwise known existed. In this way, fleets can be a catalyst for future EV sales to private buyers. Provided that fleet owners do it right (educate, inform, etc.), they could essentially be creating tomorrow's EV buyer.