The U.K.’s charging infrastructure is holding back the electrification of its fleets.
A new report by industry body the British Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association (BVRLA) says that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to public charging is impeding the development of fleet electrification.
Produced in association with energy analysis experts, Cornwallis Insight, the BVRLA’s annual ‘Road to Zero Report Card’ provides a snapshot of the U.K.’s progress towards a sustainable future. It considers demand, supply and infrastructure for zero emission cars, vans, as well as trucks to achieve the U.K.’s net zero by 2050 ambition.
The report notes that overall fleet demand for electric vehicles is strong, thanks to generous tax breaks, corporate ESG agendas and a growing demand for electric vans, thanks in part to the government’s Plug-in Van Grant (which helps towards the cost of the purchase or lease), as well as greater product availability.
The BVRLA says charging infrastructure, however, is holding back further progress.
While there has been widespread investment in the U.K.’s charging infrastructure which has helped car fleets, there remains gaps for van operators, with concerns over vehicle downtime (inoperative charge points) and accessibility for vans.
The report said:
“Overall, stakeholders found that charging infrastructure has mostly not been designed with fleets in mind. This is particularly acute in the van market, where respondents highlighted that the pace of rollout for van accessible charging infrastructure has been slow, and has not tangibly increased since last year. Principal challenges were identified around the physical accessibility of charge points – for example where the parking bay was too small to accommodate a van or the charge point was installed in an inaccessible part of the car park.”
Commenting, BVRLA chief executive, Gerry Keaney, said:
“Investment in charging infrastructure is not simply a numbers game. More consideration needs to be given to the needs of all road users. We will continue to push the issue until authorities across the country are building infrastructure strategies that fully meet fleet needs.”