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Range anxiety: an issue for business

Tuesday, October 11, 2022 - 08:45
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Range anxiety has been highlighted as one of the biggest barriers for businesses to adopt EV, with a quarter of fleet managers stating that the fact most current EV models don’t do as many miles in one charge compared to diesel options deters them from switching (1).

This is an understandable concern for businesses, however it’s important to consider that EV range has significantly increased over the years, with the Tesla model S having a 405-mile range and the latest Nissan Leaf having a 168-mile range. This is a significant advance compared to the earliest model of the Nissan Leaf that had a range of just 80 miles when first released in 2011. The same goes for vans, as most today have a range of over 150 miles, such as the Ford e-transit 196. However, this range still isn’t viewed as high enough for many businesses.

Choosing the right vehicle is of course important when it comes to overcoming range anxiety, however, for businesses, the importance of having the right EV charging facilities and infrastructure is just as important in addressing this issue.

The first steps to consider

We often hear businesses who have not yet made the switch to electric highlight range as one of the top reasons why. However, when we help them to drill down into the driving habits of their fleet– they soon realise that they actually travel much shorter distances on a daily basis than the range of most electric vehicles. In fact, interesting statistics from the Department of Transport have highlighted that just over half of van drivers in the UK are staying local – only travelling within 15 miles of their base on a typical day (2) – a short distance for drivers to travel, well within an EVs range. Because of this, the first key step in transitioning to EV is to analyse your fleet and map out your typical routes throughout the week.

When doing this, make sure you consider the distance your fleet travels each day, where they are parked when they’re not in use and where they may be able to charge. These factors will help you to determine the type of range you will require to keep your fleet on the move. Following this, the next step is to consider which electric vehicle will best suit the needs of your business in terms of the total cost of ownership – particularly the lifetime ownership costs. It has been noted that average annual running costs of an electric car are 21% cheaper (3) than the running costs of a comparable petrol car – saving a significant amount over the years.

Once you’ve considered these factors, the next stage is to assess which EV charging solution is the most suitable for your business – that will ultimately help to address range anxiety.

Choosing the right charging solution for your business

Once you’ve analysed your business needs and chosen the most suitable vehicles – the next step is to consider which charging solution is going to be right for your operation. This can feel like a dauting process, as it’s a crucial one to get right so you can make EV work for you. Your chosen partner will be able to guide you through the process and streamline things for you – providing full charge point planning, design, delivery and management. But there are some key things you should take into consideration to determine which solution will be right for you.

The first is to consider where the vehicles will be returning to after they’ve been on the road. If they will be returning to a depot overnight, installing on-site charging facilities using AC fast chargers – ideally 22kW and under, is likely to be the most suitable option. However, if the vehicles return to  base but need a quick charge before heading back on the road – rapid charging is something that should be taken into consideration. This will provide a quick and efficient charge, keeping drivers on the move.

If at the end of the day, the vehicles don’t return to a base or depot and are taken home by employees – domestic charging should be the first choice. This consists of installing EV charge points at your employees homes, allowing them to recharge their vehicle post shift conveniently, ready for the next day.

You might find that your fleet needs to cover long distance on a daily basis. If so, this is where public charging infrastructure can support employees to charge their vehicles. EV charging infrastructure is rapidly growing to meet the needs of EV drivers. In fact, recent statistics have shown that in the UK there are currently 33,281 public EV charging points (4), keeping drivers on the move. The GeniePoint network has over 500 rapid chargers across the UK, with most charging the average EV in under 45 minutes. To make public charging more accessible for businesses, many charge point network operators now offer trade accounts, enabling businesses to set up an account for multiple drivers and be billed in arrears for usage on the public network. This makes the transition from petrol or diesel to electric even easier, as it mirrors petrol fuel cards – further simplifying the switch for business owners.

A suitable charging partner

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to finding the right charging solution for your business needs, which is why speaking to an expert charging partner is recommended to guide you through the process. If you are uncertain and want to take a test and learn approach to see what works best, it’s always a good idea to start with a low number of vehicles and scale up. This enables you to change your strategy if needed, before making a large-scale investment.

Finally, it’s important to consider what will work for your business specifically. Whether that’s having access to public charging so drivers can recharge on the go, or installing home charging for

employees returning to home. Through EQUANS EV fleet analysis, we take the time to understand your business needs, and therefore can recommend a charging solution that will work around you.

Contact us today for a free no-obligation conversation: https://www.equans.co.uk/ev-solutions

Author: Dee Humphries, EQUANS EV Solutions Director



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