Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) demonstrator project, E-Flex, today reveals findings that over four in five (86%) fleet managers plan to deploy electric vehicles (EVs) within the next five years. The research, conducted by Opinium in partnership with E-Flex, surveyed 500 fleet managers across the UK on their attitudes to fleet electrification.
Cost of EV deployment
Whilst over a quarter (27%) of fleet managers are already deploying EVs, almost three-quarters (72%) of respondents said they are concerned about rising energy costs. Over half (55%) cited the high initial purchase price as the main barrier to EV adoption, with almost half (48%) identifying worries about battery life. Despite these concerns, over half (53%) agree that V2G technology could help with the transition to electric fleets.
Most EVs are fitted with uni-directional chargers, meaning that when a battery is charged, the power is stored until it is used. This could prove an inefficient model for fleets deploying EVs at scale in terms of cost and energy consumption unless the charge times and charge rates are smartly managed.
Over half (54%) of fleet managers recognise that V2G could reduce their energy costs by enabling bi-directional energy transfers that turn EV batteries into energy sources. More than two in five (43%) agree that additional revenue could be generated from sales of unused power back to the grid.
Stepping up business sustainability
More than three quarters of fleet managers (79%) said meeting their sustainability and environmental targets is a priority. With the UK Government’s Road to Zero current 2040 deadline for all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emission, any organisation running a fleet of vehicles needs to consider electrification as part of its strategy.
EV deployment is expected to change dramatically over the next five years, with the majority (86%) of fleet managers planning to roll-out EVs to reduce business-wide energy usage. Yet, senior decision-makers working across other business units harbour scepticism about EVs.
More than two thirds of fleet managers say that this scepticism is unlikely to be overcome without a financial incentive. In fact, as many as two-thirds (67%) argue that being able to offer these is essential for EV rollout to occur.
Availability of EV Systems
V2G technology represents a means of surmounting these challenges while offering commercial benefits – but also as a new technological solution, needs to prove its value in the real world. More than half of fleet managers (53%) agree that V2G could support the grid at peak times, ensuring that mass adoption of EVs does not put unmanageable strain on energy resources.
Less than one in ten (9%) fleet managers are concerned about cybersecurity. As V2G is rolled out and the reliance on digital infrastructure grows, maintaining adequate cyber defences will become increasingly important, requiring increasing collaboration between fleet and IT managers.
“V2G has the potential to bring fleets greater energy independence, new revenue streams, and an opportunity to significantly lower carbon emissions,” said Maria Hernandez, Head of Innovation, Cisco UK and Ireland. “The real-life benefits of the technology are yet to be comprehensively demonstrated in the UK with E-FLEX, but further evidence of its ability to reduce costs and drive revenue could accelerate the electrification of fleets.”
“Adoption of EVs is at a crucial turning point and the purpose of E-Flex is to demonstrate the value of V2G as a sustainable means of supporting fleet electrification,” added Chris Rimmer, Infrastructure Strategy Lead, Cenex. “The successful demonstration of V2G technology will provide evidenced strategic options for organisations looking to run their fleet operations in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.”
To find out more about the UK’s leading V2G demonstrator, visit the E-Flex website.