Success with parcel delivery fleets is going to be “essential” to the success of electric vans, says Arval.
Simon Cook, LCV Leader, said that electric commercial vehicles closely fitted the operational profile of these fleets and should become a key part of their future.
He explained: “The current limitations of ECVs – which surround range and weight of payload – do not really apply to parcel delivery fleets operating in urban environments.
“Certainly, we are seeing courier, home shopping and parcel delivery operations become the main early adopters. A number of these fleets are operating vehicles, essentially on a trial basis. How they perform over the coming months is going to be the key to whether ECVs become a serious fleet proposition.”
Simon said that it remained essential that the electric vans on offer continued to be developed intensively by manufacturers, especially when it came to hybrid technology.
“The fact is that, even for parcel delivery fleets, range remains an issue. We need to be moving towards the 200-300 mile range that is now being seen with some cars.
“In some key respects, we believe that the real breakthrough will come with the availability of diesel-electric panel vans. Because these should offer the torque that pure ECVs lack, they will be viable for a much wider range of fleets.”
Simon added that Arval had some operational experience of ECVs in the long term and was confident in their longevity.
“We have a Ford Transit Connect conversion that have been in operation with a customer for six years now and, even though these are relatively basic vehicles compared to the latest generation of ECVs, they remain viable as everyday vehicles.”
Arval recently produced a guide to ECV operaton. Called “Delivering the Future: A Guide to Operating Electric Vans”, it is designed to provide expert guidance for organisations that are considering adding electric commercial vehicles (ECVs) to their fleets.
It is available at https://www.arval.co.uk/fleet-research/futurefleet.