How to charge electric fleets

With reduced taxes, well-proven technology and expanding infrastructure, it is now becoming more and more convenient to run electric vehicles when compared with running petrol or diesel vehicles

Electric vehicles are already looking cheaper to run for individual drivers compared with petrol or diesel but, when it comes to fuelling a fleet, businesses will still want to arrange preferential rates to make the numbers work at scale.

There are huge savings to be made by drivers who switch to electric vehicles (EVs) from petrol or diesel, according to Ben Fletcher, of Renault UK.

The Renault ZOE hatchback, for example, is 100pc electric, has a WLTP driving range of 186 miles and costs just “2p per mile whereas an equivalent petrol or diesel would typically be around 12p”, says Mr Fletcher, head of electric vehicles in the UK for the French manufacturer.

West Sussex Council Fleet Goes Electric With Renault ZOE (Image: Renault)
West Sussex Council Fleet Goes Electric With Renault ZOE (Image: Renault)

The amount of electricity it takes to charge an EV costs around a third as much as buying petrol for a normal car
Not only is the cost lower, drivers can also have peace of mind about where their electricity comes from, with far greater control “over who provides their energy, whether it comes from a renewable source and what tariff they are on, than they would do if they fill their cars with petrol or diesel on a forecourt”, he adds.

Both considerations are important for individuals, but when it comes to corporate approaches to transport they take on even greater significance.

Renault’s electric cars, for instance, are mirrored by a range of Renault Pro+ electric vans, demonstrating the opportunities for companies to switch to electric even on multi-tonne light commercial vehicles.

Fleet managers with multiple EVs will see considerable fuel savings and a large reduction of tailpipe emissions. Jon Lawes, managing director of Hitachi Capital UK’s vehicle solutions business, says: “If all of Britain’s vans and heavy good vehicles [HGVs] were to switch to electricity, businesses could save around £14bn a year in fuel costs alone.”

Read more: Telegraph via Fuel Included news