VWFS reviews 6.5 million miles of driving to help fleets switch to EVs

Volkswagen Financial Services UK Fleet has analysed 6.5 million miles worth of real-world driving data to help fleets convert to electric vehicles.

The data was collected from this February and Mike Coulton, EV consultant at Volkswagen Financial Services UK, breaks down the results.

“As nationwide lockdowns forced millions to stay at home and a subsequent global shortage of semiconductors disrupted manufacturing supply chains, many businesses used this unique period to plan changes to their fleet.

“Companies across the UK have been looking to optimise how they operate, evaluating which vehicles are best suited to be replaced by electric vehicles (EV) or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), as part of exploring ways of reducing their organisation’s carbon footprint.

“For example, decision makers may want to consider how Clean Air Zones may affect their fleets and whether they need to consider reallocating vehicles if they cover multiple geographical locations. Or perhaps moving electric vehicles to areas where they can maximise savings and reduce emissions.

“At Volkswagen Financial Services UK we were ahead of the curve when we began working on our ‘EVolve with VWFS Fleet’ proposition in 2017, long before BEVs and PHEVs became so popular amongst company car drivers.

“We developed a series of free-to-use tools for our customers, designed to guide them on their EV adoption journey, and to provide industry insight that can be used to inform decision making around alternative fuelled vehicles (AFVs). To date, we have analysed 6.5 million miles worth of real-world driving data through our innovative Future Fleet Analysis tool, and the results have been eye-opening.

“In 2019, the real-world driving data we analysed suggested that 11% of drivers were definitely suited to a BEV, while a further 37% should be considering a BEV given that over 90% of their journeys analysed could be made in an EV without stopping to charge. Our benchmark EV at the time was a Volkswagen e-Golf with a range of around 186 miles. We re-analysed the same data this year and thanks to the huge improvements in EV driving range, our benchmark electric vehicle now being a mid-range Volkswagen ID.3 with a WLTP 263 mile range, 74% of the drivers analysed are now suited to a BEV.

“However, we didn’t stop there. Throughout 2019 we also launched our driver-focused ‘EV-4-ME?’ tool soon after, which helps drivers without telematics data establish the best fuel type for their needs, along with a first-to-market home chargepoint proposition to make EV adoption as seamless as possible for our customers and their drivers. Other tools soon followed, as well as our market-leading ‘EVolve’ EV consideration hub on our website.

“The real-world impact of this can be felt through the changes in fuel type across out True Fleet portfolio and order bank, with 64% of our current order bank made up of hybrid and electric vehicles.

“The impact of our EVolve proposition on customers has been significant too; we have helped customers analyse their fleet and identify which drivers are most suitable to switch from a petrol or diesel vehicle into an EV.

“Several other customers are making use of our EV-4-ME? tool as part of their vehicle ordering process; drivers are required to use the tool and attach a screenshot of their results with their order, to either confirm the fuel choice they are making is the most suitable for their needs, or to raise the question as to why they are not ordering the recommended fuel type. One positive impact of this has been a big switch from PHEV orders to EV orders.

“Many customers have taken advantage of our home chargepoint proposition, too, providing their drivers with a smart home charger at a very competitive price, to enable their transition to an EV to be as seamless as possible, and to encourage the right behaviours from their PHEV drivers.

“For some customers we have even been able to offset some of their early termination charges for older vehicles, helping them to replace older ICE vehicles sooner, and replace them with a brand new, zero emission BEV.

“Finally, we recently launched our carbon-neutral Salary Sacrifice proposition to the market – this is a great opportunity for employers to offer a valuable recruitment/retention tool for staff, whilst also enabling them to go beyond just their core company car fleet in driving down vehicles emissions.

“By encouraging employees to replace their privately-owned ‘grey fleet’ vehicle with a brand-new, fully insured and maintained BEV or PHEV, the business is not only reducing their wider vehicle emissions but also reducing their grey fleet risk, helping with their Duty of Care responsibilities. Better still, as an employer they actually save money on every BEV taken on Salary Sacrifice due to the Class 1A NIC savings they will make as a business.

“Our commitment is clear: we want to put the right people into the right vehicle and fuel type for their needs, and our role as one of the leading and fastest growing business leasing providers in the FN50 is to ensure customers and their drivers are informed and confident in making the required changes for successful EV adoption.

“Whether our customers’ fleet targets are environmental, such as sustained CO2 reductions, cost-based, such as reduced Whole Life Costs (WLC), or legislation driven, such as accessing Clear Air Zones or the forthcoming ban on ICE vehicles from 2030, VWFS Fleet are on hand to support them every step of the way.

“Our expert EV-accredited team of professionals are on hand to offer this guidance and support, whilst our plans for EVolve over the coming months are every bit as exciting as everything we have brought to market to date.”

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