Tomas Edwards, CMO of mobility solutions firm Daloop, discusses the role of education in the UK’s transition to electric vehicles.
Sustainability is a heavily discussed topic right now, with individuals and businesses seeking to have less impact on the environment as they become more aware of the increasing threats to our planet.
One of the clearest moves toward a more sustainable environment is the purchase of an Electric Vehicle (EV). EV sales are continuing to rise alongside correlating proposals over infrastructure and manufacturing developments. With sales of new combustion-engine vehicles set to end in 2030 and the UK government’s latest proposal to legislate that 50% of automakers’ sales must be electric by 2028, the trend is clear.
However, anxieties over the transition remain ever-present in conversations that I have with fleet managers, drivers and in some of the more negative articles I’ve read.
The switch to EV is happening
The transition away from combustion engines is set to become mainstream. Recent surveys show that investment in EVs continues to rise with more EVs purchased in March 2022 alone than in the whole of 2019.
Alongside this impressive statistic, the trends indicate that increasing numbers of businesses and people are planning on making the switch. According to research from BP, 43% of managers and 41% of drivers expect to make the switch to EVs within two years. Survey results in May from major tyre manufacturer, Bridgestone, revealed that 67% of motorists intend to switch. Of that figure, 47% want to change to an EV to save on fuel bills, while 56% are sold by the environmental benefits. This is interesting and highlights the conscious effort being made to reduce carbon emissions and improve sustainability.
This is happening not only on an individual level but also across the vehicle industry. Over the past year, we have seen Ford, Nissan, Renault, and Mitsubishi all making commitments to massively invest in EV production. It is the same for luxury carmakers, with Mercedes-Benz, Bentley, and Jaguar-Land Rover all announcing pledges to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Despite these positive statistics, anxieties remain around the EV transition process but some of these problems are simply out of most businesses’ and governmental control. Take for example, the issues surrounding global supply chains. Volkswagen announced earlier this month that they will deliver no new EVs to customers in Europe and the US for the rest of 2022 due to sell-out of battery-powered models, citing issues within supply chains as primary cause.
Away from supply chain issues, unfortunately, and broadly reflecting the same issues facing individuals, general anxieties around fleet electrification amongst businesses persist. The main concerns regularly discussed relate to the driving range of EVs and whether necessary infrastructure will be in place to support transport decarbonization. This is where education needs to occur, because such worries can only exist if you believe that the roadside on-demand fuel supply model will be replicated come 2030 and beyond. It won’t. Charging facilities will be found at home, at work, at leisure and retail sites – anywhere where vehicles are parked for the necessary length of time. That being the case, charge will be obtained before it’s necessary and road-side facilities will be used en-route for seldom taken longer journeys.
Regardless, the UK government’s promise to increase the number of electric charge points by more than ten times to 300,000 by 2030 was broadly welcomed across the industry.
This announcement included new standards and legislation which means EV operators will have to provide real-time data for customers to check the status of charge points, and apps for customers to find the nearest available charger. Enterprises clearly have a role to play in supporting this proposal. To reduce EV charging anxiety, it is imperative that the infrastructure to support the EV transition is in place.
This is where companies like Daloop, with our data-driven mobility management software, can deliver clear benefits to fleets and businesses and alleviate concerns that some may have about EV charging and range anxiety. The software that fleet managers and businesses use to manage their EV operations is just as essential in keeping their vehicles on the road as the charge points themselves. With the correct, data-driven approach, the EV transition can be a seamless and valuable choice for any individual or business without compromising on either efficiency or costs.
Invest in our planet
Sustainability and ‘saving our planet’ is clearly one of the top drivers for switching to EVs and, in April, we had the annual World Earth awareness day. This provided an opportunity for us all to reflect on our impact on climate change and assess what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint. The theme this year was “invest in our planet”. Evidently a key investment individuals and businesses are making to reduce their carbon footprint is with the purchasing of an EV. This remains an important step, especially as the transport sector has continuously been a leading source of greenhouse gas emissions across the globe.
Aside from the environmental factor, it also makes economic sense. Research from Compare the Market found that driving an electric car for a year cost almost £600 less than a petrol equivalent after recent fuel price increases. Moreover, for businesses’ by using the right software fleet managers can safeguard journey routes and ensure that EV fleets are maintained and operated efficiently.
With the government setting clear commitments for all new HGVs to be zero-emission by 2040 and all car and van sales similarly needing to hit 100% zero-emission by 2035. EVs are now one of the most important investments that can be made to achieve global net-zero by the mid-century.
Your potential to reduce carbon emissions
This year, to support Earth Day 2022, Daloop launched a new online platform: Daloop.Earth. This platform provides business owners with an accurate, visual reflection of their potential to reduce global carbon emissions. The platform uses a simple calculation to illustrate the potential impact of a business’s fleet transition and quantifies emissions for focus and action as we all begin to make efforts toward a more sustainable transport industry.