As mentioned in the September edition, the VLS team exhibited at Fleet & Mobility Live 2023 back in October and what a busy two days it was. Some of the team spent their time at our exhibit stand which was buzzing with conversations about how we support UK businesses and some headed to seminars to soak up the industry knowledge that they could bring back to the business.
Talks with leading industry speakers and an engaged live audience made for an interesting event so for those of you who couldn’t make it, here is just a small taste of some of the hottest topics…
Delay of banning the sale of ICE vehicles
The recent decision to delay the ban on the sale of ICE vehicles from 2030 to 2035 was a topic on everybody’s minds. The obvious disappointment for fleets and manufacturers is the lack of consistency in the approach and a concern that the extended deadline will lead to reduced confidence in making the transition to electric. However, there was mutual agreement that for fleets, not much has really changed as we are all still on the road to net zero. If anything there was some positivity around the fact it gives a window of opportunity to tackle the additional complicated fundamentals in transitioning into a fully electric fleet and potentially, allows for some costs to reduce/balance out.
Maintenance of EVs
One of the main concerns was regarding the impact on the maintenance of EVs. The general wisdom is that with fewer moving parts and over-air software updates, EVs are cheaper overall to maintain, and this is reflected in maintenance budgets with leases. However, what is the impact on fleets outside of servicing and traditional wear and tear i.e. when they go wrong? Repairs are typically taking longer therefore increasing VOR and, if not covered under warranty, are more expensive. When we think about this, we need to take into consideration the supply chain for EV vehicles and work closely with the manufacturers to mitigate the risks.
A lot of discussions throughout the seminars continue to be about charging infrastructure. A concern was raised regarding the awkwardness of charge points not accepting the same payment methods. The general agreement in the room was the need for a one-card solution, making it easier and more reliable for commercial fleets to use multiple different charge points. If we pair this with the growth in dynamic charging costs, variations in types of Kw chargers and the new laws surrounding charging cost transparency, we will see a positive and reliable attitude towards charging infrastructure.
From our perspective, the conversations were interesting and they gave us some food for thought in terms of areas we could enhance the support we provide to customers in terms of cost analysis, maintenance and charging guidance, but, there was nothing that re-wrote the rule book for us as we continue to work in consultation with our customers to provide the highest value solutions for their fleet of the future.