The transition to electric: A fleet manager’s checklist
13th October 2021
Helping your drivers to go electric is a vital step on your fleet’s journey to net zero.
To ensure you transition smoothly, it’s important to conduct a thorough assessment for each driver before they make the switch. And having all the necessary paperwork in place will help you electrify without any disruption to your business operations.
Here’s a handy checklist of the most important things you need to consider.
Have you completed a full assessment of the driver’s individual suitability for an EV? Fleet managers should take the driver’s travel profile into account. This could be something the driver completes, it may be readily available information through telematics, or it could be driver profiles you create based on job function or business need, i.e., ‘field sales’ or ‘commuter’. Consider things like:
- Daily mileage. A lot of EVs now have at least a 200-mile range, so range will be less of a limiting factor than it has been in previous years.
- Journey type. For example, city driving, or big stretches of motorway.
- Journey purpose. Is it a straightforward commute or is it a business vehicle with a delivery schedule? Does the vehicle have to carry lots of equipment?
- Time of day, and downtime. Where will the vehicle be based, at a depot or at the driver’s house?
You’ll also need to consider charge point access to determine whether an EV is a viable option. Fleet managers should also consider the total cost of ownership of fleet vehicles rather than up-front costs when working out financial forecasts.
It is important that the vehicle is suitable for the driver and their requirements. You may choose to agree an approved list of EVs as a starting point, so drivers can select from there, which could make the process smoother than reviewing each on a case-by-case basis.
This would ensure that each vehicle was fit for purpose, ensuring maximum efficiency across your fleet, and helping to prevent unnecessary downtime. Fleet managers should look at both range and speed of charging when determining the right vehicle for each driver. If your business is committed to EVs, if you join up with an external partner like Drax, they can help run test drive days where employees can get a feel for EVs and experience the different models on offer.
Has the driver been shown how to operate his or her new vehicle? This could be done in a one off training session, plus refresher sessions if required (either requested by the driver or enforced based on any issues flagged in the vehicle’s telematics). While driving an EV isn’t especially different to driving a petrol or diesel vehicle, drivers will need time to get used to one-pedal driving and regenerative braking. This should also include vehicle maintenance so that the driver knows how to take care of their vehicle.
Has the driver signed a data collection consent form which states that they agree for their driver data to be captured and used by the company to improve fleet performance? Many companies with ICE fleets already capture data around driving behaviours and locations, so existing policies may already be in place.
Driver negligence agreement
Is the driver aware of any penalties or charges they are liable to pay in the event of driver negligence? This will include parking fines and end-of-contract fees, but also running out of charge for EVs. Most breakdown companies offer one free call-out, but any further callouts will incur a charge.
Have you communicated to the driver what mileage expenses they can claim back? This will be set by the employer, but most companies use the HMRC set rate of 45p per mile.
Charge point access
Have you agreed with the driver who’s responsible for ensuring they have suitable access to charge points? This includes paying for installation of any home chargers and what happens if they move house. It’s important to do this as early as possible to ensure that site survey and installation are carried out in a timely fashion.
At Drax, we're experts in EV and energy markets. Now, with My Electric Vehicles, we're providing a state‑of‑the‑art portal that brings together charge point operation, energy consumption and vehicle telematics in one place. To mark this exciting launch, we're hosting the EV Fleet Academy – two weeks of fresh insights from the industry professionals leading the way in EV innovation.Register today