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Comment: Trakm8 on how the 2030 ban is a clarion call for change

The PM’s confirmation of the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars and vans represents a significant opportunity for UK fleets – but the industry must commit to investment to be ready for the change, says Peter Mansfield, group sales and marketing director at Trakm8.

Since Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement of a ban on the sale of cars and vans powered wholly by petrol and diesel from 2030, there’s been an accelerated shift towards a greener road network.

Part of a ‘green industrial revolution’ to tackle climate change, the funding of more than £2.8bn will help the country make the transition to electric or alternatively fuelled vehicles.

While this is obviously welcome news from a sustainability standpoint, what does it mean for the 5.3 million fleet vehicles currently on UK roads, many of which are currently petrol or diesel-fuelled?

Certainly, it’s the clearest sign yet that the Government remains committed to achieving its goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The impact of this ban will clearly be felt across the entire automotive supply chain; nowhere more keenly than in the fleet sector. The rise of the electric vehicle brings with it a unique set of challenges, never before faced by the fleet industry.

Chief among these is so called ‘range anxiety’ – a driver’s worry as to whether their vehicle will get them to their destination, or whether they will be left stranded and in search of a charging point. Historically, range anxiety has been identified as the single biggest barrier to large scale adoption of electric vehicles, alongside other perceived issues including high purchase costs and slow charging times.

These are concerns are well founded. There are 20,197 public charging points nationwide, with estimates suggesting an additional 25,000 will be needed by 2030 to meet expected demand. However, the Government has pledged to invest more than £1.3bn to accelerate the development of charge points across the UK; funding which should go some way in alleviating some immediate concerns among fleet managers.

While this is a great starting point, fleet managers should consider what other technology is available to ensure as seamless a transition to EVs as possible. What if they had access to a joined-up, ‘all in-one’ approach, which ensured the vehicle, its charging point, its battery, the energy provider were all symbiotically linked? This would be a game changing step forward; helping accelerate the process of fleet electrification, while maintaining grid stability and, ultimately, helping to decarbonise the economy.

At Trakm8, we have made significant investment into telematics technology which can be seamlessly integrated into electric vehicles. Our solutions can provide valuable insights into diagnostics and battery health, giving up-to-the-minute updates as to the vehicles current battery charge. This data can be extrapolated to provide accurate charge times for each vehicle within the fleet. What’s more, our Insight Optimisation route planning solution is especially adapted for EV fleets, with scheduling and routing calculated via machine learning to incorporate EV range, charge point capacity, location, availability, charging times, battery level and required range.

Ultimately, the Government’s recent announcement spells significant opportunity for the fleet sector. By investing in the solutions they need now to successfully run a mixed and, eventually, completely electric fleet, they can ensure they are ahead of the industry curve; shoring up sustainability, increasing efficiencies and, crucially, saving money.

Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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