Following ALD Automotive’s recent trial in which 20 company car drivers were allocated Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs), the company wanted to see how many typical fleet drivers could realistically convert to fully Electric Vehicles (EVs) based on their actual driving profile. By looking at over 1,400 days’ worth of journey data available through the company’s ProFleet telematics system, ALD Automotive was able to identify where journeys made in a diesel or petrol vehicle could be replaced by an electric alternative.
The study examined a random sample of company cars covering a total of 95,000 miles and 2,396 hours of journey time. The data revealed that:
- 77% of daily journeys were less than 100 miles a day
- 52% of daily journeys were less than 50 miles a day
- Only 12% of daily journeys were over 150 miles a day
- Less than 6% of all daily journeys analysed were over 200 miles
Matt Dale, Consultancy Services Manager for ALD Automotive, commented: “There is now an expanding choice of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) available which can easily cover in excess of 100 miles on a single charge. This means that over three-quarters of all journeys in the data we sampled could be completed using purely electric power. With range improvements being made with each new model launched, it won’t be long before BEVs can comfortably exceed 200 miles. At that point, 94% of journeys could be completed out of an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicle.”
He continues: “Our findings were based on the assumption of a single daily charge so, as the public charging infrastructure improves, even more daily journeys will be viable in a BEV. It’s already possible to get an 80% charge on the motorway in about the time it takes to grab some lunch, so I don’t think it will be long until refuelling an electric vehicle becomes just as easy as a refuelling a diesel or petrol on longer journeys.”
Further analysis of the ProFleet data found that, of the days when the total journey distance exceeded 200 miles, a number of them were not actually business trips but were made when company car drivers were on holiday. This raises several interesting points, as Dale explains: “Increasingly, we’re seeing the opportunity for fleets to employ a more holistic mobility strategy that looks beyond the traditional view of a single company car. For many journeys, public transport, car share, pool or hire cars are the more sensible option from both a cost and convenience perspective. On the few occasions where electric vehicles aren’t practical, drivers can supplement their travel with these more appropriate forms of transport. Fleets may well find that, due to the lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) implications of running PHEVs and BEVs, they can afford to facilitate other smart, mobility solutions and still save money.”
ALD Automotive’s recent Plug-In Hybrid trial revealed that, when charged sufficiently, this type of vehicle performs well at a range of mileages and journey types and can, therefore, make a practical alternative to diesel or petrol. Dale adds, “While this analysis shows that BEVs can viably replace the ICE for many journeys, there’s still a perception that it’s a big leap to make. PHEVs, on the other hand, are often seen as a stepping stone towards a fully electric vehicle thanks to the back-up petrol engine. Following the results of our recent trial, fleets may be surprised at just how many of their drivers are suitably placed for this type of vehicle right now.”
As part of their wider ‘Get Future Ready’ initiative, ALD Automotive has published a white paper based on the results of their PHEV trial. It includes a step-by-step guide for businesses looking to assess the suitability of this type of vehicle for their fleet. The guide is available to download for free at www.aldautomotive.co.uk.