Fleet managers rushing to change to ‘greener’ vehicles could be making a costly mistake for their businesses, a leading industry expert has warned.
Total Motion Managing Director Simon Hill – who has more than 20 years’ experience working with alternative fuels, including LPG, electric and biofuel – says going green and tax implications alone should not be a reason to move away from diesel and petrol models.
Instead, businesses need to carefully consider different factors including the TCO (total cost of ownership) and aspects such as charging ‘downtime’, maintenance and reliability.
For existing clients, Total Motion undertakes feasibility studies to determine if switching to more environmentally modes of transport is a viable and cost-effective option.
Its ‘Actual Whole Life Cost System’ model is the most accurate source of data for helping fleets transition to alternative fuels such as electric. It also provides statistics as to what their current environmental impact is and makes recommendations on how they can reduce their CO2 footprint.
He also believes the 2030 cut off point for manufacturing combustion engine vehicles should be pushed back to 2040, as their will be a huge deficit in the number of charging points needed for all the new electric cars and vans being built over the coming years.
Simon Hill said: “The current tax implications for operating electric and hybrid vehicles is making it incredibly tempting for fleet managers to move away from diesel and petrol models.
“However, rushing to ‘green’ fleets can be a costly mistake, and the brakes need to be applied before making any sudden change based solely on tax calculations. There are other important factors too – in particular the down time for recharging batteries and a vehicle’s overall reliability.
“The government PR machine is encouraging fleet managers to make wrong choices – and we all know what happened when we were told a few years ago about the benefits of moving from petrol to diesel!
“Battery capacity is a major issue, with 300 miles being the magic number. When it comes to charging, fleet managers need to take into consideration simple questions such as where the vehicle will be parked overnight and if the driver has a charging point?”
Mr Hill added: “Our experience in the alternative fuel field began with us converting and supplying LPG/CNG (liquid petroleum gas/ compressed natural gas) vehicles through to managing electric vehicles and fleet electrification projects in 2004.
“By the end of 2006 we had over 500 LPG and 650 EVs (electric vehicles) in operation. In fact, we were the first to have an EV rental fleet.
“In addition to working with major fleet operators, we have, and still continue to work with a number of vehicle manufacturers to help them with their strategies.”
Further information about Total Motion, and in particular its ‘Actual Whole Life Cost System’ model, is available from its website.