Fleet operators key to Electric Vehicle tipping point in the UK

Our new report with the Digital Catapult provides a pathway for increased uptake and improved customer experience for adopters of Electric Vehicles (EVs) in the UK.

Fleet operators should be given the tools, information and incentives required to switch to Electric Vehicles and drive adoption of the technology, according to a new report looking into the UK EV sector published today.

Fleet operators will be key to driving rapid adoption necessary to reach the government’s target of all new car sales being zero emission by 2040.  Fleet managers that switch their large vehicle fleets quickly will create a significant early impact on reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, demand is generated for the charging infrastructure and data can be captured to help drive the private vehicle market.

The Catapult’s report, published in collaboration with the Digital Catapult and Innovate UK, provides insights and recommendations into aspects such as user experience, data and standards.

The report highlights how a lack of co-ordinated and standardised EV data is inhibiting the delivery of excellent user experiences, delivery of public and private charging infrastructure and demand forecasting for the power grid. The report suggests that the Internet of Things, Vehicle to Infrastructure communications, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Immersive technologies such as Augmented reality could all have a part to play in closing this gap.

electric vehicles, EV

Alan Nettleton, Senior Technologist at the Connected Place Catapult said:

“Electrification of our road vehicle fleet will be vital in addressing challenges such as air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, along with measures to encourage walking, cycling and public transport.  We need to think carefully around how to make EVs an attractive prospect to both individual and the fleet operator.  This includes making the experience easy and intuitive, whilst at the same time capitalising on the great driving experience EVs offer.

Beyond fleet take-up, the Report also goes further to understand what anxieties and user needs continue to be unmet with respect to EV experiences. Alan explains:

“The user scenarios we explored in the research present a vision of a fully connected digitally-enabled EV world, with rich communications between all stakeholders in a seamless, secure and trusted manner.

However, in order to achieve this, we need to keep innovating and finding new ways to give relevant information to potential EV users. Areas such as integrating charging information into sat navs, mobile charging solutions to help manage demand, Vehicle to Grid power solutions and service solutions which combine EV use with other types of transport should all be explored, alongside vital technological developments in battery capacity and charging speed.  We need to start planning now for what we will need when a large proportion of vehicles on the road will be electric.”

Connected Places Catapult is also seeking innovators in the transport arena for its latest Accelerator to find solutions to improve the UK transport system. Click here to find out more.