A NEW committee formed to look at the practicalities of sharing charging infrastructure between fleets operating electric vans has been launched by the Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP).
To be led by AFP chair Paul Hollick, it will investigate ways in which businesses can make their own chargers available to other organisations on a reciprocal basis.
It follows research undertaken by the AFP in October that showed almost six out of 10 van fleets (58%) would consider sharing their depot or public charging infrastructure with others to make electrification more practical.
He said: “Charging has emerged a key issue for those operating electric vans, whether that means finding power as part of a planned route that exceeds the vehicle’s range, overnight to ensure a van is ready for the following day, or in a part of the country where charging facilities are scarce.
“Many fleet operators can see the potential for sharing their infrastructure on this basis and what we are aiming to do with the new committee is work out the practicalities of such arrangements and how the AFP can work as a facilitator.”
Questions that needed to be answered included mapping the companies that would be interested in taking part, gaining physical access to chargers, booking time when they would be needed, and how charging would be paid for.
“These are all highly practical issues and what we want to do is try to arrive at solutions that mean shared charging can be accessed and paid for easily with the minimum of work. If it becomes too onerous for the companies involved, our view is that they won’t want to take part. The whole idea relies on ease of use.”
He added that the AFP was keen to hear from fleets who would like to be involved both in the new committee and the wider shared charging initiative.
“A key part of our initial activities will simply be to work out whether it looks as though there are enough fleets interested in shared charging on a national basis to make the whole initiative viable, so we need anyone who is interested to get in touch as soon as possible.”