To account for the inevitable adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and available charging infrastructure in the United Kingdom (UK), the Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP) has formed a new collective: the Kerbside Charging Group (KCG).
According to the AFP, charging infrastructure is one of the “last stumbling blocks” to more widespread fleet EV adoption within the industry.
The KCG was formed to promote practical and effective on-the-ground answers to businesses adopting EVs in locations where charging stations were previously unavailable.
“Adequate curbside charging is vital to the corporate fleet sector being able to achieve its 2030 electrification objectives,” says Paul Hollick, AFP chair, “but many are hitting significant problems with those employees that do not have a home charging solution. This is especially the case for people who live in terraced streets or apartments.”
Though many providers manufacture curbside charging stations, they’re seldom available where fleets need them. Though the government has a program in place where funds are made available for chargers to be installed, it depends on local authorities—many of which are low on finances due to the global supply shortage and ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic.
The KCG will work with fleets, charging providers, and local authorities to ensure that charging is available wherever needed.
Vanguard members of KCG include David Fisher and Rod Hogg of Virgin Media; Denise Lane of Capita; Duncan Webb of ISS; Simon Gray of SSE; Julie Madoui and Claire Kershaw of Kier; Dale Eynon of DEFRA; Colin Hutt of Clarion Response; Olly Kunc of OpenReach; Lee Jackson of Marston Holdings; James Rooney and Lucy Simpson of Centrica; Simon King of Mitie; Tony Murphy of Murphy Plant; and Aaron Powell of Speedy Services.
“Together, these businesses are operating thousands of EVs,” Hollick says, “and many are finding that more than half of their drivers really need curbside charging, especially those that are adopting electric vans, whose drivers are proving less likely to have their own driveway.”
“At the moment, it’s not an exaggeration to say that they are muddling through with a mixture of depot-based charging and use of high-speed public facilities. Both of these, however, bring sizeable operational compromises, either needing vehicles to return to base or taking time out of the working day for charging.
“One of our initial tasks is to potentially collate all the fleet data, given to us from AFP members, into a centralized portal to map exactly where we need curbside charge points. We’re hoping to complete this over the next few months.
“To us, solving this problem is really the last stumbling block to EV adoption for fleets and making rapid progress in this area is absolutely essential. We are very much looking to create effective momentum very rapidly.”