The Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP) has launched an initiative to create the UK’s largest database of curbside charging station requirements, aiming to stimulate targeted investment and enable roll-out faster electric vehicles.
Announced at the association’s first annual conference last week, the project will combine members’ operational data to map locations where vehicles are parked for long periods – such as construction sites or near drivers’ homes – to highlight demand clusters and create a business case for adding curbside charging stations.
AFP chairman Paul Hollick said it followed complaints from members that the process of installing new on-street charging stations could be a burden on fleet teams and was too user-focused. Particular Cars. Local authorities can apply for funding from the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) covering 60% of the costs, but are often reluctant to invest the rest if a charging network does not step in. It can also leave large fleets liaising with multiple local authorities if they have a wide area of operation.
Supported by OZEV and the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), the task force mined anonymised postcode data from 14 ‘megafleets’ – including Mitie, Openreach, Centrica, National Grid and Royal Mail – operating a total of 160,000 vehicles with a collective need for 75,000 charging stations. The AFP website accepts expressions of interest from other members if they are willing to contribute.
Hollick said the initiative is particularly important for vans, where member data shows 70% of drivers have no off-street parking and the lack of convenient charging is stifling adoption. He said: “Van fleets are electrifying the fruits within reach – [the drivers] that have driveways and low mileage, so they can easily recharge overnight. Once we get past that initial 30%, we run into trouble.
“If we don’t get the rapid adoption in terms of first-life vans, we won’t get the second and third phases where these vans can be redeployed for a second and third life in the SMB space. rapid deployment to our members is therefore essential.
With fleet electrification accelerating, the curbside charging initiative complements several other AFP projects supporting members adopting new technologies. These include a set of standards for dealerships ensuring a step-by-step transfer process, training courses for electric cars and vans, and new networking channels to help fleet managers share ideas.
“With all the fleet changes right now, it’s probably the most important time to be up to date with your skills,” Hollick said.