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Firms must be strategic about building EV infrastructure

Companies should be more strategic in looking at charging options for their own electric vehicle (EV) fleets and identify where charging is most likely to take place, a fleet expert has suggested.

Matt Dale, head of fleet consulting at property management company Mitie, was speaking in Birmingham last week at Utility Week Live, sponsored by Capita.

During a panel session Dale discussed Mitie’s own journey in decarbonising its fleet which it began in 2018 with a view to transition 5,300 vehicles by 2025.

The company began with the low-hanging fruit of decarbonising cars, paying for its drivers to have home charging installed and also installing chargepoints at its offices and depots. As of the end of April, the company has decarbonised more than 2,200 vehicles.

During the session, which was sponsored by Driivz, Dale revealed how his company had converted 30% of its fleet so far, and was on a “journey”. He spoke about the need to think about where charging is most likely to take place and consider developing infrastructure to support this at the most relevant locations.

Mitie, along with analytics company DNV, developed a software to better understand how and where to charge vehicles.

He added: “It’s not all about the charging in your depot either. It’s also about the charging where the vehicles are. It may be, and this is what we’ve found, our vehicles spend more time on our customers’ premises than they do on our own.

“So, we have created charging infrastructure ourselves on our customers’ sites. Those customers now utilise our infrastructure at their premises.”

He further suggested ways of funding the development of charging assets.

He added: “We are all going to electrify our fleets, we have all got to electrify our fleets, it’s all going in one direction.

“So maybe think about working with the customer, or the supplier, to say ‘we need infrastructure in your location, we’re not going to pay for it, you’re going to pay for it but we’re going to pay for using it’.

“If you compare that to public infrastructure I can guarantee you, you will get a better rate on a customers’ infrastructure than you will charging in public.”

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