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Success with parcel delivery fleets ‘essential’ to electric van adoption, says Arval

Success with parcel delivery fleets ‘essential’ to electric van adoption, says Arval

Success with parcel delivery fleets is going to be ‘essential’ to the success of electric vans, according to vehicle leasing and fleet management company Arval.
 
Simon Cook, Arval’s light commercial vehicle leader, said that electric commercial vehicles closely fitted the operational profile of courier company fleets and should become a key part of their future.
 
He explained: “The current limitations of electric commercial vehicles, which surround range and weight of payload, do not really apply to parcel delivery fleets operating in urban environments.
 
“We are seeing courier, home shopping and parcel delivery operations become the main early adopters. A number of these fleets are operating vehicles, essentially on a trial basis. How they perform over the coming months is going to be the key to whether electric commercial vehicles become a serious fleet proposition.”
 
Mr Cook said that it remained essential that the electric vans on offer continued to be developed intensively by manufacturers, especially when it came to hybrid technology.
 
“The fact is that, even for parcel delivery fleets, range remains an issue. We need to be moving towards the 200-300 mile range that is now being seen with some cars,” he said.
 
“In some key respects, we believe that the real breakthrough will come with the availability of diesel-electric panel vans. Because these should offer the torque that pure electric commercial vehicles lack, they will be viable for a much wider range of fleets.”
 
Mr Cook added that Arval had some operational experience of electric commercial vehicles in the long term and was confident in their longevity.
 
He said: “We have a Ford Transit Connect conversion that has been in operation with a customer for six years now and, even though these are relatively basic vehicles compared to the latest generation of electric commercial vehicles they remain viable as everyday vehicles.”