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
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.”