SYSTEMS must be put in place for businesses bringing electric vehicles into their fleets, or else risk their EVs becoming “unworkable”, according to driver training specialists Lightfoot.
Failure to implement training to minimum standards, tailored to electric vehicle drivers, could render many EVs not fit for purpose and impractical for business use according to Lightfoot CEO Mark Roberts.
Impacts could include issues with workflow planning, with some drivers potentially able to complete their day’s work on a single charge, while others may need to ‘lose’ significant portions of time to recharging between jobs.Lightfoot says it has a training programme directed straight to the those most important cogs in the system – the drivers.Using an in-cab display and information from the vehicle’s CPU, drivers can see live driving efficiency coaching.
By following this coaching, they build a Lightfoot score, trackable on an app, with figures of 85% or more allowing them access to Elite Driver status, and entry into prize draws each week.
The benefits of increased efficiency include a longer driving range on each charge, says the firm.
The simple truth is that you can’t invest millions of pounds in an EV fleet without first tightening the loosest nut in the vehicle; the driver.
Any fleet that tries to electrify without tackling the issue of diverse driver behaviours within their fleet is in for a nasty surprise.
Electric vehicles will work perfectly for the best drivers who accelerate smoothly and drive sensibly, but there will be others who put the pedal to the floor all the time and their bad habits will make EV totally unworkable. As a fleet manager, that’s an impossible situation to manage.
In an electric vehicle, good drivers can achieve up to 20% more range than a bad one. With petrol or diesel vehicle, that 20% would just mean another trip to the petrol station, but in an electric van, for example, that reduction in range could be the difference between completing a trip or not, or at the very least, considerable time wasted at a charging station.