Van drivers are worried about making the switch to electric because of fears about losing time and money to charging, according to a new report conducted by Ford.
The survey of 500 van drivers in the UK found considerable gaps in their knowledge of electric vans and the benefits to their businesses. Range anxiety is seen as one of the main concerns of van drivers, with the average range of an electric van thought to be under 70 miles.
The pressures around time management continue, with almost half (44%) of van drivers believing they wouldn’t be able to fit charging time into their working schedule. This may stem from a lack of charging options available, with only 20% of respondents saying there are always charging points available at work, and over half (52%) saying they don’t have access at home. On top of this, only 42 per cent of van drivers said they knew how to charge an electric vehicle.
Drivers of company owned electric vans were concerned about being out-of-pocket with 7-in-10 (71%) flagging they’re unsure how they’d get reimbursed for electricity costs if they charged their company vehicle at home. For businesses, almost one-third (29%) stated that the initial infrastructure cost of introducing electric vans would be too much of a burden for themselves or their business.
Despite some drivers having concerns, there is optimism around the future of electric vans too, with almost half (49 per cent) believing electric vans will be the most common type of van on Britain’s roads within the next 10 years – with only nine per cent disagreeing. On this, more than a third (36%) said they or their employer plan on switching to electric vans within the next four to six months and nearly two-fifths (38 per cent) said they thought it was a smart investment.
Showcasing the power of the green pound, over a quarter (26%) of van drivers believed their company would be perceived more positively for driving electric vans. Similarly, almost half (48%) believed if their colleagues or friends were to buy an electric vehicle, it would positively impact their work and lifestyle. Over half (52%), also agreed with the statement that they, or their company, is planning on making the switch to an electric van because they’re “really cool”!
Mandy Dean, Commercial Vehicle Director, Ford of Britain, said: “With the Ford Transit being the best-selling vehicle in the UK, tackling the concerns of Britain's workforce is an important task in helping the nation go green and make the switch to electric. Understanding people’s perceptions of electric vehicles is vital to making sure we’re all on board, including within the vital commercial vehicle segment which is so important for keeping the UK’s economy growing. Our research report shows while there are concerns about the switch, van drivers seem willing to embark on the journey to go green.”