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Rivus’ Industry Fleet Forum 2019.

The Diesel vs EV question leads the debate.

On 14 November, we brought together the most well-known and well-informed people in the industry at BT Tower in London for the Industry Fleet Forum 2019. It was an event that gave us chance to launch our new look as Rivus Fleet Solutions, and connect with industry leaders from across the UK. It was also an opportunity to share insight into the biggest issues facing operational fleets – and with a focus on alternative fuels and the clean air agenda, there were plenty of important topics to discuss.

Speakers including our own CEO Henry Brace, TfL’s director of city planning Alex Williams, and IKEA’s head of sustainable mobility Angela Hultberg, who came together to discuss policies, challenges and fuels of the future.

Compered by Huw Edwards, the event also saw the launch of our fourth Operational Fleet Insight report. Created in collaboration with AA, the report shines a spotlight on the views of fleet managers and industry experts. It covers topics including electrification, vehicle maintenance and driver behaviour, and analyses trends to focus on the future of mobility over the next decade.

With insights from real fleet managers, the report highlights that while the appetite for electric and alternatively-fuelled vehicles is growing, the industry is still grappling with the challenges they present.

“The reality is that you have to be a lot more thoughtful about EV capabilities based on operating range,” says one large fleet manager when asked about alternative fuels. “With a combustion engine, you don’t have to consider anything – you just drive.”

But it’s clear that some fleets are already embracing AFVs – and they’re looking to add more in future. “We have a fleet of approximately 750 units: HGVs, LCVs, cars, SUVs and pickups. By the end of October, we had 20 EVs in the fleet,” explained a medium-sized fleet operator. “As leases and asset periods are coming to an end, businesses can take that opportunity to look for greener, more emissions-friendly vehicles.”

The uncertainty over whether to invest in new technology or stick with existing vehicles is driven in part by doubts over that tech. 64% of consumers think there is insufficient charging infrastructure to purchase an EV. And 34% of those not using EVs list the initial cost and the time it takes to charge as reasons why. As a result, 75% also expect to be using diesel in some capacity in 2025, but only 57% of fleets expect to be using EVs by the same point.This year was our last at BT Tower in London, and we certainly went out on a high. We’re already planning next year’s Industry Fleet Forum in an exciting new location. Stay tuned to find out more.

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