Cross River Partnership provides new guidance into electric vehicle fleets for businesses


Cross River Partnership (CRP), a non-profit and impartial partnership organisation, is excited to launch the latest Defra-funded Clean Air Villages 4 (CAV4) case study ‘Making the Switch: A Guide for Fleet Owners’, a document exploring in-depth experiences from eight businesses with electric vehicle (EV) fleets in London.

This document aims to provide information to make the transition easier for businesses looking to purchase or lease an electric fleet.

More Londoners are buying electric vehicles[1], and 34% of consumers have been found to choose brands with environmentally sustainable practices over those without[2]. Using examples from Cleanology, Complete, Father Nature, Fruit4London, GLH, GreenZone, Lyreco and Planet Minimal, this case study addresses fleet, charging, advice and guidance. It also examines what going electric could mean for a business. CRP asked questions about each business’ vehicles, motivations, challenges faced, charging infrastructure and what’s next for EVs in terms of regulation, technology and cost.

The case study finds that EVs have been shown to improve customer retention rates and that staff take more pride in their vehicles when they are electric. Employees also found that the reduced noise and instant acceleration made the driving experience more pleasant. Knowing that an organisation is taking steps to make a difference can improve wellbeing and satisfaction for staff and clients, and EVs can also save future costs for businesses.

The case study also explores the challenges of EV range, especially outside London, and how this can lead to range anxiety, especially in winter. Businesses reported long wait times to acquire an EV were a challenge and a high initial outlay cost for vehicles. Despite this, we find that for vehicles smaller than 3.5 tonnes, there is a financial business case to be made, as ongoing costs are significantly lower than for diesel equivalents.

The case study document provides a next steps section to support businesses in their journey to EVs and to provide guidance for future planning, including through LinkedIn groups, memberships, webinars and publications.

Steve Trew, Managing Director at GreenZone, said, “With restrictions on petrol and diesel vehicles in 2030, organisations must evolve their fleet. Evolving to continually improve and minimise our impact on the environment is both fundamental to our ethos and imperative to business success. Clients are increasingly making choices based on environmental and social sustainability credentials.”

Hamish Ainsley, Founder at Planet Minimal, said, “For organisations doing inner-city logistics, there is absolutely no reason not to explore EVs. For private car fleets, so long as cars have a 250-mile range, there should be no barriers as public charging infrastructure is perfectly adequate, even for high mileage driving.”

Rachael Aldridge, Communications Project Manager at Cross River Partnership, said, “In recent news, European sales of electric cars have overtaken those of diesel models. We hope that this case study provides valuable insight for businesses about switching to an electric fleet. Eight London-based businesses illustrate that switching doesn’t have to be a daunting process, and there are many business advantages to going electric.”

Ali Panchoo, Marketing Manager at cleaning company Cleanology – based in Clapham, South West London, and one of the businesses interviewed by Cross River Partnership – said: “From the experience of changing over our fleet I would say that there are far too many charging companies to choose from, so consideration is needed in this aspect. However, the switch has hugely benefitted our business through cost savings and is beneficial to our brand and aligns with our corporate social responsibility objectives”.