A UK report highlights the need to support electric vehicle fleet operators in order to drive uptake of electric mobility across the country.
The report, titled Electric vehicles: Innovation towards an excellent user experience, was co-published by the Connected Places and Digital Catapult centres on behalf of the UK’s innovation body Innovate UK. It draws attention to the lack of standardised data facilities available to electric vehicle fleet operators in the UK; and calls for improved co-ordination of data to augment both the user experience and the prompt transition to zero-emissions transport, in line with the government’s target of phasing out new fossil fuel-powered vehicles by 2040.
Alan Nettleton, Senior Technologist at the Connected Place Catapult, said: “Electrification of our road vehicle fleet will be vital in addressing challenges such as air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, along with measures to encourage walking, cycling and public transport. We need to think carefully around how to make EVs [electric vehicles] an attractive prospect to both individual and the fleet operator. This includes making the experience easy and intuitive, whilst at the same time capitalising on the great driving experience EVs offer.”
The report recommends wider deployment of new and disruptive technologies, such as the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and blockchain, in order to standardise and streamline data processes.
Nettleton added: “The user scenarios we explored in the research present a vision of a fully connected digitally-enabled EV world, with rich communications between all stakeholders in a seamless, secure and trusted manner. However, in order to achieve this, we need to keep innovating and finding new ways to give relevant information to potential EV users. Areas such as integrating charging information into satnavs, mobile charging solutions to help manage demand, vehicle to grid power solutions and service solutions which combine EV use with other types of transport should all be explored, alongside vital technological developments in battery capacity and charging speed. We need to start planning now for what we will need when a large proportion of vehicles on the road will be electric.”