ALD Automotive is a vehicle leasing and fleet management company providing solutions to both corporate and consumer markets. Energy Saving Trust has been working with ALD Automotive since we first conducted a green fleet review in 2009, and has continued to support them to implement ultra-low emission vehicles into their own fleet and to their customers.
In 2014, when planning for a new head office in Bristol, it was decided that workplace charging for plug-in vehicles would be necessary.
Charge points would encourage the effective use of newly adopted plug-in vehicles in the company car and pool car fleet by ensuring access to infrastructure, and it would also increase familiarity with the technology amongst staff, customers and visitors.
In order to plan a future-proof solution with the required flexibility to adapt to a rapidly changing market, Elektromotive, a company specialising in advanced recharging solutions, was enlisted. A robust implementation strategy was developed, taking into account charging requirements, potential vehicle volumes, and parking locations.
During the construction of the new offices, it became apparent that the planned number of slow 3.3kw charge points would be insufficient to meet charging demand in terms of speed and vehicles that could be charged at any one time.
Charging infrastructure was re-planned with the number of chargers required balanced against the amount of electricity available and the expected utilisation. Six fast 7kW charge points were installed and conduit was laid around the car park to allow future expansion. There are already plans to double the number of charge points to meet the expected growth in electric vehicle (EV) drivers. The system is backed up with renewable energy generated by solar panels on the office roof.
The workplace charging infrastructure scheme currently supports 20 Mercedes C350e plug-in hybrid company cars, as well as Nissan Leaf and BMW i3s into a pool fleet, available for short distance trips.
Going through the process of implementing a workplace charging system has enabled ALD to gain valuable insight into the areas that fleet customers need to consider when selecting these vehicles for their own drivers to ensure effective implementation. Factors that need to be considered include:
- vehicle and driver suitability; to ensure PHEVs are regularly charging and used on journeys where they will be most efficient. Consider if vehicles can be charged at the workplace
- company support and policies, which incentivise low emission vehicles and adequately plan for their implementation will work best