Developing and maintaining drivers' skills is key to managing a safe and efficient EV fleet.  EVs have different features and functions to petrol or diesel vehicles, so driver training should look to include the following topics:
  • differences in performance and power as a result from the instant torque
  • acceleration and throttle use due the immediate power delivered
  • greater stopping distances impacted by the additional battery weight and regenerative braking
  • increased vulnerability of pedestrians and cyclists as EVs are much quieter, especially at low speeds.
Vehicle familiarisation should also include guidance on changing from a manual to an automatic transmission.  It sounds unnecessary, but for many people, driving an automatic vehicle is very different to driving a manual one. 
Once familiar with the different driving experience, below are tips which will support safe driving and maximise both the charge and lifespan of the battery:
  • understanding battery range with methods to maximise efficiency (such as using ‘Eco Mode’)
  • monitoring speed, as driving at high speed uses more battery power
  • reading the road ahead to avoid unnecessary braking and acceleration
  • journey planning including awareness of all available charging points
  • the requirements of the Highway Code, including those specific to using an electric vehicle charge point.
Another area which is just as crucial to optimal driving, is appreciating phycological considerations and drivers concerns relating to ‘range anxiety’.  Effective journey planning can assist in minimising these potential worries.
Planning a journey in an EV is like choosing the best route before setting off in a petrol and diesel vehicle, with some additional considerations.  These include:
  • careful scheduling
  • periods of driving / taking regular breaks
  • traffic conditions
  • avoiding unsafe routes
  • driving in adverse weather conditions or darkness
  • procedures in the event of an emergency / breakdown
  • lone working.
In addition, for EVs, it’s critical for drivers to understand battery capacity, maximum battery life and the charging infrastructure on route.  The following should also be considered:
  • Have checks been made to confirm the availability of suitable charging stations on route?
  • Can breaks be aligned to charging opportunities?
  • Do drivers understand how long charging is likely to take?
Journey planning should be covered in driver training programmes so that drivers can confidently know how to identify the location of charging stations.
  • DriveTech – EV driver and fleet manager training and support
  • Lightfoot – live EV driver coaching and fuel saving tool 
  • VUE – CCTV in-vehicle camera solutions 
  • Tracker – discounted stolen vehicle recovery systems 

Alternatively fuelled vehicles require specialist technicians who have high voltage awareness training. In the same way as running out of fuel or a dead car battery, EV breakdowns may be as a result of lack of charge.

To ensure business vehicles are back on the road quickly, consider a breakdown provider who offers the same level of roadside assistance for EVs as they do petrol or diesel vehicles.

Our partners the AA can cover EV and hybrid vehicles as standard and will tow to a charging point or your destination – whichever's nearer.

Software related challenges are not unique to EVs, but as EVs tend to be newer with built-in connectivity, they’re more likely to be susceptible to new types of risks. 

Just in the same way as new tyres are installed when needed, it’s important to maintain the software in a vehicle to ensure it remains up to date.  Much like smartphone updates, vehicle OTA changes aim to minimise bugs or possible security vulnerabilities which have been identified by the manufacturer.

Installing OTAs is key to maintaining Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) and minimising the risk posed by cyber-attacks.  Effective vehicle software management should include:      

  • understanding how to accept and install software changes safely in line with manufacturer guidance (such as only when parked, with a certain amount of charge etc.)
  • installation as soon as reasonably possible when requested by the manufacturer or software provider
  • acceptance of updates prompted and approved only by the manufacturer.