Gareth Pinkerton’s Perspective on Commercial Fleets Moving to Electric or Alternative Fuel

Following a busy CV Show 2024 for ETRUX at the NEC, it was increasingly clear that as we continue to navigate the challenges of climate change and seek sustainable solutions, the transportation industry stands at a pivotal moment. Commercial vehicle fleets are a significant contributor to reducing carbon emissions. However, there’s a promising shift happening – the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in commercial fleets. As part of the Engineering team here at ETRUX, I’ve witnessed firsthand the potential of this transition and the exciting developments that lie ahead.

Electric vehicles have been gaining traction in recent years across all markets, and for good reason. They offer numerous benefits over traditional internal combustion engine vehicles, especially when it comes to commercial vehicle conversions in the UK. Obviously, the environmental impact reduction is significant, and businesses will benefit from gaining access to larger contracts if they endeavor to move to a low-carbon fleet. Add to this the cost savings across the lifetime of the vehicle due to lower maintenance and minimised operational overheads, plus the regulatory incentives that are available, it becomes a seriously viable alternative to continuing with a diesel fleet.

Despite the clear benefits, transitioning an entire commercial fleet to electric vehicles is not without its challenges, and there still is some resistance. Everyone has concerns about range anxiety, which is a major barrier to the adoption of electric vehicles, particularly for long-haul trucks. However, advancements in battery technology are extending the range of EVs, while rapid charging infrastructure is becoming more widespread. Building a robust charging network is essential for the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. ETRUX is working with public and private companies to install charging stations in key locations, ensuring that commercial fleets have access to reliable charging infrastructure.

I’m excited about the future of electric vehicles in commercial fleets. The technology is advancing rapidly, and the possibilities are endless. A few trends I anticipate in the coming years include the increase in specialised vehicles, which are highly adaptable, making them ideal for a wide range of commercial applications. From delivery vans to bin lorries, our vehicle conversion engineering team will continue to develop specialised electric vehicles tailored to specific industries.

The development of next-generation batteries will further improve the performance and range of electric vehicles, and we are actively working at integrating these advanced battery technologies into commercial fleets, unlocking even greater potential for electrification. We are also in a great position in having our own composite component and panel manufacturing capabilities in Jans Composites, which ensures that lightweight and complex requirements can be easily handled on-site. We are developing some exciting materials too that will ensure that every vehicle maximises its green credentials.

In conclusion, the electrification of commercial fleets represents a significant opportunity to reduce emissions, cut costs, and drive innovation in the transportation industry. As a vehicle conversion engineer with ETRUX, I’m proud to be at the forefront of this transformation, helping to build a cleaner and more sustainable future, one electric vehicle at a time.