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Electric vehicles are suitable for higher-mileage drivers, says Arval

High-mileage drivers can use electric vehicles if their daily driving profile is suitable.

Hyundai Kona Electric

The higher-spec Kona Electric model brings an official range of 279 miles

So says Arval, adding that the persistent belief that pure electric vehicles are only suitable for low annual mileage needs to be overturned.

According to head of consulting Shaun Sadlier, the myth that EVs are not a suitable choice for drivers covering more than a few thousand miles a year is still frequently bandied around.

He explained: “This argument is really an extension of range anxiety, the idea that because an EV has a limited range and takes time to recharge, that it cannot cover a longer distance annually.”

However, Sadlier added, the real-world suitability of EVs depends much more on the range of a particular model and each driver’s actual needs on a day-by-day basis.

“If you look at a driver who covers 25,000 miles a year, towards the upper end of the typical fleet spectrum, then the suitability of an EV rests entirely on their daily mileage.

“If that driver covers 246 miles, twice a week, for 46 weeks of the year, then an EV is probably not for them. They are exceeding or getting close to the maximum range of even the best EVs that are now available on the market.

“However, if they drive 110 miles, five days a week, for 46 weeks of the year and this mileage pattern is very predictable, then an EV could absolutely be suitable because it is well within the range for most models and the car can be recharged overnight.”

Sadlier added that there was an argument that the financial model of EVs meant that the higher the mileage, the more cost-effective an EV becomes.

“Most EVs have a relatively high monthly rental but a low per mile operating cost when compared to a comparative ICE model, so the more miles you cover, the more attractive they become from a whole life cost point of view.

“Once this is pointed out to fleets, you can see a kind of light bulb moment occurring. They realise that EVs are not just for short trips around cities, for example. It is, from our point of view, a myth that very much needs to be challenged in order to increase EV adoption.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.