Switching to Electric vehicles? Had you thought about driver training?

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Switching to Electric vehicles? Had you thought about driver training?


When a business gets new photocopying and printing equipment it is likely that staff will be given training to use it.

However, how many businesses think about training their drivers when they change their fleet from petrol or diesel-fuelled to Electric vehicles?

EVs are very different beasts and for a number of reasons.

A full charge in a pure electric vehicle will give a typical range of 100 miles. There are fewer mechanical components in an electric vehicle when compared with conventional vehicles, which can reduce servicing and maintenance costs.

Among the things to remember is that switching on the heater or the air conditioning after charging will drain at lest 30 miles-worth from its range.  It’s much better to switch the heater on while the vehicle is being charged.

Given the limit to its range, it is much more important to plan routes as economically as possible and with an eye to where drivers might find a charging point.  Typically, a petrol station charger will give about 30 minutes as a rapid charge, where a home charge will take 4-5 hours. It is important to consult the handbook before setting the mode for charging while driving.

You can preserve the charge by taking your foot off the accelerator and by using the brakes, which means you can go further when going downhill or waiting at traffic lights. The vehicle will charge while you have your foot on the brake.

Other tips for conserving charge include reading and observing the road to reduce unnecessary acceleration and braking, High speeds increase energy consumption in EVs.

Given that employers and drivers have a duty of care to other road users, something people forget while they are driving an EV is that they are almost silent, so no-one can hear the vehicle coming.

This is particularly important if a vehicle is reversing and there are blind spots, so the driver is unable to see whether there is anyone behind the vehicle.

It is also important to check whether the vehicle has a reversing warning or sound.

It is important for employers to give their drivers time to familiarise themselves with driving an EV to ensure they are comfortable with the differences and that they are driving safely when out on company business.

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