BuyBy vs BuyFor: How fleets will drive demand for charging infrastructure.

Imagine going to work and being given a laptop without a charger. If you’re expected to work every day, you’re going to need to find a way to charge it. The same can be said for the future of fleets. With companies snapping up Low Carbon Vehicles, they’re going to need a way to top up their batteries to be able to work.

Most Electric Vehicles (EVs) on the roads today belong to earlier adopters. Owners have bought their vehicles (BuyBy) to support a change in their lifestyle. As fleets adopt EVs, drivers will have their vehicles bought for them (BuyFor) as requisite to do their job. With around 25% of properties in the UK not having off-street parking, this change will instigate a huge change in the demand for charging infrastructure.


Dwarfing the BuyBy drivers

38,000 Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) were registered on our roads last year, and most of these sales were private. Private owners are willing to invest in the high-cost technology and, most importantly, have the space on their property to accommodate the charging needed to support their journeys. As adoption is based on product fit an availability, uptake is slow and spread out across geographical areas.

Compared to the 1.5 million cars registered by the corporates in 2019, private registrations are a drop in the electric ocean. Corporate demand for EVs is consistently rising, so it’s safe to assume that in the coming years this part of the market will dwarf private sales.


The issues for BuyFor drivers

BuyFor drivers don’t have a choice in the vehicle they get, they’re just expected to do their job. We’ve already discussed the drastic difference in mileage between personal and business drivers in a previous article. To keep it brief, in order for business drivers to do their job, they’ll need 5 x more charge compared to BuyBy users. They’ll have to rely on overnight charging, but nearly a quarter just don’t have the space.

Organisations tend to buy in bulk, so while this issue isn’t really important now, it won’t take long for that to change. Fleets also tend to be localised, so depending on the city figures for household that can’t charge overnight at home could be a lot higher.

As an example of scale, let’s look at BT Openreach. Their goal is to be Net Zero by 2045, and their fleet accounts for a staggering 66% of their operations emissions. In the combined commercial fleet, there are roughly 30,500 vehicles that they’re looking to shift to Low Carbon/Electric vehicles. Using our analysis of off-street parking in Great Britain (EV Map) 24.6% of these drivers won’t be able to charge overnight. That’s 7995 workers that won’t be able to do their job. This example only looks at one company, when you start to replicate this out across other organisations with large fleet holdings the scale of the issue becomes clear.

When the supply of EVs catches up for the demand, we’re going to see a lot more electric vehicles being bought by organisations for their workers. A lot of these workers will have to rely on public charging stations to be able to travel for their job. Local Authorities are going to have to act fast to preempt this demand and make the transition to low carbon fleets achievable.

As fleets go electric, nearly 25% of drivers don’t have anywhere to charge them.

In our last article, we discussed the impact fleets are going to have on EV ownership. In case you need a recap, 2019 saw 1,711,000 new vehicles registered to corporations. Electric Vehicles (EVs) are becoming an increasingly popular choice among companies as they try to align their fleets with lower emission or Net Zero initiatives.

As fleets move towards EVs, new issues will arise surrounding charging. For these drivers to be able to do their job, they’ll need to charge overnight. But, based on our analysis of residential parking (EV Map), 6,642,000 households in the UK don’t have the space to park and charge off street.


Business drivers will need 100kWh of charge per week

Business drivers will use their vehicles in a different way to private owners. Private owners typically do 3,100 miles per year, or around 60 miles per week. In contrast Business drivers do 18,000 miles per year, covering around 70 miles per day. Their mileage is done consecutively across the working week, so in order to keep working, these vehicles will need to be charged overnight.

If 1kWh of home charging provides 3.4 miles of range, these vehicles will need 100kWh of charge, or 20kwh per day, to keep them on the move. A typical overnight home charger is 7.2kW, this means that 3 hours of charging would cover this deficit.


Right now, each on street charger has to service 1492 vehicles…

Throughout our projects with electric vehicles, we’ve been researching residential charging availability (EV Map).

We analysed all 27 million households in Great Britain to understand whether they can or cannot park and charge an electric vehicle off street at home. Through this research, we determined that a staggering 24.6% of households don’t have access to off street parking. That’s 6,642,000 households that will need to need rely on our public charging network.

Our existing public infrastructure isn’t placed to support overnight charging – they’re located away from residential areas and placed in city centres, supermarkets and other short stay destinations. According to ZapMap, we have almost 17,000 public chargers, and only 4,453 are on-street. Without even considering their location, this works out to be roughly 1 on street charger for every 1492 households without parking.

On street charging provisions need to be increased dramatically to support those that are unable to charge overnight at home and allow them to do their jobs.


From a lifestyle change to a livelihood

As the way the country uses EVs changes, so will the needs of its residents. Right now, councils receive requests for chargers from earlier adopters who’re looking to change their lifestyle. Soon these requests will move from the superficial to something that people need in order to do their jobs. Investments in public networks will have to be well planned in order to protect the livelihoods of these residents and keep them moving.

Companies made up 59% of new vehicle registrations last year, so why are charging policies centred on private users?

More than 1.7 million new vehicles we purchased by companies last year.

The demographics of EV drivers are changing.

By the end of 2019, there were 36 million cars and Light Goods Vehicles (LGVs) on Britain’s roads, with 2.9 million being registered that year alone. Fleet vehicles make up a huge proportion of these new vehicle sales, with 1,711,000 being registered by companies – almost 60% of new registrations.

Net Zero and low emission transport are a high priority to commercial organisations, fleet investments are moving away from the traditional ICE vehicles towards greener, Electric Vehicles (EVs). This change is happening quickly, with British companies being predicted to spend an anticipated £12 billion on Electric Vehicles in the next 2 years.

The above means that corporations will be the biggest purchaser/leaser of EVs. Some organisations are already making the switch, with Amazon placing a 100,000 unit order with Electric Vehicle start-up Rivian. Other large organisations, such as Asda, Boots and British Gas, are following suit and experimenting with EVs in their fleet configurations.

Changing policy to match demand

Current policy surrounding electric vehicle charging is based on historic usage. Early Adopters were driven by environmental impact and influenced by individual product fit and availability. They were able to cover the high cost of entry these products held and had a safe place to charge them overnight at home. These private users typically do 3.10O personal miles per year, or 60 miles per week.

When companies begin providing EVs for their workforce, the way vehicles are used and the demographics of people that use them is going to change dramatically. In contrast to personal miles, Business users travel nearly 5 times more per year (18,000 miles). Broken down into days, business drivers will need to be able to charge their vehicles overnight to complete the 70 miles per day they travel at work.

To cover 346 miles per week, these electric vehicles need just over 100kWh of charge – something that can only be realistically achieved though overnight charging. But what happens when you don’t have off street parking?

Keeping the workforce moving

With 1-in-3 managers aiming to electrify half of their fleet by 2025, the policy on charging needs to change to align with the needs of corporate drivers. Both Central Government and Local Authorities will need to think carefully about who would benefit most from a strong public charging network, how often they’ll need them and, most importantly, where these chargers are placed.

The Active Wellbeing Society have been supported by Field Dynamics to help Birmingham communities with Coronavirus Emergency Relief #BrumTogether

#BrumTogether represents a network of grassroots organisation who are doing all they can to provide valuable support for vulnerable communities affected by the COVID19 pandemic. This includes the coordination of food parcel deliveries to communities in need around Birmingham and a befriending service.

The operation, which includes circa 70 organisations, who have come together in a short space of time, as well as growing rapidly to meet the needs of the community. With this comes growing complexity and a need for insight to help The Active Wellbeing Society with coordination and planning.

Field Dynamics donated their time and resources and made sense of their data so they could quickly process data, analyse patterns and trends to see where help was needed, and help with the vital food supply chain to meet the demand.

“The whole #brumtogether effort is a testament to the way the community have come together to help those in need in any way they can. This includes Field Dynamics, Birmingham based technology experts, stepping in and providing valuable insight to support our food operation.”

Steve Rose, Deputy Chief Exec at The Active Wellbeing Society

If you’d like to support the Active Wellbeing Society, you can read about their activities here.

Field Dynamics awarded IS0 27001 Information Security certification

After months of hard work spearheaded by our Security team, Field Dynamics has reached a new milestone on our compliance journey.  We’re excited to announce that we have been awarded the ISO 27001 certification. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our entire team for making this happen.


What is ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 is a government-backed information security accreditation. The internationally recognised framework describes best practices for an ISMS (Information Security Management System). It helps organisations manage and protect the information held within their business, and safeguard any future data.

The standard includes a range of controls across 14 clauses:

  • A.5 – Information security policies
  • A.6 – Organization of information security
  • A.7 – Human resource security
  • A.8 – Asset management
  • A.9 – Access control
  • A.10 – Cryptography
  • A.11 – Physical and environmental security
  • A.12 – Operations security
  • A.13 – Communications security
  • A.14 – System acquisition, development and maintenance
  • A.15 – Supplier relationships
  • A.16 – Information security incident management
  • A.17 – Information security aspects of business continuity management
  • A.18 – Compliance; with internal requirements, such as policies, and with external requirements, such as laws

To qualify, we’ve had to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to managing and protecting the data that we work with. Our compliance against this framework has been validated using independent auditors to ensure our customer data is secure.


What does this mean for our clients?

We understand that the data get from our clients with is critical their organisation, which is why we want to treat it that way. This accreditation highlights the steps that we take to make sure that the data we work with is safe.

If you’d like to learn more about the ISO 27001 accreditation, please visit their website.

EV Up Nominated for Data Project of the Year at Network Awards

EV Up, a partnership project between SP Energy Networks and Field Dynamics, has been shortlisted for Data Project of the Year at the Network Awards 2020.

Created by the team behind industry magazine Network, the annual Network Awards show honours the people, projects and innovations that are changing the shape of the energy industry.

Field Dynamics has worked with SP Energy Networks to develop the EV Up tool on its Accelerated Insight Platform. Output from the model will allow the network operator to better understand where demand for electric vehicles will come from so that it can plan and prioritise investments in network resilience. The tool will help SP Energy Networks enable communities across the UK to support Government targets on climate change and ultimately deliver a low carbon society.

You can read more about Field Dynamics role in EV Up! in our previous release.

Charlie Gilbert, Partner at Field Dynamics, said: “We are really proud to have been shortlisted alongside other leading data projects in the sector. Our EV adoption methodology combined with the power of our cloud intelligence platform is enabling access to a completely new tier of insight.”

Nicol Gray, Senior Project Manager at SP Energy Networks, said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for a Network Award and are really proud of what our EV Up project is set to achieve. At a time when decarbonisation is high on the agenda, we are ready to play our part in delivering against net zero targets, which projects like this are critical to.”

Winners of the Network Awards will be announced on March 17th, 2020 with an award show at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole.

How Many Viable EV Public Chargers Do We Actually Have?

The latest news from Zap-Map suggests that there are over 28,000 public EV charge points in the UK. 

While the maths is right, only a small minority of these charge-points are actually viable. This means that the charging estate that we are relying on to support a huge change in transport is far smaller than 28,000 recorded – as if that were enough chargers in the first place.

Take my recent trip with my son to Newcastle as an example. For a bit of background, Newcastle is 236 miles from where I live and I’m lucky enough to have a Tesla X, capable of both long-distance travel and Supercharger use.

The trip up was easy and demonstrates how good a modern EV is. We whizzed up in near silence and then 2 hours later had a break just North of Sheffield for 25 mins. In that time we fitted in a loo-break, a pie and enough Supercharge to get us to Newcastle with 50 miles to spare. Range anxiety – I don’t think so.

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Then we got to Newcastle and the experience of non-Tesla owners really started to bite…

Of the 26 chargers recorded on Zap-Map, 8 (31%) were recorded as broken.

Of the remainder, we picked two on the street next to the hotel. Both were blocked by diesel SUVs and not ticketed by the parking attendants. It was late, so we gave up and parked under the hotel.

The next day we moved the car to another carpark that claimed to have 17 chargers. They were un-signposted, so we hunted around until we found them. It then got worse. After 4 attempts we got the machines to work but it would be worth it with 4 hours of “fast” charging ahead.

The disappointment first set in when I found the charger had only added 20 miles. This disappointment grew when the Charger-your-Car charger refused to release the cable – clearly, a common problem as this is the first option on the support number. A number that they hadn’t answered after 25 minutes before my son lost patience and performed a modified Heimlich on the machine. Cable-free!

Now low on charge we travelled to Blaydon and tried the impressive GeniePoint machine at a supermarket. Impressive in size if not performance. The record below shows me paying them £10 at 1:30 pm and still fighting the machine 15 mins later as it repeatedly refused to charge my car. I gave up. But not after the charger had taken £1 off me for the pleasure.

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Finally, we reluctantly left the wonderful Newcastle and relied again on Tesla and the fundamentally different experience that Tesla offers its customers.

The car’s Sat Nav told me where the nearest charger was, how many slots where there and checked for availability. When we arrived, the charger recognised the car and seamlessly connected. What makes the experience truly different is that the Sat Nav worked out the whole journey for me, told me where to top-up and how long it takes. You really just don’t have to try, it is so easy.

So, there are supposed to be more than 28,000 charging points in the UK. Given my experience in Newcastle, which is very similar to what I experience across the UK, the actual number of chargers that are in a viable location, charge at a usable speed and actually work is a far smaller number. But we desperately need to understand this number, which my guess is less than 50% of the 28,000 otherwise we will be pushing for a transformation based on the foundations of sand.

It’s also clear that we know how to deliver the right experience – it is the Tesla experience. Until the OEMs and charge providers wake up and catch up then we will need to brace ourselves for an onslaught of complaints when the mainstream moves to EVs.

Article originally posted by Ben Allan on 22/11/2019 via LinkedIn.

Baringa and Field Dynamics joint press statement on EDF’s acquisition of Pivot Power

Baringa Partners and Field Dynamics are pleased to have supported EDF in its acquisition of Pivot Power.

EDF commissioned Baringa and Field Dynamics to appraise the electric vehicle (EV) uptake potential and charging demand at each of the portfolio sites, using the market-leading EV demand analysis tool that they have jointly developed.  This combines detailed EV deployment and charging scenarios with highly granular spatial distribution analysis, providing a data-rich picture of the proposed sites, accounting for all types of vehicles and customer segments.

The analysis captures hourly shape of charging as well as the specific locations of local businesses, commercial and public transport fleets, transit demand from highways, and local distribution of homes with and without off-street parking.  This tool was key in assessing the overall commercial opportunity at each particular site under different scenarios.

Oliver Rix from Baringa Partners said:  “This announcement from EDF shows a serious commitment to battery storage and electric vehicle technologies.  We are very happy to have embedded our market-leading EV expertise within Field Dynamics’ advanced spatial platform to provide the site-level information that EDF needed to reach its decision.”

Charlie Gilbert from Field Dynamics said: “This announcement is great for EV adoption and the drive towards Net Zero, and we are delighted to deliver yet another EV project with our partner Baringa. Our Accelerated Insight Platform workflows and algorithms dovetailed seamlessly with Baringa’s sophisticated energy modelling capability”

For more information, please contact:

Samantha Cliff
Head of Marketing
0121 232 8050

Why Company Cars will be the EV’s Saviour… and its Biggest Problem

What’s interesting about the UK car market isn’t its size (31 million cars), it’s how these cars get there in the first place and crucially how that will affect the broader adoption of EVs.

Over 2 million new cars were sold last year, of which 57% were bought as company cars. These are sold on quite quickly, meaning companies buy most of the 31 million cars that most people end up owning. In other words, Fleet Directors decide the composition of the UK fleet. And most large fleet directors have said they will move to EVs as soon as there is a suitable model available.

Why do Fleet Directors want EVs?

Corporates are different from consumers. Corporates look at non-car factors such as carbon reduction goals and corporate branding when making purchasing decisions– think how odd it will be for an electricity company to choose not to use electricity to power its cars. They also look carefully at Total Cost of Ownership and already EVs are far ahead of their fossil-fuelled counterparts. All of these factors drive a much higher appetite for electric cars in the corporate sector than in the private sector. We’ve seen this first hand. In our consultancy business, we do not have a single customer who does not have an EV plan in place.

So, all’s good then? Manufacturers will shortly come to market with some viable fleet models, these will be snapped up at volume and the UK fleet will migrate to EVs at a great pace.

Not quite.

Company cars have one inherent difference; they cover high mileages, annually averaging 18,000 miles per year against the UK personal average of 5,104. High mileage means high charging.

The Rising Tide

Consumer EV adoption has been similar, in many ways, to a rising tide. There has been a gentle increase across all types of EVs and geographical areas. DNOs (Electricity distribution companies) have been able to keep ahead of this demand increase by making gentle improvements across all areas. This follows the theory of Diversified Demand, where different people demand power at different times. Charging patterns are the same.

Apologies for all the maths, but we need to chew through this.

An average annual mileage of 5,104 means about 98 miles per week which would require around 28kWh of charging. Off-peak home charging provides around 50kWh per night (7hrs at 7.2kWh) or 350kWh per week. So an electricity company only needs to find 28kWh in the window of 350kWh to charge the average car. This enables the electricity company to spread and diversify the needs of one driver across many others. The Rising Tide.

The Crashing Wave

Company drivers are different though: they are time-constrained, they return home with a low “tank” and need it full the next day. Using the same sums as before, 18,000 annual miles means 346 miles per week and a weekly charge of 100kWh. By definition, this mileage and charging will need to happen during the working week, so we are looking at finding 20kWh per night in a charging window of 50kWh. This is much harder to spread, especially when we try to ask a company car driver to sacrifice charging for the common good.

What makes this worse is that large corporates move in big steps, buying individual models of cars in their thousands. So we go from very few difficult balancers to hundreds and thousands in the time it takes to drive the new EV from the depot. Finally, company cars are not equally geographically spread, they are localised. Recruitment profiles will tend to mean that company car drivers often live quite closely together.

The end result will be very fast build-ups of un-diversified demand in concentrated areas. A Crashing Wave.

Is It All Bad News?

Not at all if the right planning goes in.

While the main manufacturers are moving towards delivering a fleet model, they are still some way off – needing several more battery factories before they can deliver at volume. In addition, the location of these Crashing Waves can be predicted, so strengthening can be focussed.

Biggest Accelerator of EV Ownership

What this will be is great news for the EV market overall. It will bring a whole swathe of new drivers into the EV experience, this positive experience will be disseminated to a wider group of drivers and crucially, the second-hand market will get a huge injection of affordable EVs. Without a doubt, company cars will be the biggest accelerator of EV ownership in the UK.

So bring on the Crashing Wave, just as long as it doesn’t hit your street before the new powerlines have gone in.


Article originally posted by Ben Allan on 04/09/2019 via LinkedIn.

We’re on G-Cloud 11

Does your organisation need to procure innovative solutions via G-Cloud?

We are pleased to announce that we are once again listed as a supplier on the latest G-Cloud 11 framework, available through the governments’ Digital Marketplace. You will find our services listed under the “Cloud Software” category.

Field Dynamics services currently available on the Digital Marketplace include:

  • Accelerated Insight Platform (AIP) – get detailed answers to your complex operational questions, fast. A unique and dinnovative solution which delivers data insight using Cloud technology and AI capabilities.
  • FME Cloud – fully embrace the automation and integration functionality of the renowned spatail data tool, FME. From simple translations to heavyweight data processes, FME can handle it all.
  • JRNI (formerly BookingBug) – all of our online booking requirements, from appointments and events to courses, are realised with the corporate platform JRNI. Integrate into your existing website, and transform the experience of your customers for the better.
  • Tableau – visualise and get an enhanced understanding of your data with the market-leading software. Users can author and share data visualisations online, so teams across multiple business functions get a view of it.

You can check-out our listings here.