Continuing 12-volt battery issues risk hindering electric van adoption: AFP

The Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP) is urging improvements in 12-volt battery technology, as “bricking” issues continue to hamper the adoption of electric vans.

“The core issue is that when an electric van is left idle for a few weeks, the 12-volt battery depletes, making it impossible to start or recharge the vehicle,” explained Paul Hollick, AFP chair. “This forces a return to the franchise dealer, and it can take weeks to resolve.”

Hollick noted that some members have received electric vans already in this state and had to reject them immediately.

The AFP highlights that 12-volt battery technology significantly lags behind advances in electric vehicle batteries. Manufacturers often suggest revised software to prolong 12-volt battery life as an immediate solution.

“Some manufacturers promise new software within weeks or months, while others are vague, frustrating fleet operators,” Hollick continued. “Even with a fix, the bricking issue will persist, just delayed, underscoring the technology’s weaknesses. Extending battery life to 3-4 weeks for holiday periods would be an improvement.”

“One AFP member is considering a £1 million investment in solar panels, highlighting the problem’s scope,” said Hollick. “While this fix could extend battery life, the van could still eventually brick. This issue likely won’t be fully resolved until the next generation of electric vans. Manufacturers need to step up.”

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