EV Rally interview: Webfleet

Transport + Energy are the Official Digital Media Partner for this year’s EV Rally. In the lead up to the event, Editorial Director Alec Peachey is catching up with a number of the participating teams. This week, he speaks to James Dewhurst – Webfleet’s UKI Sales Director.

Q. Tell us about your team, who are they?

A. ”Webfleet and Bridgestone are two prominent companies in the automotive and tyre industries, respectively. They have come together to form two teams for the Great British EV Rally. Webfleet is known for its fleet management and telematics solutions, while Bridgestone is a global leader in tyre manufacturing and automotive services. The enthusiastic Webfleet team comprises seasoned EV aficionados and drivers, as well as those who are eager to experience the electrifying world of EV technology for the first time. The atmosphere is positively buzzing with excitement within the company!”

Q. What is motivating you to take part?

A. ”The motivation behind participating in the GBEVR lies in demonstrating the capabilities and versatility of electric vehicles, highlighting the potential of sustainable transportation solutions for the future, and highlighting the vital role that EVs can play in UKI fleets. As the foremost technology collaborator, Webfleet is renowned for its industry-leading technology capable of tracking and optimising electric vehicle performance. This event perfectly aligns with our enthusiasm for a carbon-neutral mobility society, a central aspect of Bridgestone’s E8 pledge.”

Q. What do you think will be the greatest challenges?

A. ”The greatest challenges in the rally are likely to be navigating the varying terrains and weather conditions across the UK and Ireland, maintaining optimal performance and battery life in electric vehicles, and managing charging times and logistics throughout the 1,200-mile journey.

”This year the event heads over to Ireland. This decision will help to showcase the impressive potential of electric vehicles, even in regions with a relatively less established charging infrastructure. This will help to challenge misconceptions regarding EVs and highlight the remarkable strides made in battery technology and energy efficiency.

”Furthermore, the two-day Irish leg of the GB EV Rally will encourage the development and expansion of charging infrastructure in the region, ultimately fostering a greener and more sustainable future for all. By displaying the prowess of electric vehicles in traversing the beautiful landscapes of Ireland, the event aims to inspire both private and public stakeholders to invest in and support the transition to a more environmentally friendly transportation ecosystem.”

Q. What differences do you anticipate in the charging infrastructure as you race across the regions?

A. ”As the team travels across regions, they may encounter variations in the availability, accessibility, and compatibility of charging infrastructure. This could lead to the need for more strategic planning in terms of charging stops and time allocation. The rally is designed to challenge the participants to plan how they navigate these regional differences, but still make it work.”

Q. What are you most looking forward to?

A. ”The team is most likely looking forward to demonstrating the potential of EVs in real-world conditions, building awareness about the importance of transitioning to sustainable transportation solutions, and fostering a sense of camaraderie among participants as they work together to complete the rally. As the event’s data/telematics lead partner, Webfleet is especially thrilled to reveal valuable information about the EVs’ performance during the entire Rally.

”It is also an opportunity to engage Webfleet team members, partners, and industry professionals in the promotion of eco-friendly transportation. By involving a diverse group of participants, the event will create a collaborative environment that fosters learning and growth in the EV sector while addressing common misconceptions.”

Q. Why do you think it is important to showcase fleets? Do you think this type of event can educate fleet managers on their choices for the future?

A. ”Showcasing fleets is important because it highlights the diverse range of EVs available for various tasks and promotes their adoption in the UKI fleet industry. Events like the GBEVR can educate fleet managers and business owners on the practicality, efficiency, and environmental benefits of incorporating EVs into their fleets, helping them make informed decisions for a more sustainable future. It is also a case of showcasing how far the technology is developing year on year.” 

Q. Do you think that most barriers have now been overcome to allow for the widespread adoption of electric vehicles? What barriers, if any, remain? 

A. ”At Webfleet, we believe that significant strides have been made in overcoming many barriers to electric vehicle (EV) adoption. Technological advancements have led to improved battery life, charging infrastructure has expanded, and the range of available EV models has grown. However, some challenges remain, such as addressing lingering charging anxiety, further enhancing infrastructure, and ensuring affordability for all.

”The cost of purchasing electric vehicles (EVs) may initially seem daunting for some businesses. However, it is essential to assess these modern technologies based on their total cost of ownership (TCO) rather than just the upfront purchase price. TCO encompasses factors such as fuel savings, lower maintenance costs, and government incentives, which can make EVs a more cost-effective choice in the long run. For businesses unfamiliar with this holistic approach, understanding the full spectrum of running costs can help reveal the true value of investing in EVs, leading to more sustainable and economically viable transportation solutions.

”Webfleet EV solutions can significantly help reduce the barriers to EV adoption through a range of tools designed to plan, implement, optimise and continually improve the performance of EVs. No matter if you are beginning your adventure in the realm of electric vehicles or already managing a well-developed fleet, Webfleet has got you covered.

Q. What do you think the EV situation will look like in 2030?

A. ”By 2030, we envision a vastly different EV landscape. With continued innovation and collaboration between governments, manufacturers, and industry stakeholders, we expect to see a substantial increase in EV adoption. We anticipate advancements in battery technology, making EVs even more efficient and reliable, as well as further investments in charging infrastructure, making it more accessible and convenient.

”The Bridgestone E8 commitment is highly relevant to electric vehicles (EVs) as it focuses on sustainability and reducing the environmental impact of transportation. By developing innovative and eco-friendly tyre technologies, Bridgestone aims to improve the performance and efficiency of EVs, thereby supporting the wider adoption of electric mobility. Additionally, the company’s commitment to using sustainable materials and recycling initiatives aligns with the EV industry’s goal of reducing emissions and fostering a greener future. This synergy between Bridgestone and the EV sector illustrates the importance of cross-industry collaboration in achieving a sustainable transportation ecosystem.”

About Webfleet

Q. What are Webfleet’s latest EV innovations and technology?

A. ”Webfleet is at the forefront of EV innovations and technology, with a strong commitment to driving sustainable transportation solutions for the future. Our latest innovations include cutting-edge telematics solutions that enable seamless integration of EVs into fleet management systems. These solutions provide real-time monitoring of battery state of charge, charging status, and energy consumption, empowering fleet managers to optimise vehicle performance and minimise environmental impact. Additionally, we have introduced advanced route planning algorithms that consider charging infrastructure, ensuring that EVs can travel efficiently without range anxiety. By collaborating with industry leaders such as Volta Trucks, Chargylize and Bia, and with the backing of our parent company Bridgestone, we are constantly pushing the boundaries of EV technology and paving the way for a greener future.”

Q. What is Webfleet’s greatest opportunity and challenge leading up to 2030?

A. ”As we approach 2030, Webfleet sees the rapid expansion of EV adoption as our greatest opportunity. With governments and organisations worldwide setting ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions, the demand for sustainable transportation solutions is higher than ever. Webfleet is well-positioned to support this growing market by offering innovative and user-friendly solutions for businesses that are ready to transition to an electric fleet. We aim to become the go-to provider of EV-centric telematics and fleet management solutions, enabling organisations to reduce their carbon footprint, achieve regulatory compliance, and streamline operational efficiency while embracing the electric revolution.

”Our greatest challenge leading up to 2030 is staying ahead of the rapidly evolving EV landscape and meeting the diverse needs of our customers in various industries. As EV adoption accelerates, fleet managers will have to navigate new challenges, such as managing the complexities of charging infrastructure, and adapting to emerging technologies in batteries and charging systems. Webfleet is committed to continuously investing in research and development to ensure that our solutions remain innovative and can help our customers overcome these challenges. By staying at the forefront of EV technology and partnering with industry leaders, we are confident that we can overcome any obstacles and continue to drive positive change for the fleet industry and the environment.”

The EV Rally kicks off on 3 July in Cardiff. Participants will travel from Cardiff to Dublin, via London, Edinburgh and Belfast… all in 5 days! This has never been done, on a scale that will see around 50 all-electric motorcycles, cars, vans and trucks drive in excess of 1200 miles, carrying people, luggage and cargo.

Find out more at: https://ev-rally.co.uk

Images courtesy of Webfleet/Greenfleet.

Sign up for our essential
newsletter service.

Enter your details here.