A new mobile service, manufacturing and repair service for fleet electric vehicles is being hailed as a ‘game changer’.
The service is operated by the RAC and has been rolled out nationwide after a 10-month trial with the British Gas fleet. The utility company has described the benefits of the service as ‘huge’.
Under the SMR ‘we come to you’ solution, servicing of vehicles is done wherever it is most convenient for the customer. Work can be scheduled at a time to suit the driver and fleet manager, which could be outside core operating hours, before or after a driver’s shift, or on a rest day.
Delivered by the RAC’s EV technicians, who are all qualified to IMI Level 3, the mobile servicing solution was developed with long-term client British Gas.
James Rooney, fleet engineering and innovation manager at British Gas, reported multiple benefits during the trial period. Vehicle downtime was cut from a day or more to just an hour, while the costs involved in sourcing a replacement van were completely avoided.
“Workshop availability is shocking,” said Rooney. “As ICE vehicles age (due to vehicle shortages), they are breaking down more, but there are also fewer mechanics. There is more repair demand and less capacity, and not all mechanics are trained on EVs, so it’s a perfect storm. The RAC opening up another channel for EVs is huge.”
Martyn Buchan, head of fleet and banking at RAC, believes the new service will be a game changer for EV servicing and maintenance.
“Mobile EV servicing drives benefits such as downtime reduction that delivers the wholelife cost benefit of an EV against an ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle,” said Buchan.
RAC’s mobile EV servicing vehicles are equipped with the safety kit and insulated tooling required to work around high-voltage systems. Its team of remote EV technicians are also on hand to assist with any vehicle-specific service queries fleet managers may have, particularly assisting with the transition from ICE vehicles to EVs.