Nearly two-thirds of van fleets would consider sharing on-site electric vehicle charging infrastructure with other operators, according to a new survey.

The Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP) say that 62% of fleets would be happy to enter into co-operative agreements with other fleets to allow mutual access to depot infrastructure. The AFP research revealed that demand for these kind of open arrangements is most acute for businesses in Scotland, the West Midlands and the South West.

The research also showed that current charging infrastructure in depots is a barrier to electrification for 65% of fleets. 49% of fleets surveyed said that employees were struggling with EV charging at home, with the main challenges being charger installation, connection, hardware and energy costs.

“The subject of shared charging is being discussed more and more across our organisation and is increasingly seen as a way forward for solving the issue of limited infrastructure,” said Paul Hollick, chair at the AFP.

“Potentially, providing mutual access to charging could mean van fleets will be able to access power in areas where there is limited public charging in place or where energy prices are high for the chargers that are available.”

Hollick acknowledges that there would be problems to overcome to make infrastructure sharing a success, such as the mechanism for payment and a process of booking access to individual chargers.

However, “these appear to be far from insoluble and could provide a valuable part of the charging options available to van fleet operators in the future. The research shows that there is a genuine interest in the subject.”

The AFP is due to publish a new national charging map before the end of the year, highlighting where charging infrastructure is most needed for van fleet operators.