Misinformation about the safety of electric vehicles are being spread in the fleet industry, according to the Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP).

The AFP report that a small number of people in some companies are sharing these scare stories, which are not helping the cause of EV education and adoption. Fleet managers are being forced to respond to this wave of lies, rumour and misinformation, as they fight to make fleets all electric within the next 10 years.

As with any new technology, especially motorised transport, the media are quick to seize upon any fears or concerns the public may have, fanning and feeding them with new, ever more lurid stories. There have been reports of EVs catching fire easily, running out of power at the same time in cold weather, and being more environmentally unfriendly than traditional ICE vehicles. A recent story about a ‘runaway’ electric car (proven to be the fabrication of a drunk driver) is just one example of how misinformation can damage public perception.

“In most cases, there is nothing malicious about the actions of these people,” said Paul Hollick, chair of the AFP. “They just don’t know much about EV technology, believe what they read online, and are subsequently fearful of scenarios involving EVs that are vanishingly unlikely to actually happen.”

“We’ve talked quite a lot in recent times about how fleet managers have spent the last couple of years achieving easy wins in terms of EV adoption and we’re now into a phase that is a much more of a grind”, said Hollick. “That means tackling more difficult areas such as van electrification and building operations in more geographically remote areas. Part of this grind involves pushing back against EV misinformation.”

The reality is increasingly that as soon as fleet drivers make the switch to EVs, most would not go back to a petrol or diesel vehicle.