Many of the challenges to creating a shared charging network could potentially be resolved quite quickly, according to research by the Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP).

The AFP’s recently formed shared charging committee, which includes representatives from Royal Mail, the AA and National Grid, has been investigating ways in which businesses can make their electric vehicle (EV) chargers available to other organisations.

AFP chair Paul Hollick said the group had just held its third meeting, and that it appeared many of the tasks surrounding the practicalities of shared charging could potentially be resolved quite quickly. 

He said: ”Where we are now is that we have a set of electric van operators who think that shared charging is a very good idea and would really like to make it happen. It is the objective of the new committee to look at what needs to be done to make it a practical proposition. 

“There are a whole series of hurdles that we face – including setting prices, payment mechanisms, reimbursement, site access, health and safety on premises and more – but from our discussions so far, none of them appear to be impossible to solve.” 

Fleets represented at the latest meeting were The AA, Alliance Healthcare, Auditel, IFC Group, National Grid, Novuna and Royal Mail. Also taking part was Evata, a company that specialises in digital infrastructure for shared charging. 

Hollick said: “The fleets involved have a range of different ideas and propositions. Some want to arrange reciprocal charging with others on a national basis, some have chargers and would like to offer access to others, and some even have land available where they would potentially be able to install further chargers for widespread fleet use. 

“There seems to be general agreement that shared charging is not really about overnight use but providing an option for top-up charging that enables an electric van driver to complete their journey during a working day. 

“From our latest meeting, it appears that digital infrastructure is available that would answer many of the questions that we have around pricing, payment, blocking out availability to ensure that home fleets get priority access to charging when they need it, and even site access where there are security measures in place such as RFID gate access. 

Hollick said health and safety was a key issue with concerns centring site access. He explained: ”If anything, the main discussion point seems to be health and safety, with employees entering sites where there are potential risks present of many different kinds.

”This has implications for both the business providing charging and the visiting driver, and is one of the questions that we’ll be looking at during our next meeting in May.

“However, there appears to be a real will to make this work. Creating greater access to charging is really the number one measure that would help electric van operators to solve many of the operational issues that they face, and shared charging could massively increase the number of chargers available at a stroke. We do seem to be making strong progress.” 

Research undertaken by the AFP in October that showed almost six out of 10 van fleets (58%) would consider sharing their depot or public charging infrastructure with others to make electrification more practical.

 The shared charging committee can be contacted at