What’s next in EVs

With current technological improvements, coupled with amazing environmental and economic benefits and increasing public acceptance, the stage is set for an EV revolution. As a company that puts sustainability at the very heart of its strategy, LeasePlan was electrified to host What’s next in EVs today. During our live event, we took a look at the latest EVs on the market with Robert Llewellyn, Host of the Fully Charged show, deep-dived into LeasePlan’s EV Readiness Index with Berno Kleinherenbrink, Chief Commercial Officer at LeasePlan, and allowed our experts to answer your most burning questions about EVs.

Innovation from China

Following an expert overview of some of the latest EVs on the market, Robert made the grand prediction that “China is going to enter the European car market in a big way in the next few years,” with EVs that are not only cheaper but also incredibly well-built. It seems that charging will always be an issue for some, but Robert is clear about the prerequisite to going full electric, “Charging at home is the cheapest way to run a car”, especially during off-peak hours.” Meanwhile, destination charging (at the office, for instance) “provides maximum driver convenience while keeping costs at bay.” New solutions for public charging stations are on the rise: some companies are even converting existing petrol stations. Asked about his favourite new EV, Robert called the new VW ID4, a “pleasant surprise” for a mid-sized EV, and “well-made, fuel-efficient and truly lovely”. In fact, he said, “I wanted to keep it.”

Europe more EV ready than ever

Presenting LeasePlan’s latest EV Readiness Index, our annual report that weighs key factors of EV preparedness across 22 European countries, Berno said, “The good news is that compared with last year we do see an improvement in EV readiness in all countries”, yet “infrastructure is the weakest link”. He also talked about the new LeasePlan Energy joint venture, which provides charging stations with renewable energy from solar and wind power. He also looked at the various ways LeasePlan helps companies to make the switch to EVs. One way is by leading by example and learning from it: LeasePlan is transitioning its employee fleet to EVs over the coming years. Because, as Berno says, “If you want to be at the forefront of EV, you need to put your money where your mouth is”.

Answering your questions

One of the most interesting questions raised by our participants, was whether the experts could see hydrogen fuel cell vehicles taking off in the next few years. “I’m sceptical about the practicality of HFC (Hydrogen Furl Cell) passenger vehicles and I’d be so happy to be proved really wrong,” said Robert. Berno added “It’s a bit similar to VHS vs Video 2000 - it’s not necessarily the best technology that will win. HFC is extremely expensive to produce, it’s expensive to build HFC fuel stations and if you look at the speed at which charging stations for battery-operated EVs are being rolled out, it’s a lost battle already”. Asked whether charging stations should be regulated, Robert thinks there’s no need because most charging stations are using green energy already. “If you can make money and also save money from using different technologies and clean energy, it’s a no-brainer.”

A huge thank you to everyone who took part in What’s Next in EVs, and an especially big thank you to Berno and Robert for making it all so enlightening. If you’d like to learn more, subscribe to our LeasePlan Community for updates on our next events, follow #whatsnextinevs on social media, download the full EV Readiness Index, or re-watch our event at your convenience.

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