PLUG-IN HYBRID vehicles (PHEVs) have come in for heavy criticism recently. A report from the BBC suggested that many PHEVs remained with the charging cables still in the plastic wrapping.
However, ALD Automotive is undertaking a real-world trial with pharma company Merck Sharp & Dohme to evaluate the benefits PHEVs can deliver to company car drivers.
A group of 20 Merck Sharp & Dohme employees whose cars are due for replacement within the next 3-6 months have been given the use of a Mercedes C350e on a trial basis.
The drivers on the trial will be trained in how to get the best performance out of the PHEVs. ALD is setting up a microsite for Merck Sharp & Dohme drivers to access more information about the trial and to log their business journeys for simplified, one-click expenses claims.
All of the vehicles on the trial will be fitted with a telematics device to monitor the performance of the vehicle. Because each of the drivers has a unique daily journey, driving style and weekly mileage, this will give Merck Sharp & Dohme a sample of the fleet to assess the capability of the PHEVs across a range of driving conditions and journey profiles.
The key objective for the Merck Sharp & Dohme PHEV trial is to obtain data to discover whether such Alternatively Fuelled Vehicles could potentially deliver value in the long run.
Valuable data will be gathered to give a comprehensive picture of mpg, individual journey distances, total expected annual mileages and the number of journeys made in “engine off” mode. The trial will also look into the total reduction in CO2 emissions as well as the cost savings to drivers as well as to c.
Drivers on the trial are being offered vehicle home chargers, and Merck Sharp & Dohme has already installed 12 charging stations at its current Head Office.
The PHEV study is part of an ongoing review of Merck Sharp & Dohme’s mobility policy as the company moves from a rural country setting to central London.
Joe Carreira, EMEA Fleet Manager for Merck Sharp & Dohme, said:
“The purpose of the ALD review is to discover new ways in which we can make travel more efficient and explore what the options available to our employees could be in the future. Moving from a relatively rural location to a city centre location, will present many new transportation challenges that need to be tested. The hybrid trial is one potential solution that we are evaluating for future use.”