July 25, 2024

Improving Twelve-Volt Battery Technology Needed

Improvements needed in twelve volt battery technology, according to the Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP), as issues of “bricking” continue to hinder the adoption of electric vans.

Chairman of AFP, Paul Hollick, emphasized that despite the widespread awareness, many fleets are still facing situations where their vans become inoperable and need to be towed to a dealership for reboot.

Hollick elaborated: “The core issue arises when an electric van is left idle for a few weeks, causing the 12v battery to drain and rendering the vehicle unstartable and unchargeable. The only solution is to return it to the dealership, where the resolution process can take weeks.”

“We are receiving reports from members who are receiving electric vans in this state and are forced to reject them immediately, which is completely unacceptable. This is undeniably impacting the willingness of some fleets to transition to electric vans.”

“The response from the few manufacturers involved, affecting multiple models, has varied. Some are actively working on solutions, while others are lagging behind.

Could revised software be the key to preserving the 12 volt battery for longer?

“Our members understand that adopting electric vans means being at the forefront of new technology, with inevitable teething problems. However, there is a consensus that the 12 volt battery technology used is not keeping up with the advancements seen in electric vehicle batteries in recent years, leading to a notable discrepancy in the effort manufacturers are putting into resolving this issue.”

Paul suggested that the most common immediate solution proposed by manufacturers is revised software to extend the life of the 12 volt battery.

“Some manufacturers claim that new software is in development and could be available in a matter of weeks or months, while others are less transparent. The latter are not winning favor among fleet operators.”

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long does the 12 volt battery in an electric van typically last?

2. Are all electric van manufacturers facing the same 12 volt battery issues?

3. What measures can fleet operators take to prevent 12 volt battery drain in electric vans?


Addressing the challenges posed by 12 volt battery technology in electric vans is crucial for the widespread adoption of these vehicles in fleets. Manufacturers need to prioritize developing solutions, such as revised software, to ensure the longevity and reliability of the 12 volt battery. Fleet operators must also stay informed and proactive in managing the maintenance and usage of electric vans to minimize downtime and operational disruptions.

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