The English inventor Thomas Parker made it a reality; Tesla made it sexy; and now the British government are making it mandatory. And of course, we’re talking about electric vehicles.
Having sat on the fringes of the motor industry for more than a decade, global annual sales of new electric vehicles has now passed the 1 million mark. 2020 onwards will see the rise of the electric vehicle as governments across the world put them front and centre of their carbon emissions reduction strategies, with the onus now being placed firmly on OEMs to deliver viable solutions for all price points, distances and industries.
While the public have been the main focus of the efforts to migrate over to electric, fleet operators are now top of the pile given their usage of Britain’s transport network and impact on current emission levels. So, here’s the key things fleet operators need to know about and consider when it comes to electric vehicles.
What’s behind the move to electric vehicles and do you have a choice?
Car pollution is one of the biggest contributors to global warming and quite simply, you have no choice. As part of the UK government’s ‘Road to Zero’ carbon emissions strategy, it has banned the sale of all new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars from 2035, and pledged that by 2030 at least half of all new car sales, and up to 40% of new van sales, will be hybrid or electric. They are some very ambitious targets but necessary if the country wants to hit zero carbon emissions by 2050.
While this undoubtedly piles pressure on OEMs, which the Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have vocalised, the prospect of the technology becoming not only affordable, but also viable for the varying requirements of fleets across the country, is an exciting one.
Why should you consider an electric fleet?
There’s the philosophical answer, and there’s the operational answer.
Firstly, it goes without saying that we should all care about looking after the planet; secondly, in the long run the total cost of ownership of an electric vehicle will be much less than a vehicle with an internal combustion engine – the cost of electric, maintenance, tax and the residual loss of vehicle value are all much lower.
Presently, that initial outlay is quite high given the limited options on the market, but with this government mandate kicking OEMs into gear, expect to see a lot more affordable and practical options flooding the market in the very near future. The likes of DAF, Mercedes and Tesla have already released all electric HGVs, albeit with much shorter ranges.
Moreover, there is currently a heightened environmental awareness amongst consumers and businesses alike – they are actively seeking information on the green credentials of any brand or business, the provenance of goods, the methods of production, how they’ve been transported etc. If you can be seen to make a positive step in tackling a major polluting part of your business, it could potentially pay dividends for maintaining existing contracts and picking up new ones in the future.
Why should you start the transition now to an electric fleet?
Imagine having to switch your whole fleet over in one fell swoop, or in very close proximity at least – the bottom line would take a hammering!
Where the routes allow, changing over to an electric vehicle is the best use of capex when vehicles have done their mileage. And to help you along the way, the government is still offering grants to help with the installation costs of charging points – this may change as we get closer to 2035 with more people changing over, so take advantage while you can.
There are tools to help you make the switch
We’ve launched a little something that uses business intelligence to take the headache away for operators; it does the thinking for you, making it a quicker, easier, and more informed discussion with internal stakeholders and financial decision makers within the business as to the best road to take towards your future electric fleet.
Introducing EV-E (our Electric Vehicle Evaluator) - which integrates seamlessly with our advanced fleet management and tracking platform, DIRECTOR, and analyses multiple data points to provide operators with a detailed analysis of where electric vehicles could be adopted into their operation.
Furthermore, the clever algorithms behind EV-E not only tell you the feasibility of switching, they also calculate the total cost of ownership of an EV switch versus the existing fleet (purchase price, residual value, taxes, insurance, maintenance, electricity costs), as well as the total CO2 and fuel savings the business would make. To make it even simpler for fleet operators, based on the trip data EV-E will even recommend the ideal electric vehicles to switch to utilising EMEA databases, how many chargers and the type of chargers that would be required to run those vehicles, as well as where those chargers should be located to ensure no loss of battery based on the trips being undertaken.
EV-E requires a minimum of three months’ worth of trip data to provide a meaningful evaluation for fleet operators. The platform analyses everything, from the average number of trips overall and per vehicle, the distance, regularity, usage times, usage patterns, and time spent moving versus idle.