As more cities announce strategies to electrify most of their vehicles in the next decade and bold predictions that electric cars will rule the roadways by the 2040s (or earlier), it’s little wonder that there is increasing demand to add electric vehicles (EVs) to fleet operations.
But this means moving from a familiar century-old technology to, for many, an untested and brand new one that brings with it a host of questions.
Here are five answers to common questions to help you electrify your fleet.
#1 How many EVs should I buy?
Knowing how many EVs is the right amount for your fleet can be challenging. We’ve all heard about fleets purchasing EVs only to have the underutilized. In order to assess the right amount for your fleet, you will need to do an audit. Using a telematics solution, you can measure all of the various aspects of your operation that will point to or away from the suitability of EVs. For example, the range of your routes, the amount of cargo you’re hauling, access to charging, etc.
#2 Do EVs have enough range for my needs?
Range anxiety is still one of the biggest worries fleets have when considering EVs. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s fueleconomy.gov website range concerns are a thing of the past with eight 2019 models that can run for more than 200 miles on a single charge. The outlook for 2020 is even better with new EVs that can travel as much as 300-400 miles on a charge. Keep in mind though, as with a gasoline-powered vehicle, range is dependent on frequency of trips, driving conditions, the way drivers are operating the vehicle, and the fueling (in this case, charging) infrastructure.
#3 Will We Have to Install a Charging Infrastructure?
It depends. If you have a centralized fleet and regular, fixed routes, your best option may be to install charging stations at your fleet HQ. If your fleet is dispersed or length of routes requires the option of charging while drivers are on the road, you may need to depend on a public charging infrastructure. If the answer is the latter, survey your local charging network to evaluate uptime, accessibility, and the speed of the chargers.
#4 EVs Don’t Have Any Cargo Space, Right?
Certainly, the first generation of electric vehicles had much less cargo capacity than today’s models. There’s now plenty of electric options in the SUV category. But, as with any vehicle, you will need to find a spec that fits your fleet’s operation.
#5 How Much Money Can an EV Save Me?
You may see cost reductions in a number of areas. It’s estimated that fleets will save on average between $570 and $750 per year in depreciation costs. Fuel costs could also be significantly reduced. For example, it’s estimated that it costs about $2,000 to fuel a gasoline-powered VW Golf, but only about $565 in electricity costs for the e-Golf. Maintenance, too, is significantly reduced. Maintenance for the e-Golf is estimated at $560 per year and for the Golf its $700. In this example, the owner of the e-Golf would save about $1,700 per year in fuel and maintenance costs alone. And this is just a single vehicle, when you scale up the costs, the savings across an entire fleet will be significant.
Monitoring with Telematics
EV total cost of ownership (TCO) can be tracked and benchmarked using the fleet’s telematics solution, making electric vehicles fit seamlessly into today’s data-driven fleets.
And this will allow you to accurately determine not only the direct savings you’re bringing to your company through lower fuel and maintenance costs, but other key performance indicators (KPIs) related to the fleet operation.
Learn more about how you can electrify your fleet.