Transitioning to an Electric Fleet
Commercial vehicles are responsible for 20% of all vehicle-related greenhouse gases, despite only accounting for 5% of vehicles on the road, which demonstrates the huge opportunity that we have as fleet managers and business owners to reduce our emissions.
There are several initiatives which mean that this should be something you’re thinking about anyway. Not only is there the UK government’s Road to Zero strategy, but there are clean air zones in cities that could be costing your business money right now.
Here we’ve outlined the best way for fleet managers and operators to transition to a fully electric fleet.
Assessing your suitability for electric fleet vehicles
Whilst going electric might seem like the right thing to do, it’s important to first assess whether your business is suitable.
Currently electric vehicles have a limited amount of charge. This means that electric vehicles work best for those operating on a local level, and those that can factor charging time into their journeys.
If your fleet is mainly company cars, consider whether your drivers can charge electric vehicles at home. If your fleet is depot-based, then consider installing charge points at the depot itself. There are grants available from the government for funding both of these types of charge points.
Similarly, if your drivers are based in rural areas, they may struggle to find charge points – as the infrastructure remains inadequate for widespread adoption – whereas those operating in an urban environment are more likely to be able to access them easily.
Gaining company buy in
Having senior management buy in, as well as driver buy in, is important for the success of your transition and subsequent fleet. Behaviour will need to change as an electric vehicle will take time to charge, and more trips back to the depot may be needed.
With careful planning, however, these issues can be alleviated, and consultation with the drivers throughout the process will ensure they buy in to the idea early.
An electric fleet is an easy concept to sell to most people. The benefits are wide ranging, from reducing your carbon footprint, to reducing maintenance costs and down time, as well as less tax to pay in certain areas of the county.
At face value, transitioning to an electric fleet seems expensive, as electric vehicles are more costly than their petrol or diesel counterpoints. However, instead of looking at the upfront costs, consider the whole life cost, like running and maintenance costs.
Electric vehicles are cheaper to run over the course of their life. One of the biggest reasons is that they require less maintenance, saving you up to 49% in maintenance related costs compared to petrol-run cars.
You don’t pay road tax on electric cars, and London drivers are exempt from congestion charges and ultra-low emission zone charges. These zones are being introduced in other major cites as well, so this benefit will soon spread across the country.
Transitioning to an electric fleet is a complex yet rewarding endeavour that will see your business reap the rewards. Last year Nexus launched the UK’s first online electric vehicle (EV) rental platform for business use. The dedicated platform eases the process to gradually trial and transition to EVs by avoiding large upfront expenditure.
So if you’re looking to use more electric vehicles, get in touch with us today.
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