Fleets… …The switch to EV Suitability guide
Dispelling the myths surrounding EV’s
By Alex Baker, CEO CleanCar.io
First things First… Do we believe electric vehicles are right for everyone? No, we don’t! Our view is that as things currently stand, some people are perfectly suited to owning an EV and who would benefit greatly. There are others that due to their travel requirements and vehicle usage profile would not benefit from owning an EV at all and would find the experience either impractical or expensive compared to a traditional Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle.
In most cases it’s about finding the ‘sweet spot’. This ‘sweet spot’ can be measured based on a driver’s average daily, weekly or monthly mileage pattern, whether that be from commuting to work, job type or lifestyle. The sweet spot is usually reflected in a mileage profile that is neither too low, nor too high.
For example, if your daily mileage requirements are really low and you only drive a couple of thousand miles a year, then yes, an EV will probably work for you, but you are unlikely to see any significant WLC savings as you are not doing enough miles to gain the cost benefit. At the other end of the scale, if you have a daily commute of 120 miles and the EV’s “real” range is just 90 miles; it means a charge at least once a day, which may not be feasible or practical.
Each vehicle has a sweet spot, and they can be quite different from model to model. Those driver profiles that fall within the sweet spot are those who Fleets should target, at least in the short term. These drivers will offer the greatest cost savings and will benefit the most from the switch to electric.
NOTE: The ‘sweet spot’ of EV’s are constantly widening as vehicle pricing lowers due to demand coupled with new models with increased range. This means that more and more drivers are falling into this sweet spot, which is good news for all, especially for those running large fleet’s.
So why are UK Fleet’s slow to make the switch to EV’s?
Over the last three years, we have helped a lot of fleets to adopt an ‘EV transition’ policy and switch to Electric Vehicle usage. During that time, we have heard plenty of excuses and reasons from those that don’t currently want to make the switch today. To be fair, some of these reasons are perfectly valid, but most are simply misinformed and plain wrong.
Users Just Don’t Fit the Profile:
Above, we talk about ‘sweet spots’ where certain ‘journey profile’ drivers benefit the most if their usage pattern, especially where their mileage is relatively high (UK company car average is 17k per annum) and analysis shows they would to see real cost savings but is not too high to experience practical ‘range’ issues. Many fleets have drivers who fall outside this profile.
- We have seen certain company car or van drivers who only drive twice a week, but those trips can equate to 500+ miles of driving.
- There are delivery firms in London who only do 9 miles a day
- Some fleets have time-sensitive, last minute delivery commitments where a vehicle charge requirement, even just a 20 minute one, would not be a practical option.
- Many company vehicle duty rosters have unknown journey demands that are difficult to plan ahead for
Timing is Bad:
Since the 2008 financial crisis, many companies have had to take tough cost cutting decisions including reductions in employee compensation and overall benefits packages. Some organisations have gone through redundancies as well as removal of some benefits such as healthcare, reduced pension provisions and much more. Sometimes, in these situations, no matter how good an option an EV policy may look, a change to the company vehicle benefit or perk could be seen by employees at all levels, as ‘the last straw ’… Better to leave it on the shelf and take a look in a year or two when things have calmed down perhaps?
They don’t understand the benefit
Fleet management has evolved over the past decade or so and many fleets now have far more complex reporting and policy making arrangements and many do not have a full-time fleet manager as in the past. This makes it difficult internally in some businesses to keep up to date on all the aspects of running a fleet. Many don’t understand the true benefits of operating EV’s as part of the various fleet vehicle type ‘usage profiles’ such as a directors company car to the sales reps’ warhorse or the maintenance/engineering staff’s service van. Good news. That’s exactly what this guide is all about!
Kick the can down the road.
Why be a trailblazer when you can let others forge a path and learn from their efforts? Some decision makers within fleet operators are waiting to see what will happen before they make the switch as they would rather play it safe and watch others make the mistakes from which they can learn. The problem with this approach is they are tying themselves into lease contract commitments that can last for 3, 4 or even 5 years. This scenario is a missed opportunity that can and does significantly harm a company’s financial health. Our case studies prove that savings of over £3000 per year per vehicle are achievable for a significant and growing percentage of Fleet vehicle usage profiles.
Indifference, Misinformation and Complexity
Electric Vehicles present a new complexity for fleet management as there is host of new data, new ways of planning and new to processes to implement. Inevitably, with emerging technology driven innovation, there exists significant amounts of misinformation that results in confusion which naturally tends to lead to indifference and apathy with the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” attitude prevailing.
Opportunity cost: My only comment on this is that this misinformation, confusion, indifference and apathy is getting in the way of some potentially significant cost saving benefits that can and would make a real difference to your business’s bottom line. In today’s competitive marketplace, it is even more important to clearly understand the potential cost benefit impact of switching all, some or indeed none of your fleet ops to electric mobility. You could unlock some significant cost savings now or, at the very least, find out when you would be ready to do so in the not too distant future.
Some people just like fast cars and believe that petrol vehicles rule! If this is you then I would simply ask you to Google YouTube’s ‘Tesla P100D drag strip’ video and watch this electric seven-seat saloon leaving behind a variety of super expensive supercars, worth four times as much. If you get a chance, have a test drive in any EV as I am confident you will be very surprised by the impressive torque driven acceleration and It may change your view about petrol vs. electric! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GZtTRKuE8A
Note on use of language
Experts in the EV sector may pick up on my use of terminology in this guide; I make no excuses for sometimes not using the correct terminology. The Electric Vehicle space is confusing enough without the use of dozens of acronyms that only an ‘EV industry stalwart’ understands. But I have designed this guide for those individuals who have direct and indirect responsibility for making decisions about Fleet vehicle procurement and logistical management. So this guide is designed with those roles in mind and a belief that the information, guidance and advice should be presented in a straightforward and helpful format. Hence I have tried to avoid the jargon but you can find links at the bottom of this guide to some very useful glossaries for clarity around industry buzz words.