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Dispelling the myths surrounding electric vehicles

Dispelling the myths surrounding electric vehicles

Fleets… The switch to Electric Vehicle Suitability guide

By Alex Baker, CEO CleanCar.io

First things First… Do we believe electric vehicles are right for everyone? No, we don’t!

Technology is improving all the time. Especially electric car technology…

Our view is that as things currently stand, some people/businesses are perfectly suited to owning EV cars or having an Electric Fleet. There are people who would benefit greatly. There are others that due to their travel requirements and vehicle usage profile would not benefit. Finding out the benefits of electric vehicles and how it would be able to adapt to your driving life would be great. That’s why we have the CleanCar system to find out if switching to an EV would be beneficial either personally or as a fleet, this is how it becomes a fleet solution.

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. It can 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 is a couple of thousand miles a year an EV car will probably work for you. You are unlikely to see any significant WLC savings if you are not doing enough miles a year. However, this is for the cost benefit overall. If you have a daily commute of 120 miles the EV’s “real” range is just 90 miles. This will result in a charge at least once a day. This may not be feasible or practical for yourself.

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. The target should be at least for 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 cars are constantly widening. Vehicle pricing lowers due to demand coupled with new models with increased range. There is an increase in drivers that are falling into this sweet spot. This is good news for all especially for those running large fleet’s.

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. CleanCar has helped fleets to make the switch to Electric. During this time, CleanCar has heard plenty of excuses and reasons from Fleets and Drivers that are not currently wanting to make the switch to an Electric Fleet etc. However, some of these reasons are perfectly valid. Most excuses and reasons 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). The analysis shows they would see real cost savings but it is not too high to experience practical ‘range’ issues. Many fleets have drivers who fall outside this profile.

  1. We have seen certain company car or van drivers who only drive twice a week. Although those trips can equate to 500+ miles of driving
  2. There are delivery firms in London who only do 9 miles a day
  3. 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.
  4. 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. In these situations, no matter how good an option or 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 policies for making arrangements. Many Fleets do not have a full-time fleet manager’s 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 cars 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. It is getting in the way of some potentially significant cost saving benefits. It could 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.

Petrol Heads:

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. I am confident, you will be very surprised by the impressive torque driven acceleration. It may change your view about petrol vs. electric!

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. The use of dozens of acronyms is that only an ‘EV industry stalwart’ understands. I have designed this guide for those individuals who have direct and indirect responsibility. These individuals would be making decisions about Fleet vehicle procurement and logistical management. This guide is presented in a straightforward and helpful format. I have tried to avoid the jargon. You can find links at the bottom of this guide. The links are useful glossaries for clarity around industry buzz words.

Wanting to find out benefits of Electric Cars that would suit you and save you money? Contact CleanCar info@cleancar.io or visit Cleancar.io.

About the Author

Alex Baker
My background is the fleet/finance sector where I worked for many years as well as building, developing and deploying web and app-based systems that use real-world data to help make difficult tasks easier and hassle-free.As well as helping companies to electrify their Fleet, I am also involved in some initiatives and grant-funded projects looking at future technologies such as smart grid and Vehicle to Grid. If its electric and you plug it in and drives on the road, then I have a passion for it.I regularly speak in public and occasionally appear on live TV and radio where I share my sometimes controversial view on the electric vehicle marketplace and how to speed up global adoption of the technology.

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