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How To Support Employees During an EV Fleet Transition

Electrifying a fleet is an exciting step but can be daunting for staff who are used to driving ICE vehicles. We outline how you can support drivers during an EV fleet transition.

electric fleet transition

As the UK continues its journey towards a future where electric vehicles (EVs) are the dominant mode of transportation, fleet operators are also turning to the electric era and making the switch. In the first quarter of 2023, 49% of company cars delivered were battery electric vehicles (BEV), whilst fleet renewal returned to pre-pandemic levels with the new HGV market rising by 17.2% in quarter two. 

The switch from internal combustion engine (ICE) to EV within your company’s fleet will hopefully be accepted with open arms, but you may also face questions and concerns. 

In this blog, we share our top tips for supporting your work force as you begin your electric fleet transition and phase out traditional ICE vehicles: 

  • Explaining the reason behind the transition will get your staff on board with your vision. 
  • Educating your staff on the differences between driving an ICE vehicle and driving an EV and how to charge their vehicle will help them get used to driving electric quicker. 

 

Some benefits of supporting your employees when switching to an electric fleet

It will highlight the positives of the transition and limit the focus on the negatives: By educating your staff on EV driving, you can reduce the barriers and possible stigmas attached to driving your new electric fleet.

This will make the transition smoother: Show your employees that this transition is something to be excited rather than concerned about, by helping them get to grips with the vehicles and the charging infrastructure.

And, you can ensure your organisation’s service is not detrimentally affected: The quicker your employees can get to grips with their new vehicles and understand how they differ from driving an ICE vehicle, the less chance there will be that the performance of your service – whether it be last mile delivery, emergency service response or street cleaning – will be put at risk.

Here are three ways to support your workforce as you start the fleet electrification process

Explain the reason behind the electric fleet transition

Being transparent about why you have chosen to make the change now, some of the challenges you think you might face, how it will affect your staff, and the next steps in your strategy will help get your people on board and increase their confidence in the transition.

  • Why you have chosen to make the change now,  
  • Some of the challenges you think you might face,  
  • How it will affect your staff,  
  • The next steps in your strategy .  

Outline how your staff will benefit: Your employees should be open minded about the transition, not resentful of it, if the EV transition is going to be welcomed. Involving them from the start and highlight the benefits to them of driving an EV at work will help you achieve this.

Spotlight sustainability: In this 2022 study, two-thirds of surveyed Gen Z employees said it is important that the company they work for are committed to acting sustainably, and over half said they would be more likely to work for a company that offers resources and tools to help them become more sustainable. Switching your fleet to electric will help your company grow as a sustainably conscious business, and you can use your electric fleet as a sign that this is happening.

 

Highlight the key differences between driving an ICE vehicle and driving an EV

With a burgeoning public charging network and improvements to the EV models on the market, range anxiety is not something your staff need to be concerned about. That being said, there are things your staff can do to maximise the efficiency of their fleet.

Help your drivers keep their vehicles moving for longer by notifying them about the factors they must be aware of when out and about.

How you drive can affect the EV’s range: Over- or under-inflated tyres, fast acceleration, harsh breaking, and idling can all cause unnecessary drops in range. Bring your drivers up to speed on how they can maximise their EV’s range, so they can work for longer and do not need to worry about charging as frequently.

 

Educate employees on how to charge their vehicle

This step comes in two parts:

1) Help your drivers understand the way in which they should charge their EVs

Make sure your employees are aware that charging an EV is different from refuelling an ICE vehicle:  ICE vehicle drivers will refuel their vehicles from near empty to full. However, EV drivers will only need to charge within a range of 20% to 80%, to help maintain the health of the battery. Ensure your staff understand the basic principles of charging an EV, so they are not running the battery down too low or charging it too high.

Be clear on when and where your staff can charge their EVs: This is important if your organisation has installed charging at your offices or work bases, and drivers will be bringing their vehicles back to base at the end of their shifts.

If you have set restrictions on when your charging infrastructure can be used, ensure your staff are aware of them so they can charge at the right time and be back on the road when they need to be. Your staff may want to top-up their vehicle’s battery so they have enough charge to get them to their destination; help them navigate the public EV charging network by suggesting spots they can charge during their shifts.

Home charging makes driving an EV even more convenient, and you may want to consider installing charge points at your employees’ homes, so they can charge at a time they wish.

 

2) Educate your staff on how to use the charging infrastructure

Ask the experts to demonstrate: The charging is as important as the fleet when it comes to an EV transition, and it is essential that your staff know how and when to use the chargers that will keep their vehicles on the road. Learn more about range anxiety here. You could host a workshop for your staff and invite your charge point operator (CPO) to show how simple it is to use your charge points or host multiple workshops on how to combat range anxiety, tips for charging, and how to access your customer helpline if they run into any challenges. 

Create charger tutorials: Having a live demo is invaluable, but so is being able to refer back to a resource if you have questions later. You could create user guides for using your charge points and make them available for employees on your company’s Intranet page or notice board. Alternatively, direct your employees to the resources that your CPO have created. Check out Mer’s video tutorials for using our 22kW, 25kW, 50kW, 75kW, and 150kW charge points, or have a read of our user guides via our website.

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