Primarily this is driven by net-zero ambitions where organisations have committed to converting their operations to zero emissions by 2030. Many have committed to this via the EV100, a coalition of businesses to practically and politically instigate real change.
EV is also good for business. A range of factors such as TCO (total cost of ownership), image and branding can be enhanced by adopting electric vehicles.
Advantages of operating an electric fleet?
As mentioned above, TCO the total cost of operation can be markedly lower than an ICE (internal combustion engine vehicle) despite the higher price tag of the vehicle. TCO is made up of many factors. However, we will pick out a few key ones to consider:
Cost of the vehicle
We are beginning to see a drive towards price parity in some areas of the market (particularly LCVs up to 3.5t). However, we still see a marked increase in cost for lower volume models. As the market develops, battery electric vehicles should reach parity in all markets. However, now may still be the right time to transition that vehicle due to the other benefits.
Fuel prices are rising, as are energy costs. However, did you know that the cost to fuel an electric vehicle can be much cheaper? Using Next Green Car’s comparison tool, the Vauxhall Vivaro- a fleet staple is at least 25% cheaper to fuel per mile when comparing its electric offering to the Diesel variant.
Congestion charging and ULEZ
EVs are exempt from London’s congestion charge, saving operators £15 per day to encourage EV adoption. While ULEZ generally doesn’t affect fleet operators with newer ICE vehicles, we can expect the bandings to shift to encourage zero emission options further.
How to switch your fleet to electric?
Most fleet operators will begin with a small-scale trial, where a hand-picked selection of vehicles will be replaced with an EV equivalent. This is often the case where there are concerns over the suitability of EVs for the business’s needs.
Whilst valuable data and experience can be gleaned from trials. They can’t go on forever. The fundamental strategy that fleet operators adopt to meet 2030 electrification targets is to replace each vehicle with an electric equivalent during the next replacement cycle. An issue for 2030 is being brought forward. This year, if your organisation leased a van, it would likely be replaced no later than 2026.
With the mass adoption of an electric fleet, operators need to be aware of the impact on their operations, primarily when it comes to power. Planning for the transition needs to start now.
So, assuming a vehicle is available for each vehicle within the fleet, we have five years to get a plan together and implemented.
Fleet electrification strategy
There are fleet electrification experts on hand to assist the development of the strategy- one of the cornerstones of Mer’s offer.
Data-driven decision making, a fleet has a wealth of information available to analyse and use to develop a plan. Data from telematics, fuel cards, running boards and route planning can help build a picture of the fleet’s daily requirements.
Once the energy requirement and charging strategy have been established through the analysis, we can tailor a phased approach. The customer can ringfence capacity and scale up their infrastructure to meet 2030 targets.
The fleet transition presents new opportunities for fleet operators. This will be the first time to scrutinise and further refine their vehicle operations for many.
Also, by having control over when and where the vehicles recharge, further savings can be made via optimisation of the electricity supply—ensuring that the vehicles charge at the greenest and cheapest times.
Back end solutions for electric fleets
The most successful implementation will be measured by how seamless it is. We can take the guesswork out of EV operations by harnessing technology and complex algorithms.
Integrating with tried and tested fleet management tools will breed familiarity and confidence whilst making the most of the power of each system.
Our market-leading Backoffice and optimisation engine can interface with these systems, automating the charge scheduling and optimisation, leaving the fleet manager free to focus elsewhere.
Furthermore, our systems can encompass the holistic charging ecosystem beyond the vehicles’ depot to charge at home or in public. The solution enables a single system approach to manage the charging and the data insights, reducing admin complications and workload on staff, payroll and HR.
We harness the strength of our public charging and roaming partnerships to offer the broadest possible spread of charging stations throughout the UK.
Finally, the Backoffice system can accommodate multiple users, should you wish to monetise your asset, providing access to visitors or even the public when you’re not using the chargers. This can help meet the costs of owning and operating the charging infrastructure and further cultivate your green credentials.
How electric fleets help you meet environmental targets
LCVs and HGVs have a disproportionately large carbon footprint in comparison to cars. These vehicles only account for 12.4% of the vehicles on the road but account for 38% of the UK’s carbon emissions.
If you’re trying to reduce your businesses’ carbon footprint, switching to an electric fleet will have a considerable impact. It’s a fantastic way to demonstrate your corporate social responsibility, the impact of and can all be measured through backend solutions so you can prove to investors and clients that you’re committed to sustainability.
Why does sustainability matter for business?
Consumers are increasingly voting green with their money; they’re willing to research how socially responsible a company is before they make a purchase, and you don’t want that to be a reason a customer switches to a competitor.
With transport accounting for nearly a quarter of CO2 emissions, the best way to demonstrate sustainability as a brand value is to switch to electric vehicles. Air pollution has a significant impact in your immediate area, so whether you’re a local business or a business with multiple locations, being able to demonstrate environmental responsibility within your community is a must.
Find out about Mer’s charging options for businesses.
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