- Photo: Eric Gandarilla

Photo: Eric Gandarilla

Over half of commercial and fleet vehicle decision makers are actively shopping for electric vehicles, according to Escalent, a human behavior and analytics firm.

The finding was pulled from an update of the firm’s Fleet Advisory Hub, which is a platform designed to explore the needs and expectations of commercial and fleet vehicle decision-makers related to forward-looking technologies in the industry, according to Escalent.

The latest round of insights show a majority of firms proactively shopping for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) with many readying their businesses for the integration of such technologies—despite limited interaction with the BEVs themselves.

Additionally, over one-third of businesses are gathering information about the electric vehicles offered and requirements for fleet integration, while nearly one-in-five are analyzing costs.

Roughly 45% of adopters recognize the need to make significant operational changes to their business to accommodate BEV integration, which in turn positively impacts total cost of ownership, vehicle uptime and downtime, service and maintenance, and charging infrastructure. Conversely, the remaining majority (55%) are not aware of either the changes needed for, or positive impacts of, integrating BEVs into their fleets, which underscores the importance of educating and supporting fleets in managing this substantial business change. Also, just 8% of fleet decision-makers have personally experienced BEVs as a driver or passenger.

Most fleets continue to exhibit some traditional vehicle shopping habits, with 58% of decision-makers still purchasing business vehicles from a dealership.

“For our second quarter edition, we focused on the BEV purchase funnel and integration process, and our findings are critical to understanding the mindset of fleets,” said Michael Schmall, Automotive & Mobility vice president at Escalent. “We’ve identified that there is limited awareness among a majority of decision-makers of the important operational changes required to integrate BEVs into their fleet, but also an underestimation of the real cost savings these vehicles provide.”

The Fleet Advisory Hub includes a participant profiling of over 7,300 fleet decision-makers representing 600,000 vehicles.

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