Fleet electrification is becoming more top of mind for businesses with mobile assets. If you're someone who is thinking about implementing electric vehicles (EVs) into their fleet, follow these steps to set up your business for success.
Step 1: Understand What Your Needs Are
This first step is crucial in narrowing down the search for the right EV for your application and making the transition manageable. To better understand your company's needs and better navigate the path to electrification, here are some essential questions to consider. These questions will help you build a solid implementation strategy.
- Do all of your fleet vehicles need to be fully electric? If not, which vehicles in the fleet are the right ones to switch to EVs?
- Is switching to EVs going to be viable operationally and financially? Can EVs do the work you do?
- How many electric vehicles do you need and by when?
- Which EV models are available in your market, and do they meet your needs?
Step 2: Financial Considerations
Purchasing EVs can come at a premium. A commercial electric vehicle can cost 30% to 40% more than a diesel vehicle. Potential rebates and incentives may offset those costs, as well as fuel savings, but do not depend on this alone. Understanding your expenses today and comparing them to future costs of an electric vehicle can help you calculate whether switching to EVs makes sense for your fleet. Consider the following:
What is your budget? Be sure to include money for the vehicle, charging infrastructure, software and tools, and driver training.
What government incentives or rebates are available to offset your costs?
Step 3: Considering Battery Range
EV ranges vary by make and model. It's critical to know the range you will require. Do you need a long-range battery EV offering a range of 200+ miles? Or will a short-range battery meet your needs? Perhaps a hybrid is better suited to your application. Also, answer the questions of: Where do we plan to charge the vehicles? Will employees charge them at home? Most battery ranges work better for fixed, urban environments. The further the distance and the harder the vehicle has to work puts more stress on the battery and will wear out faster.
Step 4: Getting Employees and Stakeholders to Buy-In
It's vital that everyone on your team be aware of and included in the process of implementing EVs, from investors to management staff, employees, and drivers. The best way to gather buy-in is to outline the total cost of ownership, the environmental and operational benefits, and the action plan for implementation.
There is no need to get overwhelmed by the beginning stages of EV adoption. Answering these questions early on can drive future decisions as you embark on your journey to a fleet powered by EVs.