By Becky Langmandel, Vice President, Analytics, Consulting & Transformation (ACT)
With the homepage of almost every industry news site full of articles pertaining to electric vehicles, it seems there has been more news in the United States on electric vehicles and the charging infrastructure in the last six months than in the past six years. The topics span from “what is the single best EV, or electric vehicle, out there” to “what infrastructure is required to support this revolution.” As time progresses, it is obvious that this is not just a trend, but rather the future of mobility.
So, what can we do to become a part of this?
Fortunately, in today’s climate-conscious society, there are constant new opportunities to become a part of this shift in the mobility space. To start, here at LeasePlan we are a global member of the EV100 Initiative on the path toward Net Zero and zero emissions. With this, we have pledged to lead the charge into the future by converting our own fleet to have net zero emissions by 2030. As part of this we will transition our employee fleet to electric vehicles by 2021.
But you don’t have to be a part of EV100 to join in on this exciting new future. Companies outside of the program have also stepped up in regards to committing to a better future. In late 2017, domestic manufacturers publicly released targets to introduce alternative fuel vehicle models into their lineups, comprised primarily of electric and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles, or PHEVs. Luxury import brands already have an array of PHEVs in their line-ups, with plans for more EVs on the horizon. And, of course there is Tesla.
Is this really going to happen in the U.S.?
The next question that seems to follow in this discussion is, “are U.S. consumers really going to trade in their gas vehicles for electric, and what is being done to build the domestic charging infrastructure?” This topic seems to follow the age-old chicken or the egg debate. Will the infrastructure be built up before consumer adoption, or will an uptake in the number of electric vehicles drive the infrastructure change after the fact?
As the total number of U.S. vehicles with plug-in capabilities currently totals less than 1%, per latest reports, I am led to believe that there is a “build it and they will come” scenario playing out in our market. In this scenario, we already see companies like ChargePoint and Tesla investing significantly in the charging infrastructure.
Should you start having the discussion with your company’s leadership around sustainability and introducing EVs into your selector?
As we move rapidly toward this model of electric vehicles, there are several questions your company should begin asking itself. Is your fleet ready for full EVs, possibly in high density urban locations, or do you want to start with PHEVs? What are the cost impacts your vehicle acquisition costs, fuel and even maintenance?
These are questions that are very specific to each fleet that may warrant a conversation with your fleet management company. Our team of experts can deep dive into the specifics of your fleet to help you identify potential cost savings opportunities by going green. We look forward to speaking with you about What’s next for the sustainability of your fleet.