Considering an Electric Vehicle Fleet? 5 Things to Know
We have joined forces with one of our partners, Azuga, to bring you a series focusing on the telematics aspect of managing your companies’ fleet of vehicles. Over the next several weeks, we will be sharing multiple articles, giving you tips and advice on how to add and use this tool to improve your fleet management process. Today we focus on Electric Vehicles, and their future in fleet.
There has never been a better time to operate an electric vehicle fleet. Auto manufacturers continue to increase electric vehicle production, bringing down prices through volume. In addition, governments around the world are offering incentives, subsidies, and tax exemptions for purchasing and operating electric vehicles. The cost of purchasing an electric vehicle is decreasing as their popularity increases and battery costs go down.
Looking ahead, it may be prudent to switch to a fleet of electric vehicles now. Some countries, such as the United Kingdom and China, have proposed outright bans on gas and diesel cars within the next twenty years and in some cases as soon as 2025. If you’re considering an electric vehicle fleet there are some things you should know about electric vehicle fleet management.
What is an Electric Vehicle?
Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are fully electric. They don’t contain a combustion engine and do not require gas or diesel. They have zero emissions and are powered by onboard batteries. These batteries are charged by plugging into an electrical outlet or charging station.
The cost of purchasing a battery electric vehicle is generally greater compared to a similar combustion engine vehicle. It requires a high capital outlay to purchase battery electric vehicles (before rebates).
One issue with battery electric vehicles is charging outlets. Specifically, the lack of them. Electric vehicle owners are known to experience a fear of running out of vehicle power known as “range anxiety.” For fleet vehicles, charging usually happens onsite at the business, or through an electrical outlet at the employee’s home. Potential operators of electric vehicle fleets should take charging into consideration. Fleet management of electric vehicles can be tricky.
Electric Vehicles can Reduce Fleet Fuel Costs
Electric vehicles can help your fleet reduce spending on fuel. The cost to fuel up an electric vehicle is much lower than the cost of filling up comparable gasoline or diesel vehicles. In the United States, the national average electricity price (10 cents per kilowatt-hour) fueling a typical electric vehicle costs around 3 cents per mile. Charging an electric vehicle costs, on average, ten times less than filling up comparable gasoline or diesel vehicles. Those interested in electric vehicle fleet management should know you can reduce the cost of charging an electric vehicle further by sharing it at non-peak hours.
Electric vehicles are extremely energy efficient. A report by the United States Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy said that electric vehicles “convert about 59%–62% of the electrical energy from the grid to power at the wheels. Conventional gasoline vehicles only convert about 17%–21% of the energy stored in gasoline to power at the wheels”. There’s no question that, compared to gasoline and diesel, electric vehicles are the most efficient.
Electric Vehicles Can Reduce Fleet Maintenance Costs
One thing you may not know about electric vehicles is they can help you reduce maintenance costs for your fleet. The first thing that electric vehicles have going for them is their electric drivetrain. Electric drivetrains are mechanically simpler than conventional drivetrains. An electric vehicle’s battery has only one moving part: the electric motor. Electric vehicles have around 20 moving parts, combustion engine vehicles have an average of over 2000. Less moving parts means fewer parts to repair and more time spent on the road.
Electric vehicles also have simpler transmissions, than those of gasoline or diesel engines, and don’t require fluid replacement. Commercial fleets operating electric vehicles today report reductions in maintenance costs of over 50% since switching from gasoline or diesel. Electric vehicles have powertrains that can last twice as long as combustion engine powertrains.
Electric Vehicles Can Improve Employee Satisfaction & Retention
Having a fleet of electric vehicles can help with employee retention. Many commercial fleets who operate electric vehicles report improved performance, high levels of employee satisfaction, and better retention.
In delivery situations, drivers of electric vehicles enjoy the elimination of exhaust fumes, a smooth and quiet ride, and the notion that they are operating with bleeding-edge technology. Retention can have a big impact on a company when hiring and training a new employee can cost upwards of $50,000.
Incentives and Tax Credits for Purchasing Electric Vehicles
Subsidies, incentives, and tax credits can make switching to an all-electric fleet even more appealing. The United States Federal Government, and a number of state and local governments, provide tax credits for the purchase of electric vehicles.
In addition to utilities and private organizations, some states and local governments offer electric vehicle incentives such as vehicle or infrastructure rebates, special low-cost charging rates, vehicle registration fee reductions, vehicle lane exemptions, and loans for electric vehicles. To get a detailed list of tax credits and incentives available in your region visit the United States Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center.
Electric vehicle tax credits vary based on vehicle model but some buyers receive up to $7,500 in tax credits for purchasing an electric vehicle. Local and state incentives may also be added to this.
With their popularity on the rise and many government incentives to purchase them, it’s a great time for electric vehicle fleets. There are numerous operational benefits to fleet management of electric vehicles. Commercial fleets report multiple operational advantages to running electric vehicle fleets. For one, drivers eliminate trips to the gas station and can stay on the road longer.
Electric vehicles have zero emissions and run on a battery instead of an internal combustion engine. They are cheap to fuel compared with gas and diesel vehicles. They are also cheaper to maintain. Electric vehicles have less moving parts and break down less. Electric vehicles can make fleet management easier.
We hope you found this information from our partners at Azuga very beneficial. If you’d like to learn more about the Azuga product, and how we are able to implement it into your fleet management program at Union Leasing, please contact us.
In the meantime, keep on the look out for more collaborative telematic blogs in the coming weeks.