2020 was a landmark year for electric vehicles. Despite slowed market growth due to COVID-19, the number of EV models available to European buyers increased around 75%. This shift in the automotive landscape should be of interest to commercial fleets. However, fleet managers still must assess the situation, carefully weighing the advantages and disadvantages of EVs, to determine how suitable an electric vehicle fleet is for them.
The adoption of EVs comes with several compelling challenges. Before you even start, there’s a lot of things you need to get right and a lot of ways you can go wrong. Choose poorly at this point, and you might end up with electric vehicles that are not fit for purpose, infrastructure that can’t support your work schedule and low return on investment.
For most fleet managers, this is new territory. With no established playbook, how do you ensure you add EVs to your fleet in an optimal way? Indeed, there’s no shortage of factors to consider.
You need to find and choose the right electric vehicles, estimate your charging requirements and assess the most affordable options for financing. Then you will need to consider your internal charging infrastructure and the possibility of changing the layout of your site to accommodate a new type of vehicle.
With all that in mind, it’s wise to strongly consider the pros and cons and how they may impact your business.
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Advantages and disadvantages of an electric vehicle fleet
ADVANTAGES OF EVS
- Lower running costs than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles
- Financial incentives from governments and cities
- Greater amounts of vehicle data to improve performance
- Simpler and cheaper maintenance
- Reduced carbon footprint
- The chance to be a market leader by adapting quickly to the technological shift
DISADVANTAGES OF EVS
- Higher purchasing price than ICE vehicles
- Unsuitable for longer journeys due to limited driving range
- Limited charging infrastructure
- Innovations required in battery to improve lifespan
- New mechanical skills required to maintain and manage EVs
- New workplace layouts and infrastructure required to keep EVs working in good order
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A new eco-system for commercial fleets
You also need to navigate the new ecosystem of partners and stakeholders that come with EVs. As more companies adopt electric vehicles for business to deliver goods and provide services, new stakeholders will enter the market and new dependencies will be created.
For example, charging station manufacturers are needed to develop and build hardware. Charging station operators are necessary to manage locations. And utility companies that provide electricity and infrastructure to power EVs will become essential players in the electric fleet space. Therefore, new business models will be needed to make it work and new solutions will be needed to manage them efficiently.
Telematics providers are in a strong position to offer unique assistance and insight when companies are looking to add EVs to their fleets. Check out the full guide on electric vehicles for commercial fleets and how telematics can help you unlock the total value.