Tex Gunning, LeasePlan: "Fleet electrification? We owe it to our kids"
One of the three themes of this year’s Fleet Europe Forum is electrification. Most people are convinced it is the way forward, but TCO, access to charging infrastructure and range have a hard time shaking off the question mark that sticks to them like chewing gum to a shoe.
Reassuring those in doubt were experts and executives from LeasePlan, EV100, New Motion and Edenred – all trailblazers in the realm of EV adoption and contributors to end-to-end EV solutions that take the fuss and the uncertainty out of e.
The EV marketplace
First up in the EV session was Marcus Hennecke, VP Customer Success at fleet service provider Avrios. Based on findings from 700 fleets in Europe, the EV share is still just 1 percent of the total fleet, but it has increased by 170 percent each year since 2016.
Interestingly, 80 percent of fleets have no EVs at all, only 1 percent has a lot of them. The biggest group are new mobility providers and local services.
Leading companies use EVs if they are fit for purpose or for active learning. 80 percent of fleets do not use EVs yet, mainly because of TCO uncertainty.
Facilitating EV adoption and setting an example
Next on stage were Tex Gunning CEO of LeasePlan, and Sandra Roling, Head of EV100, the Climate Group. When asked by Fleet Europe Chief Editor Steven Schoefs why LeasePlan has joined EV100, Tex Gunning made it personal: “I owe it to my children. They deserve a better future. Climate change and pollution must be stopped. As a global company, we need to set the example.”
But how clean are EVs really? “Seen over the lifecycle, CO2 is reduced by 30 percent compared to ICE vehicles. If you use renewable energy, it is even 80 percent. Moreover, we enable our customers to offset their CO2 emissions by planting forests. Every company can be carbon neutral.”
Sandra Roling sees EV adoption accelerating: “The number of EV models is clearly expanding, with lots of new cars arriving over the next year. To tackle charging infrastructure and other issues, EV100 offers best practices to fleets.”
The golden tip for fleets wanting to switch to e? “Think big, but start small, with the top of the organisation. Once the initial issues have been dealt with, electrification will accelerate very fast over the next years.”
The New Energy Service Leaders of tomorrow
Finally, Steven Schoefs invited on stage André ten Bloemendal, CCO of New Motion, Stefano Sarti, MD of Arc Europe and Antoine Dumurgier, COO of Fleet and Mobility Solutions of Edenred.
“To facilitate charging on the go, it is important to get a roaming agreement across Europe. Also, transparency of pricing is needed. That is what we offer at New Motion”, said ten Bloemendal. “Also, EVs need to be connected in order to deploy the full potential. They are key in switching from nuclear and thermal to sustainable power production.”
Stefano Sarti, MD of Arc Europe: “Most people charge at home or at the office, but mobile charging needs to be developed. In terms of break-down, EV will probably not have an advantage because the main components that usually fail (steering, suspension, wheels, tyres) are the same. The numbers are too small to draw conclusions yet. “
Antoine Dumurgier, COO of Fleet and Mobility Solutions of Edenred shed a light on how companies like his are facilitating payment of charging sessions. “Our current solutions enable you to pay for fuel and electricity with an app. We are piloting integrated payment systems in the EV, so you can pay directly from your dashboard.”
The same goes for New Motion, which is currently piloting with OEMs and hopes to have their payment system on the market somewhere next year.
Image: Sandra Roling, EV100 (middle) and Tex Gunning, LeasePlan (right) in a debate with Steven Schoefs