11 Nov 21

Better vehicle utilisation before electrification, says Summit

While most of the talk about plans for 2022 revolved around fleet electrification, one panelist at the Fleet Europe Summit 2021 strongly emphasised that perhaps we’re missing the point.

In terms of sustainability, fleet electrification is not enough if we, as an industry, are to meet 2030 carbon reduction targets if we keep ignoring the core issue, which is utilisation not electrification.

“What is the point of having an electric vehicle if it is still only used 4% of the time?” he questioned. “What we should be talking about is how we are going to better utilise fleet vehicles. That will do more to solve climate targets.”

Supplementing fleet electrification with mobility

There was a buzz about electrification and transitioning from ICEs to EVs. Most fleet and mobility managers at the event talked about fleet electrification and shared their plans for 2022 in terms of how they will transition and whether that will be the whole fleet or part of the fleet.

Electrification plans are going to be supplemented in corporate fleets with the introduction of mobility budgets. Some employees will retain company cars while others will be offered mobility schemes, and some a combination of both a company car and mobility budget for when the car is not the best choice of transport.

For corporates, of course, mobility is one way to address fleet utilisation. Deploying car sharing schemes, corporate car pools, alternative transport, with mobility and micro-mobility, all align with ensuring vehicles are utilised, rather than being parked up most of the time.

But car manufacturers are keen to sell EVs and there were 10 of them showcasing their zero-emission vehicles at the Summit. So, what we learned is that electrification of only one elements of a much larger strategy for fleet sustainability.

Here is a video with the highlights of the summit! Make sure to watch it. 

Image, courtesy of Nexus.

Authored by: Alison Pittaway