15 sep 20

5 tips to implement EVs in your fleet

EVs have a place in corporate fleets and that place is growing. But adding electric cars to a fleet can still be intimidating. Here are five tips to make it easier.

1. Start with the company executives

“We started electrifying our fleet 3 or 4 yours ago with the company executives,” said Pim De Weerd, Global Commodity Manager Mobility, Philips. “As a rule, they have a higher budget and they drive fewer kilometres.”

EVs may be trickling down into lower vehicle segments but their price is likely to still be closer to that of more premium vehicles. So it makes sense to start with drivers that have higher budgets, particularly if you want this implementation to be budget-neutral.

Added bonus: executives can set the example for the rest of the company.

2. Taxation matters

EVs are still more expensive than comparable petrol or diesel models but taxation incentives can make the equation more positive. Taxation is very much a local matter, though – it’s different from country to country and it also changes over time. So make your homework and ensure you know in what countries EVs make most sense.

According to LeasePlan’s latest EV Readiness Index, going EV makes most sense in the Netherlands, Norway and the UK for a combination of infrastructure maturity and government incentives.

You can get a copy of the 2020 Fleet Europe Taxation Guide for an overview on car taxation with inisght into tax incentives for electric vehicles in 29 countries across Europe.

3. Find your way in the market

“Implementing EVs is pioneering work,” said Fer Derwort, European Fleet Manager, Infor. “OEMs are good at selling cars, charging station providers are good at installing chargers, charging card providers do their own thing. But few are in the position to give you all-embracing advice.”

In a perfect world, there would be a one-stop shop where you can order everything related to EVs and their charging experience. Today, there are partnerships and networks but the market is still very much fragmented. This is starting to change as the market is maturing, but for the time being you will need to talk to various experts and companies to design your tailor-made EV ecosystem.

4. Driver profiling

“Gradually, more cars are being switched to electric,” said Mr De Weerd. “Together with an external partner, we have performed an EV readiness analysis to help us determine what drivers are ideally suited to drive an EV.”

Such driver profiling can be performed by telematics companies like Geotab, whose EV Suitability Assessment analyses a fleet’s unique driver profiles to identify what vehicles are best suited for replacement by EVs.

Importantly, this means vehicle choice is no longer linked to a person’s position within a company. Rather, it depends on the distance they cover and where they live.

5. Optimise charging

“We have ensured all our sites have sufficient charging stations. Private chargers at home are available as an option,” said Mr De Weerd. Regulations about charging stations can differ between localities, with some prohibiting chargers being installed in underground car parks and others not batting an eyelid. It will also be a matter of talking to the right local partners.

“Charging at home or at the office should be the priority,” added Mr Derwort. “Prices for public charging are often higher and on top of that, you don’t know how much you will be charged when you plug in your vehicle.”

Today, various companies are each weaving their own web of public charging stations with an increasing number of connections that will, in time, lead to a number of super-alliances. Leasing companies and OEMs are particularly active in this marketplace, vying with each other to offer their clients the most comprehensive charging network.

More on this topic in the next Fleet Europe magazine 118.

The future is now

“Today, 20% of our fleet in the Netherlands is already electric,” concluded Mr De Weerd. “Over the next few years, that number will go up. Today, the market is already maturing in the UK and it looks like Germany and France will be next.”

“Over time, I’m sure EVs will become more affordable,” said Mr Derwort. “Not because EVs or electricity will become cheaper but because petrol and diesel cars will become more expensive – something that’s already happening as OEMs are investing heavily to get their emissions down.”

Read all articles about the Electric & Connected Supertheme

Image copyright: Shutterstock

Authored by: Benjamin Uyttebroeck