With gas prices reaching a 14-year high, both individuals and companies are feeling the pinch. While it may be impossible to accurately predict the future when it comes to the price of oil over the next 5-10 years, it’s not hard to see that costs will continue to be volatile. Prices might come down next month or next year, but dramatic changes such as the US is seeing now in early 2022 will statistically continue to happen. Energy prices, on the other hand, are historically much less mercurial. Electrification of a few business vehicles or a whole fleet is a great long-term investment for any company hoping to futureproof their operations and their budget. If your business is thinking of electrifying its fleet but you still have questions, then we’re here for you!
Electrification: How and Why
There’s a wide range of reasons for companies to electrify fleets. From the outside, electric fleets signal a focus on green initiatives and sustainability. Companies interested in making their devotion to environmental protection known can do few more visible things than deliver goods or services from an electric vehicle.
Electrified fleets also reduce local emissions. Light-duty vehicles made up almost 60% of the transportation sector’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. Those emissions end up in local environments, creating unnecessary pollution that affects communities. Many businesses work within and serve those communities and would prefer to see them protected.
Fleets will continue to grow. Covid has solidified population-wide expectations that anything can be acquired, night or day, and delivered to front doorsteps. Food delivery, for example, has seen an incredible increase in demand. In fact, according to McKinsey, the food delivery market in the US more than doubled during the first year of the Covid pandemic. With rising customer expectations in terms of logistics, companies must ensure they’re covering all their bases.
Electric vehicles are not only more stable in terms of costs of “fueling,” but they also have reduced lifetime operating costs. Maintenance costs are lower, overall, as EVs simply have fewer moving parts. And yes, while it may seem like a decision to trade in a traditional car or truck for a computer with wheels, it’s important to remember that modern vehicles are all computers on wheels now. A large range of internal processes run through smart systems, meaning the modern transportation engine is little more than an electric brain with a chassis. Therefore, electrification of a fleet means moving from one type of computer to another, nothing more.
What makes something a fleet?
Fleets can be defined in many ways. Does your company have any number of business-specific vehicles used to deliver goods or services to customers? Do your employees get from Point A to Point B in vehicles that the company owns and maintains? Then it’s a fleet. They come in all shapes and sizes and can be anything from a handful of taxis to a hundred delivery trucks servicing the Western United States. Electricians, florists, and larger pizza chains all typically operate fleets of varying sizes. Schools, even, operate fleets of busses. And all of these fleets have common needs and concerns that need to be considered when going electric.
How far does the vehicle need to go on a single charge? While it’s easy to say “as far as possible,” that possible is getting farther and farther every year. GM’s Brightdrop delivery vans, for example, say they can get up to 250 miles on a single charge. The Rivian EDV 700 purports to get 200 miles. For companies that use pickups, the Ford F-150 Lightning with extended range can achieve 300 miles on a charge.
Before deciding whether electrification makes sense for a business, it’s necessary to take the time to do a real analysis of what fleet vehicles need to achieve. What kind of range do they truly need to be able to deliver? If usage changes depending on situations, it might be worth it to look into creating a mixed fleet with a combination of both EVs and ICE vehicles. Manufacturers can sometimes encourage an all-or-nothing mindset that’s removed from reality. Businesses may find what families have discovered over the last decade of EVs: sometimes having one of each kind of vehicle is the best answer.
Usage time relates to recharging speeds. There’s no way around it. At the moment, recharging electric fleet vehicles is not as fast as filling tanks with gas. That said, there are many ways to mitigate the time recharging takes. Topping up during lunch breaks and between calls can help, but managing the rotation of fleet vehicles is the best way to make sure everyone has a charged-up vehicle when they need it.
Managing a Fleet
So how do you manage an electrified fleet? With a combination of future-ready EV charging hardware and world-class software running it. That’s where Noodoe comes in. Our chargers are fleet-optimized, and our partner support staff can help companies ready to make the transition plan exactly what they need to meet their business goals. Reach out and let up help you get ready for the future!