There has never been a better time to operate an electric vehicle fleet. Auto manufacturers continue to increase electric vehicle production, bringing down prices through volume. In addition, governments around the world are offering incentives, subsidies, and tax exemptions for purchasing and operating electric vehicles. The cost of purchasing an electric vehicle is decreasing as their popularity increases and battery costs go down.
Looking ahead, it may be prudent to switch to a fleet of electric vehicles now. Some countries, such as the United Kingdom and China, have proposed outright bans on gas and diesel cars within the next twenty years and in some cases as soon as 2025. If you’re considering an electric vehicle fleet there are some things you should know about electric vehicle fleet management.
What is an Electric Vehicle?
Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are fully electric. They don’t contain a combustion engine and do not require gas or diesel. They have zero emissions and are powered by onboard batteries. These batteries are charged by plugging into an electrical outlet or charging station.
The cost of purchasing a battery electric vehicle is generally greater compared to a similar combustion engine vehicle. It requires a high capital outlay to purchase battery electric vehicles (before rebates).
One issue with battery electric vehicles is charging outlets. Specifically, the lack of them. Electric vehicle owners are known to experience a fear of running out of vehicle power known as “range anxiety.” For fleet vehicles, charging usually happens onsite at the business, or through an electrical outlet at the employee’s home. Potential operators of electric vehicle fleets should take charging into consideration. Fleet management of electric vehicles can be tricky.
Electric Vehicles can Reduce Fleet Fuel Costs
Electric vehicles can help your fleet reduce spending on fuel. The cost to fuel up an electric vehicle is much lower than the cost of filling up comparable gasoline or diesel vehicles. In the United States, the national average electricity price is 10 cents per kilowatt-hour, and fueling a typical electric vehicle costs around 3 cents per mile. Charging an electric vehicle costs, on average, ten times less than filling up comparable gasoline or diesel vehicles. Those interested in electric vehicle fleet management should know you can reduce the cost of charging an electric vehicle further by sharing it at non-peak hours.
Electric vehicles are extremely energy efficient. A report by the United States Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy said that electric vehicles “convert about 59%–62% of the electrical energy from the grid to power at the wheels. Conventional gasoline vehicles only convert about 17%–21% of the energy stored in gasoline to power at the wheels”. There’s no question that, compared to gasoline and diesel, electric vehicles are the most efficient.
Electric Vehicles Can Reduce Fleet Maintenance Costs
One thing you may not know about electric vehicles is they can help you reduce maintenance costs for your fleet. The first thing that electric vehicles have going for them is their electric drivetrain. Electric drivetrains are mechanically simpler than conventional drivetrains. The only moving part in an electric vehicle’s battery is the electric motor. More impressively, electric vehicles have around 20 moving parts, whereas combustion engine vehicles have an average of over 2000. Less moving parts means fewer parts to repair and more time spent on the road.
Electric vehicles also have simpler transmissions, than those of gasoline or diesel engines, and don’t require fluid replacement. Commercial fleets operating electric vehicles today report reductions in maintenance costs of over 50% since switching from gasoline or diesel. Electric vehicles have powertrains that can last twice as long as combustion engine powertrains.
Electric Vehicles Can Improve Employee Satisfaction & Retention
Having a fleet of electric vehicles can help with employee retention. Many commercial fleets who operate electric vehicles report enhanced fleet metrics, like improved performance, high levels of employee satisfaction, and better retention.
Drivers of electric vehicles who are often in delivery situations enjoy three main benefits: elimination of exhaust fumes, a smooth and quiet ride, and privilege of operating bleeding-edge technology. With hiring and training costs going north of $50,000 per employee, retention has a big impact on a company’s bottom line.
Incentives and Tax Credits for Purchasing Electric Vehicles
Subsidies, incentives, and tax credits can make switching to an all-electric fleet even more appealing. The United States Federal Government, and a number of state and local governments, provide tax credits for the purchase of electric vehicles.
In addition to utilities and private organizations, some states and local governments offer electric vehicle incentives such as vehicle or infrastructure rebates, special low-cost charging rates, vehicle registration fee reductions, vehicle lane exemptions, and loans for electric vehicles. To get a detailed list of tax credits and incentives available in your region visit the United States Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center.
Electric vehicle tax credits vary based on vehicle model but some buyers receive up to $7,500 in tax credits for purchasing an electric vehicle. Local and state incentives may also be added to this.
With their popularity on the rise and many government incentives to purchase them, it’s a great time for electric vehicle fleets. There are numerous operational benefits to fleet management of electric vehicles. Commercial fleets report multiple operational advantages to running electric vehicle fleets. For one, drivers eliminate trips to the gas station and can stay on the road longer.
Electric vehicles have zero emissions and run on a battery instead of an internal combustion engine. They are cheap to fuel compared with gas and diesel vehicles. They are also cheaper to maintain. Electric vehicles have less moving parts and break down less. Electric vehicles can make fleet management easier.
Let Azuga Fleet™ simplify your fleet management—for your electric fleet vehicles or otherwise. Our smart fleet management software will help boost productivity, decrease fuel costs, and give managers real-time data regarding fleet equipment. Find out what Azuga can do for your fleet today.