Electric vehicles are growing in popularity among citizens who want to do their part to improve the environment, save on gas costs, and enjoy easy cost-effective maintenance. They’re the perfect solution for individuals, but can fleets enjoy the same benefits from electric vehicles? It’s hard to imagine changing a business’s entire structure-- and switching to electric would change very much about the fleet business, from gas budgets to maintenance practices. Is it feasible for fleets to switch over to electric? This article will break down what is involved.
Cost of Ownership
While there are government tax incentives for purchasing fleet vehicles, not all fleets qualify. It can be expensive to purchase electric fleet vehicles upfront. The fact of the matter is, electric vehicles are more expensive to purchase than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Does this mean that fleets will never switch over? Not necessarily.
Just because the initial cost is higher does not mean that the total cost of ownership is as well. Electric vehicles have fewer moving parts than ICE vehicles. Consumer Reports members report that electric vehicle drivers pay half as much to repair and maintain their vehicles as ICE drivers. Electric vehicles do not require regular maintenance to their oil, oil filter, transmission fluid, transmission filter, radiator fluid, spark plug, gas filter, or air filter. These vehicles are far easier to maintain. For a fleet, this can mean more time spent being productive on the road and less time enduring routine maintenance or, worse, breaking down on the side of the road.
The most obvious cost savings of electric vehicles is in gas. On Memorial Day of 2021, gas prices reached the highest they had in seven years. Gas prices can go up for many reasons outside of a business’s control, causing the fleet to suffer when they do. Fleets can spend up to 60% of their budget on gas and are always looking for ways to reduce that cost. One way they may reduce costs is by switching to electric vehicles. Electricity costs are more regulated and therefore more consistent. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, fueling a vehicle with electricity instead of gas could save up to $14,480 over its life span.
Finally, fleets don’t need to replace electric vehicles as often as ICE vehicles. The average ICE vehicle must be replaced after 36 months or 75,000 miles. Meanwhile, an electric vehicle can last up to 150,000 miles or 60 months. Electric vehicles last almost twice as long as ICE vehicles, saving companies money on replacements.
Electric vehicles are safer than ICE vehicles for a variety of reasons. The first reason is the placement of the battery. In electric vehicles, batteries are placed low in the vehicle, on the floor. The battery is heavy and dense, so placing it on the floor lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity and prevents the possibility of a rollover during a crash.
Its second advantage is that it does not have an internal combustion engine. In the event of a crash, the internal combustion engine sends energy towards the vehicle’s rear, causing injuries and damage to everything and everyone inside. Instead, electric car batteries absorb energy during the crash and deform, instead of rigidly transmitting the damage elsewhere.
The third advantage is the lack of gasoline. Gasoline is a hazardous liquid that can cause fires and even explosions if a crash occurs. Avoiding gasoline makes the vehicle much safer in the event of an accident, along with saving fleets money at the pump.
Charging stations for electric vehicles are becoming more and more common. For example, Tesla has implemented Supercharging, which allows a vehicle to recover 75 miles of charge in 5 minutes. This is the fastest charging currently available for electric vehicles. Level-III charging stations like Tesla’s Superchargers are appearing all over the country to encourage the use of electric vehicles. Many countries are planning to ban ICE vehicles in the coming decades, and those patterns will spread across the world. Millions of dollars are being spent by manufacturers and new companies to find ways to charge vehicles more effectively and easily so that there is no reason not to get an electric vehicle.
Electric vehicles are only going to become more popular, and fleets will have to catch on eventually. There are many advantages for fleets to enjoy in electric vehicles, and there is a lot of money for businesses to save. If you’re interested in learning more about new technology in the fleet industry, follow Azuga’s blog.