Overcoming Barriers to Fleet Electrification
Commercial electric vehicles (EVs) are the future. They’re clean, efficient, easier to maintain, and cost less to own and operate than gas or diesel-powered trucks and vans. But electrifying your fleet isn’t as simple as placing an order at your local commercial vehicle dealer. Here are some of the barriers to fleet electrification and how you can overcome them.
Cost is the number-one barrier to fleet electrification. Thankfully, there are many incentive programs to reduce EV purchase prices, and ways to spread purchase costs over time.
- Incentives and Grants: Governments and utility companies offer a variety of incentives and grants to help companies offset the cost of purchasing EVs. These incentives can be in the form of tax credits, rebates, or other financial incentives. In the US, the Clean Commercial Vehicle Credit offers 30% of the difference between the cost of the clean vehicle and its gas-powered counterpart – up to $40,000 per medium/heavy duty commercial EV. For a list of tax credits and incentives for commercial EVs in the US read our article here: How to Access Incentives to Electrify Your Fleet in the United States.
- The European Automobile Manufacturers Association compiles a list of European EV incentives every year. Many countries and cities across Europe offer tax breaks or grants to help electrify your fleet. For example, France offers bonuses for electric heavy-duty vehicles: €50,000 for N2/N3 vehicles and €30,000 for M2/M3 vehicles. You can access the report on the ACEA website.
- Leasing Options: Leasing electric vehicles can be a cost-effective option for businesses. Leasing companies often offer favorable terms and maintenance packages that can help offset the higher upfront costs.
- Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Analysis: Although electric vehicles may be more expensive upfront, they are cheaper to operate over the life of the vehicle thanks to lower fuel and maintenance costs. Conducting a TCO analysis can help justify electrifying your fleet. Tritium experts can help you find a firm to conduct a TCO analysis.
Finding the right commercial EV for your fleet can be overwhelming. But commercial EVs aren’t that different than their gas and diesel-powered counterparts. Here are just a few differences to consider:
- Range: The range of an EV refers to the distance it can travel on a single charge. The range needed will depend on the intended use of the vehicle. It’s essential to choose a vehicle with a range that meets your business’s needs.
- Charging Time: The time it takes to charge an EV can vary significantly. Choose a vehicle with a charging time that fits into your business’s operations.
Range anxiety can be significant if you’re thinking about electrifying your fleet. But there are ways to ease range anxiety and meet your fleet’s charging needs.
- Charging Infrastructure: Installing charging infrastructure can help alleviate range anxiety. Companies can work with utility providers and local governments to install charging stations in convenient locations along routes or at depots.
- Vehicle Selection: Choosing the right electric vehicle can also help overcome range anxiety. Some electric vehicles have longer ranges than others, and selecting a vehicle with a range that meets the needs of your business can help alleviate concerns.
EV Charging Infrastructure
EV charging infrastructure is expanding at a blistering pace. According to the International Energy Agency, publicly accessible chargers worldwide approached 1.8 million in 2021 and a third of those were DC fast chargers. Still, installing DC fast chargers at your depots or warehouses can help you take control of energy/fueling costs and relieve range anxiety. Here are some tips for building your own charging sites:
- Work with Utility Companies: Utility companies can provide guidance on the installation of charging infrastructure and may offer financial incentives to offset the cost.
- Find Government Incentives: Many governments provide incentives for the installation of EV charging infrastructure. These incentives can include tax credits, rebates, or grants that help offset the cost.
- Partner with Other Businesses: Partnering with other businesses that are also electrifying their fleet vehicles can help share the cost of installing charging infrastructure.
For more guidance on how to build your charging sites, read our article: How to Save When Building an EV Charging Site.
Maintenance and Repairs
Electric vehicles have fewer moving parts than traditional gas or diesel vehicles, leading to lower maintenance costs. But they do require some specialized knowledge and maintenance. Here are some tips to keep your EVs on the road.
- Work with Experienced Mechanics: Find mechanics who have experience working on electric vehicles to ensure proper maintenance and repairs.
- Training: Provide training to your fleet operations team to help them better understand the vehicle maintenance and repair needs.
- Warranty and Service Plans: Many manufacturers offer warranties and service plans that cover the maintenance and repairs of electric vehicles.
There are many benefits to electrifying your fleet, including lower total cost of ownership, reduced emissions and fuel costs, improved efficiency, increased sustainability, and increased profitability. These are just a few tips to help you get started. For more help electrifying your fleet, talk to one of our fleet EV charging experts today. We can help you find incentives, plan your charging sites, and connect you with other fleet EV industry experts to help you choose the right mix of vehicles to meet your needs.