Several arguments are pushing fleet managers (GFA – Fleet Management Companies) towards the ecological transition. They must therefore weigh the advantages and disadvantages of switching to electric vehicles. In order to ensure their competitiveness, companies must take into account their environmental impact as well as the requirements related to their field of activity.
Road transportation is a sector that generates a significant portion of global greenhouse gas emissions. That is why it is necessary to implement radical measures to reduce emissions. In addition to sometimes aggressive regulatory measures, governments are introducing incentives and adoption policies in favor of electric vehicles in cities around the world. In California, a decree has been signed for the state to become carbon-neutral and transition to 100% renewable energy electricity production by 2045. Elsewhere, several countries have also followed this ecological transition by committing to ban the sale of vehicles equipped with internal combustion engines (Norway by 2025, India by 2030, France and the United Kingdom by 2040).
Fleet managers, therefore, feel compelled to embark on the conversion of their vehicle fleet to electric vehicles. This is no longer about superficial measures to give the impression of a “greener” fleet but rather a deliberate move towards a gradual phase-out of internal combustion engines. In order to do so, they must consider several criteria, including the real impact on the total cost of ownership (TCO), the environment, and the company’s operations.
The two criteria that concern fleet managers the most are financial considerations and range autonomy.
What questions should be asked to implement strategies that will ensure a successful ecological transition:
Should all vehicles in my fleet be electric? If not, which ones should be prioritized for replacement with hybrid or fully electric vehicles?
Does the psychological pressure exerted by government incentives (“I want to take advantage of this opportunity at all costs”) combined with the influence of trends and fads risk clouding my judgment?
Will the transition be bearable?
Will the transition to more “eco-friendly” vehicles be bearable both operationally and financially?
Are eco-friendly vehicles as efficient as conventional vehicles? And can they fulfill all the tasks assigned to employees?
How many electric vehicles can I integrate into the vehicle fleet, and when?
What are the available models of electric vehicles? And will the “advertised” ranges truly be observed on the road? And what will be the residual value of these vehicles in a few years once the batteries become unusable?
These questions must be asked in order to develop an effective electric vehicle adoption strategy.
To answer these questions, it is necessary to observe the real data of your fleet and not rely on intuition.
Indeed, excessive haste can lead to serious consequences for the operation of the company (and unfortunate consequences for the fleet administrators themselves, too eager to be up to date!). Moreover, many fleet administrators struggle to accurately assess the actual usage of their current fleet. The projected mileage at the time of vehicle acquisition is often over- or underestimated.
Only a precise measurement of the usage of the vehicle fleet over a few weeks can support the consideration based on objective data.
It is wise to invest some time with experts in the field of ecological transition to avoid heading in a direction that is unsuitable for your fleet’s situation.
And it’s not that uncommon!
We only hear about the cases where everything goes wonderfully well. But that is not the general rule. On the contrary.
Take your time before taking the leap. And seek assistance if necessary. Remember that every fleet is different.
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