Ecological transition: some precautions before going electric

Several arguments are pushing fleet managers (AFMs) to move towards the ecological transition. They must therefore weigh the advantages and disadvantages of switching to electric vehicles. To ensure their competitiveness, companies must consider their environmental impact but also the imperatives related to their field of activity.

Road transport is a sector that generates a large proportion of the world’s greenhouse gases. For this reason, radical measures are needed to reduce emissions. In addition to sometimes aggressive regulatory measures, governments are introducing incentives and adoption policies for EVs in cities around the world. In California, an executive order has been signed for the state to become carbon neutral and move to 100% renewable energy power generation by 2045. Elsewhere too, several countries have followed this green transition by committing to ban the sale of cars with internal combustion engines (Norway in 2025, India in 2030, France and the UK in 2040).

 

Fleet managers therefore feel obliged to commit to converting their fleets to more electric vehicles. And this is no longer a matter of display measures to make people believe that their fleets are “greening”, but of a determined move towards a gradual abandonment of “thermal” vehicles. To do this, they must take into account several criteria, including the real impact on the total cost of ownership (TCO), on the environment and on the company’s operations.

The two criteria that fleet managers are most concerned about are financial considerations and autonomy.

 

What questions should I ask myself in order to put in place strategies that will guarantee a good ecological transition?

Should my fleet vehicles all be electric? If not, which ones should be replaced as a priority by hybrid or 100% electric vehicles?

 

Won’t the psychological pressure of government incentives (“I want to take advantage of this windfall at all costs”) combined with the “fashion” effect cloud my judgment?

Will the transition be bearable?

Will the transition to “greener” vehicles be operationally and financially sustainable? Are green vehicles as efficient as conventional vehicles? And can they be used for all of the tasks assigned to employees?

 

How many electric vehicles can I integrate into the fleet, and when?

What models of electric vehicles are available? And will the “announced” autonomies really be observed on the road? And what will be the residual value of these vehicles in a few years once the batteries are no longer usable?

 

These questions must be asked in order to develop an effective EV adoption strategy.

To answer them, you need to look at the actual data from your fleet and not rely on intuition.

Rushing can have serious consequences for the business (and for the AFMs themselves, who are in a hurry to keep up with the times!). In addition, many AFMs have a hard time appreciating the actual use of their current fleet. The mileage planned at the time of vehicle acquisition is often over- or underestimated.

 

Only a precise measurement of the fleet’s usage over a few weeks can provide objective data for reflection.

It is wise to invest a little time, with experts in the ecological transition, to avoid going in a direction that is not adapted to the situation of its fleet.

 

And this is not so rare! We only hear about cases where everything is going wonderfully well. But this is not a general rule. On the contrary.

One last tip

Take your time before taking the plunge. And get help if you need it. Remember that every fleet is different.

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