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This blog post is written by our friends at Workhorse Group Inc.
Tips for transitioning to an EV fleet and the benefits for your business.
The adoption of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) for fleets with daily return to base routes under 200 miles is becoming a fast-growing segment of the EV marketplace. More than two-thirds of surveyed fleets that have used BEVs plan to either pilot or purchase them in the next 12 months. *
This move to EVs can be attributed to the significant operational savings and the positive environmental impacts of an EV fleet. With more and more fleet managers moving to EVs, you may ask yourself - Is an electric fleet right for my business? Here are a few things to consider.
First Step: review your fleet application.
First you should review your operations, duty cycle and location. If your current duty cycle is under 150 miles a day and there is access to a depot for overnight charging an EV fleet is very practical. If your daily routes are mainly stop and go, that’s another good indicator that electric powered vehicles would be a good fit for your business. Upon calculating the usage of fleet vehicles and the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), many fleet managers make the decision to transition the fleet to EVs.
What benefits can you expect?
The decision to use EVs in your fleet can make a significant impact on your operational metrics. Reducing maintenance and fuel cost are the top areas where an EV fleet can contribute to overall savings to your business’ bottom line. In its latest study, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy** says BEVs cost 40% less to maintain.
Other benefits such as reducing noise and emissions help in influencing overall driver satisfaction along with extending optionality to fleet delivery hours. Most early adopters have sited equal or better performance with electric vehicles in comparison with diesel and gasoline powered equivalents. Moreover, as ongoing stresses to the environment continue to be a concern, the benefits of an EV fleet make good sense for our collective future as well as advancing your business’ sustainability mandates.
Funding options are available.
Even though the grant funding landscape for electric vehicles is somewhat complex and highly competitive, funding options are available. To ensure long-term funding success you need a solid plan. Creating a plan takes time and a requires a strategic roadmap. This work, if done prior to a grant program solicitation process, can reap benefits and simplify the overall process of securing funds.
To obtain funds, you will need an understanding of what incentive programs are available at the federal, state, and local level along with eligibility criteria such as fuel, vehicle and charging station types, entities (public or private), GVWR max/min, and scrappage requirements (don’t forget to check model year).
Your overall TCO can greatly be impacted by focusing on well-funded and reoccurring programs for both BEVs and charging infrastructure projects. Working with organizations such as Gladstein, Neandross, & Associates (GNA) can help to make the process more streamlined and rewarding. According to GNA’s Joe Annotti, Vice President of Programs, “the annual incentive market has been consistent in recent years, injecting roughly $1 billion annually across the clean transportation landscape. From grants to rebates to loans, the incentive market is robust and it really rewards those projects coming to the table with a shovel-ready mentality.”
Annotti further notes that, when working with grant funds, always remember that there is a cost associated with this money. Requirements such as reporting and long-term analyst can add additional costs to the project. Understanding these needs up front and proper planning can help to make this less of a drain on the organization. Often these items can be included in the overall grant request and the true cost of these administrative items can be removed or reduced.
A solid plan benefits employees and leadership.
There is much to consider when looking at moving your fleet from combustion to electric. Beyond the topics addressed above you will need to have a solid project plan. This includes an understanding of the utility needs of an EV fleet, available options for partnering with charging vendors and a plan for the required modification to your existing building.
Creating and designing a successful project plan will ensure your transition is smooth and embraced by both your employees and leadership.
Remember, a transition project can take anywhere from 12-24 months and will need the combined support of your leadership and employees. Once the project has been decided, you’re on your way to a smooth green EV fleet transition.
*Source: State of Sustainable Fleets 2021 Survey
Editor's Note: Driver training and management training programs to re-enforce the benefits of an EV fleet are an important part of a solid plan. And if you want more information about Total Cost of Ownership, feel free to contact eTruckbiz.
About Workhorse Group Inc.
Workhorse is a technology company focused on providing drone-integrated electric vehicles to the last-mile delivery sector. As an American original equipment manufacturer, we design and build high performance, battery-electric vehicles including trucks and aircraft.
Workhorse also develops cloud-based, real-time telematics performance monitoring systems that are fully integrated with our vehicles and enable fleet operators to optimize energy and route efficiency.
All Workhorse vehicles are designed to make the movement of people and goods more efficient and less harmful to the environment. For additional information visit workhorse.com.