Why electric cars could change the way you think about fleet management
Anyone who hasn’t been living under a stone for the last 5 years will be aware that the future of cars is going to be electric, but how does that impact your business when it comes to fleet management?
In this article, we will discuss the advantages as well as the disadvantages of going electric; starting with the disadvantages…
Electric Cars - It’s not all roses
At the moment electric cars are more expensive than traditional petrol and diesel cars and there are concerns for some people over their limited range they cover before needing to be charged again. We say ‘at the moment’ because the cost of electric cars is falling and the range for some models has been slowly increasing to what is a more acceptable level with some electric cars now officially able to travel over 200 miles on a full charge, providing they are driven sensibly and not driven at high speeds on Motorways.
Other concerns with electric vehicles include the time it takes to charge fully and how the power generated fits in with the way you are using your fleet of vehicles. If your fleet requires high power consumption to keep chilled products on board, for example, then there needs to be enough power onboard to perform the tasks and keep the vehicle on the road although this can be overcome by recharging before making the return trip.
How does this impact the way you think about fleet management? If you are looking to move your fleet from diesel and petrol to electric, then the higher upfront costs need to be weighed up against the much lower daily running costs. You may need to consider keeping electric vehicles for longer or prioritising usage of electric vehicles over any fuel-based vehicles you still have in the fleet in order to increase the return on investment.
Another consideration is how you can harness electricity and use it for other parts of your business. Can the use of solar or wind turbines at your offices generate power to reduce the long-term costs for your fleet AND your business location? This option increases the upfront costs of going electric further but could pay off quite lucratively in the long run.
On the positive side…
We have already talked about the much lower running costs of using electric vehicles and as more electric points are being installed and upfront costs go down, the more attractive it is to go electric. Government grants and lower car taxes for electric cars also need to be considered as this lowers the costs further.
Moving to electric also means you are ready for the future - and promoting how you are becoming more eco-friendly can be used in your marketing to show that you care. The power of this message to your customers shouldn’t be understated! Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the need to care for the environment and many base their final decision of who they buy from on how eco-friendly that supplier is.
There are many other advantages to going electric from less pollution and noise at work to avoiding the need to go to a petrol station and the extra space that some vehicles have for storing equipment thanks to the lack of an engine and fuel tank.
Whether you do it now or delay the decision, your fleet will have to become 100% electric eventually and now is the time to start planning. When weighing up the pros and cons, one topic we didn’t discuss is the impact on the environment and people. It might seem obvious but the advantages to the environment as well as the health of people including your own staff by far outweigh any monetary costs. Having said that, businesses still need to manage costs profitably and we believe it still pays to go electric.
The way you think about fleet management from acquiring your fleet through to managing them and how your business processes currently work will need to change. This will also give you the opportunity to review processes to see how you can improve and do things better!
If you would like to discuss any aspects of eco-friendly fleet management or how to improve the well-being of your staff, get in touch with our facilities management consultants at Ramsay Todd. We’re here to help.