Any business with a decent-sized fleet of vehicles should be keeping a close eye on the electric vehicle (EV) market. Recent years have seen EVs grow strength from an increasing climate awareness and improving technology to take significant market share off the traditional fuels. This should catch the eye of any organisation where fleet management is a major operating cost and where continual improvement is a constant objective. But making the switch to EVs is a difficult decision to make. Everything points to a positive change, but in the rush to be green, and in the face of Brexit and COVID uncertainty, many organisations make the leap too soon.
There were over 108,000 EVs sold in the UK in 2020, which represents a year-on-year rise of 180%. During a 12 month period where the pandemic severely hit the vehicle market overall, EVs continued their rise to market prominence. EVs now have a 6.6% market share in the UK. Meanwhile, plug-in hybrid vehicles hold 4.1% of the UK market, which means a total of 10.7% of vehicles sold in the UK last year had zero emissions. This clearly shows how the vehicle market is going, with diesel sales down 55% and petrol sales down 39%, and it is no surprise that this change is being reflected in fleet make-up and the vehicles being sourced by fleet managers.
The benefits of EVs to businesses
- Cheaper to run: the cost of battery power is roughly one third less per Kilometre than the equivalent petrol cost.
- Cheaper to maintain: EVs have less moving parts so there is less to go wrong.
- Less pollution: no exhaust = no emissions. From a green standpoint you can also use renewable electricity as your fuel and many EV manufacturers are now using recyclable materials in the car body and interiors. Most EVs also use ‘regenerative braking’, which means the energy created when braking is converted to energy that can power your battery.
- Safety: EVs have a lower centre of gravity and so are easier to handle and take corners better. The lack of fuel also reduces the risk of fire and explosion.
- Tax: businesses can make VAT savings by having an electric fleet.
The pace of the EV market is quickening up, with most major manufactures now including an EV in their range, and with major economy and efficiency improvements happening too. The Nissan LEAF was launched in 2010 as one of the first EVs and has now sold over 400,000 models. And the critical infrastructure is improving now too. There are now more EV charging points in the UK than petrol stations, and even big fuel providers such as BP and Shell have bowed to the inevitable, and now include EV charging points alongside their pumps at petrol stations.
The importance of EV fleet management
Many businesses are understandably attracted by these kind of facts and are keen to make the change to EVs. But it is very easy to underestimate the work involved and the strategic thinking required, and instead make costly mistakes in your over-eagerness. Partnering with an electric fleet management provider with good EV experience is vital, because you need to have:
- Market knowledge of EVs
- Technical knowledge of charging infrastructure and how to finance it
- Finance models for EV fleets
- Service and maintenance partners for EVs
- Access to technical and software support
With so much changing in the EV market and with technology advancing all the time, it is important to have structure in place and to have a full consultation on how and when to make the change to EVs. This consultation will analyse your current operations, your current fleet of vehicles, what agreements you have in place and establish when it is cost-effective for you to make the change.
So yes, the EV revolution is definitely coming, but make sure you have trusted and reliable fleet management support, in order to make the leap to be Green at the right time.
For more information on electric fleet management, visit www.totalmotion.co.uk today.