Automakers have made it clear they aim to abandon the internal combustion engine by the end of the decade. For companies dependent on fleet vehicles, the writing is on the wall; sooner or later, their fleet will consist entirely of fully-electric vehicles.
As someone tasked with setting up and managing the next generation of fleet vehicles, the job can seem daunting; EVs are outwardly identical but inwardly distinct from traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. That means there’s a level of adjustment required that didn’t exist when fleet managers previously updated to the next-gen model.
While it might seem like hard work, the reality is switching to an all-electric fleet is not impossible. The following serves as a guide for doing so with minimal hassles and headaches:
Make and Models
The first step involves assessing the practicality of switching to an EV fleet. The vehicles currently used by your company may not have a feasible EV equivalent at this time. Shop and compare to determine whether or not this is true. For instance, companies relying on a fleet of pickup trucks will have limited options compared to companies dependent on sedans. With that said, it’s possible your company could function with an entirely different make and model. At this point, the switch to EV becomes more practical while the organizational shift becomes more complex.
Automobiles rely on infrastructure to function. Electric vehicles are no different. While traditional gas-powered vehicles require a network of fueling stations to stay operational over long distances, EVs need a similar network of charging stations. Any company attempting to make the switch from gas-powered to electric will need to consider the availability of charging stations the same way they factored in the presence of traditional gas stations. The only difference is you aren’t taking their existence for granted. Luckily, the existing network of charging stations is larger than most people think.
EV Fleet Management
As mentioned in the introduction, switching to a fleet of electric vehicles requires an overhaul of fleet management. This is due to the inherent differences between gas-powered cars and EVs. With that said, it doesn’t require a ground-up rewriting of company policy. Pursuing successful electric fleet management is easier than ever, thanks to existing evidence pointing to its advantages. Whether handling light, medium, or heavy-duty fleets, companies consistently save time and money making the switch to electric vehicles.
Like with any major corporate change, the ability to transition from gas-powered to fully-electric fleet vehicles will come down to brass tacks. With this in mind, it’s essential for business leaders to make charging a priority. Fortunately, that’s not as hard as it sounds. As mentioned earlier, there already exists a reliable network of EV charging stations across the country. But since your fleet will always gravitate towards its home base, it’s essential to install a reasonable number of charging stations on company property.
Every company has different expectations regarding fleet vehicle range. That value depends on the range of their operation. With this in mind, it’s critical for fleet managers to factor in this when deciding whether or not to upgrade to electric vehicles. The intended range will determine the charging network requirements as well as the make and model of EVs sought after.
Significant changes to business operations rarely, if ever, unfold smoothly. While the change is necessary – perhaps long overdue – the transition is not cut and dry. As a result, fleet managers switching to fully-electric vehicles will need to adjust and adapt accordingly. Consider the first six months as an experiment subject to change. Monitor and document every detail in order to devise a new and improved approach going forward.
The switch from gas-powered cars to electric vehicles is only a matter of time. Companies reliant on fleet vehicles will need to consider this inevitability in the months and years ahead. The sooner you make the switch, the more prepared your company fleet will be for the future.
Julie Steinbeck is a freelance writer from Florida. She enjoys covering topics related to business, finance, and travel.