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2021 – an electric year for fleets

By Holly Dempster August 12, 2021

Electric vehicles (EVs) are no longer the new kids on the block. They have been on the fleet manager’s radar for some time now, with a significant spike in popularity in recent years.

There are many factors behind this rise, not least the growing concern around environmental issues. But EVs are not just the green choice – they may one day be the only choice.

Governments around the world are outlining plans to ban the production and sale of petrol and diesel cars within the next decade. And many authorities are already levying significant charges for parking or driving diesel engines in major cities.

Against this backdrop, it’s understandable that so many fleet managers are turning their attention to all things electric.

In last year’s Fleet Manager Survey, almost two-thirds of fleet managers said they either have or are considering adding EVs to their fleets to save money on fuel. Around half were doing the same as they considered EVs to be safer than traditional vehicles, while 58% said it was to avoid emissions charges.

Cost was a factor for another 49% who feel EVs are generally less expensive to maintain. At the same time, an impressive 60% of fleet managers have or would incorporate EVs to improve brand reputation.

The barriers to EV adoption

While most fleet managers see the benefits of EVs, incorporating them into a busy fleet is not always plain sailing.

Among the most common barriers to EV adoption are the upfront costs of vehicles and charging points (61%), a fear of accidents due to quiet engines (50%) and difficulty tracking fuel consumption compared to traditional fuel types (46%).

Then there are the perceived limitations of the vehicles and surrounding infrastructure. The majority of fleet managers who have not and are not considering adopting EVs believe that there are not enough public charging points in the local area (60%), that charging times would be disruptive to business (61%), and that there is not enough choice of vehicle sizes and types (56%).

Inadequate fleet management systems are also a potential obstacle. The majority of fleet managers currently operating full or partial electric fleets say their GPS solution is unable to show vehicle range (34%), find the location of the nearest charging point (30%), or consider charging points when generating routes (31%).

Many systems are also unable to monitor energy consumption over distance travelled (33%) or send automated alerts when vehicle batteries are low (35%).  And 32% of fleet managers say their solution cannot support mixed fuel fleets.

Why electric is always the smart choice

Some resistance to EVs is understandable. Petrol and diesel engines have been the norm for decades and switching to an entirely new fuelling model will take time.

That said, when it comes to adopting electric vehicles in your fleet, it’s fast becoming a matter of when not if. And there are plenty of great reasons to make the switch sooner rather than later.

For one, right now, you have a choice to purchase an electric vehicle, which means manufacturers and governments are keen to incentivise greener options. Many manufacturers offer discounts or free charging points on new vehicle purchases. While governments may offer tax deductions or grants to help with the initial cost of purchase.

The infrastructure around EVs is rapidly improving too. There are currently around 25,000 charge points on UK roads, and the government has committed hundreds of millions of pounds to increase that number ten-fold over the next ten years.

Finally, fleet management solutions are quickly adapting to EV integration. Verizon Connect Reveal allows fleet operators to easily differentiate between EV and traditionally fuelled vehicles.

To set a new fuel type, fleet managers can simply select EVs from the admin page and choose ‘Battery Electric Vehicle’ from the dropdown menu under ‘Fuel Type’.

Once selected, the EV icon added to the vehicle name. It is then easy to monitor EVs alongside other vehicles in Reveal’s Live Map and in the Spotlight Mobile App.

And as your fleet evolves so will our support for EVs. So, whether you operate a 100% green fleet, are yet to make the switch, or are halfway there, Verizon Connect can help you drive efficiency, productivity and profitability across your fleet. Find out how.

Holly Dempster

Holly is the Marketing Specialist for UK & Ireland, Verizon Connect. With 5 years' experience in the IT Sector and a Journalism degree, her passion lies in the power of content. Holly's focus areas to date include, Digital, Channel and Consultative Marketing.

Tags: Data & analytics, Dispatching & scheduling, Cost control, Productivity & efficiency, Vehicle maintenance

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