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Gradually Switching Gasoline Vehicles to EVs

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Many fleet managers are already planning to electrify them. PHOTO Pexels

To maintain fleet sustainability and refresh its workforce, the manager must plan for the retirement of gasoline-powered vehicles.

In such a context, the implementation of a fleet electrification plan becomes necessary to keep pace with the industry.

Activate the power

In order to comply with the ZEV standard, many fleet managers are already working on a strategy to electrify their rolling stock. Not only will this allow companies to integrate new technologies more quickly, but it will also promote fleet sustainability. To that end, Sasha Arasteh, Director of Mobility Services for Shell Fleet Solutions in the Americas, offers some statistics.

“About 66% of commercial fleet vehicles are kept less than three years* and only 7% more than five years. With this in mind, the transition to electric can happen organically. Early electrification can help fleet managers optimize operations to account for EV requirements such as charging time and range.”

Gradually, the industry is offering electric options that allow each manager to upgrade their fleet and reduce maintenance and fuel costs. Arasteh adds that while the decision to replace gasoline vehicles with EVs makes sense for most fleets, the solution differs from case to case.

“Companies specializing in last-mile delivery or a local florist, which have a depot used to charge vehicles overnight, can immediately benefit from fleet electrification. Rideshare fleets that are B2B2C can use EVs, but they will still be more reliant on recharging while on the road,” she says in closing.

Staying connected

Of course, swapping emission vehicles for their plug-in counterparts requires planning for upfront costs related to the EVs and charging stations to be deployed at the company site and at employees’ homes. As for the content of the electrification plan, Glenn Provan, Analyst, Reports & Consulting at Foss National Leasing, mentions at the outset a feasibility study identifying the opportunities for electrification and the many internal policy changes involved in going green. He also discusses the variations in the flow of data that circulate on this subject.

“Right now, there is a lot of information to digest and that information can change frequently. So your plan needs to be flexible and take into account plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles. Also plan for a small pilot project.”

This will be followed by the identification of vehicles that may leave in order to free up space. While the obvious signs of wear and tear on rolling stock remain good indicators to facilitate this selection, according to Glenn Provan, this should not be confused with the establishment of an appropriate replacement policy to manage the fleet.

“A replacement policy is data-driven and analyzes several key variables. Understanding these factors allows a fleet to adopt a replacement strategy that minimizes total cost of ownership, maintenance costs and vehicle downtime, ensures employee safety and allows for the development of an ordering plan for future vehicles.”

Industry solutions

In this vein, the Canadian market continues to make its own contribution to fleet electrification by constantly improving its EV offerings,” says Charlotte Argue, Geotab’s Senior Director, Fleet Electrification.

“There are more than a dozen choices for a fully electric car and more than 40 if you include plug-in hybrids. Several automakers will launch their electric pickup trucks later this year or next. Highly anticipated vehicles, given their popularity in Canada.”

In addition, with the emergence of plug-in commercial trucks and buses, it is clear that the trend is now spreading to almost all vehicle formats. However, according to our stakeholder, access to the right class/size of EV is only part of the picture.

“Fleet operators need to look at vehicle usage or duty cycles to ensure the EV is right for the job, in terms of range and charging capacity. Surprisingly, much of the fleet usage is well below the daily range offered by today’s EVs, which represent a great opportunity for fleets,” Argue summarizes.

* Future of Fleet – Free Report, Shell UK, accessed on February 2nd, 2022.

 

Categories : Editorial, Fleet
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