The April 2019 issue of fleetdigest is now available online. You can flip through it here, but first, a few words from the Associate Publisher of fleetdigest, Jack Kazmierski.
The Electric Tsunami
With more manufacturers jumping onto the electrification wagon, going green will be easier than ever.
If you’ve been thinking about electrifying your fleet but haven’t been impressed with the choice of EVs available, hold onto your hat. The recent parade of auto show announcements and debuts came with a very strong electrification theme. What was once the domain of a few forward-thinking manufacturers now seems to be moving into the mainstream.
That doesn’t mean everyone is coming out with an EV that’s going to be ideal for your fleet. But with a growing variety of PHEVs, BEVs, and hybrids available now and in the near future, fleet managers are going to have to keep their eye on what’s new and what’s available to keep up with the choices.
Whether you’re interested in greening your fleet to save the environment or save on your annual fuel costs, very soon you’ll have the option to choose between a conventional internal combustion engine or a similar vehicle with some form of electrification.
EVs with muscle
For years, fleets that needed more muscle for towing and hauling didn’t even bother considering electrification as an option. It was a non-starter. EVs were fine for moving people, but not freight.
Today, fleet managers have a growing number of options. I’m not saying BEVs are the answer (yet), but what about a pick-up that comes with some form of energy recuperation and storage, and that uses a mild hybrid technology to boost power and cut fuel use? That’s available now.
Granted, that’s not a “pure” EV solution, but it’s a step in the right direction. Given time, with the advancement of battery technologies, we’re sure to see a day when the PHEV pickup truck rolls off the assembly line from one or more of the major manufacturers. You know they’re working on it. It’s just a matter of time.
Even now, fleets can upfit their work trucks and vans with aftermarket hybrid technologies. That may not be the easiest way to go green, but the technology is currently available.
The bottom line is that soon we’re going to see a tsunami of electrification options at the OE level. Some will be better than others, and some more likely to be a perfect match for your fleet. So if greening your fleet is a priority for your organization, I urge you to stay on top of the product announcements, and carefully weigh the growing number of options, as you figure out what’s best for your fleet and your team.