Thinking about an electric commercial vehicle fleet? Here are six easy steps to make the switch
It’s getting easier and easier to make the case for an electric vehicle fleet. You could help the environment, help your organisation meet its sustainability goals and help boost employee morale. If it’s done correctly, it can even help your bottom line.
What seems like the hard part is working out how to make the switch. But it doesn’t have to be difficult and it’s worth remembering that the more vehicles you have in your fleet, the bigger the benefits you could see. Here’s our six-step guide to help you get started.
Step 1: Work out what you have
Few organisations have fleets of just one vehicle type with just one job to do. Working out what vehicles you have and what they’re used for can make it easier to see where electric vehicles are a natural fit. You may even find that it’s not just a straight swap from petrol/diesel to an electric equivalent, as there could be electric alternatives that are even better for your requirements. I
Step 2: Explore your usage
While the switch to electric may be the main aim, it’s worth looking at how you use your fleet as well. Perhaps there are ways to optimise routes or manage loads so you can use your vehicles more efficiently. This has benefits at any time, of course, but can be particularly valuable when you’re looking at electric range and charging options.
Step 3: Consider charging locations outside the office
Charging is one of the big challenges for any electric fleet – and it’s not just about what you do in the workplace. If your drivers take vehicles home, you’ll need to see what charging options are open to them there. Off street charging is more straightforward than street charging, for example, and things get a lot more complicated for those who need to find charging stations as part of their journey into work. There’s also the installation time for home chargers to keep in mind, particularly if you’re switching over a lot of vehicles in your fleet at once. READ OUR CHARGING GUIDES HERE
Step 4: Think about workplace charging
Workplace charging has its own challenges. There’s the capacity for a start. You’ll need to have an idea of how many chargers you will need to keep things ticking over, which will depend on the situation for out-of-workplace charging, plus the size and usage of your fleet. There’s also the cost and complexity of getting the chargers installed to consider, as you may need to get your local grid upgraded or have to set up a new contract with your power company.
Finally, you need to think about your organisation’s plans for the future as part of a wider sustainability journey.
Step 5: Decide where to start
Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that the change from petrol and diesel vehicles to electric doesn’t have to be like flicking a light switch. It’s not just all off or all on. A great way to build momentum is to begin with the easiest wins in your fleet – those where electric is a simple swap or a clear improvement – or the vehicles where electric gives you the biggest environmental or cost-saving benefits. It’s also a good idea to keep things simple at the start. There may be mistakes along the way, but these have less impact if you need to replace a small van that’s easy to move on (another word here) than if you have to get rid of a larger commercial vehicle that’s undergone extensive customisation for a specific role.
Step : Remember you can get help
You don’t have to work everything out on your own. LeasePlan’s Commercial Vehicle team are here to help. You can get in touch with a member of the team by emailed firstname.lastname@example.org or why not visit us at the upcoming CV Show? Register for your free tickets here.