02.12.2019 | 3 min

EV Do’s and don’ts - Tips for fleet managers considering an electric vehicle fleet

Since 2017, Vattenfall is switching its fleet to electric vehicle alternatives. With over 4,500 vehicles across Europe, this is a big task that requires taking into consideration existing leasing arrangements and country specific requirements.

As we are building a large electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure in Northern Europe, it was essential for us to walk the talk and electrify our own fleet. Taking the lead on this project has helped use our own experience to advise our customers on their fleet electrification strategy.

Read Vattenfall fleet electrification case study

Here are some tips on what to do for a smooth transition to an ev fleet and what potential roadblocks to look out for:

  • Look at your budget and start by either transitioning a few vehicles to hybrid or electric alternatives rather than changing your whole fleet at once or consider leasing EVs as a starting point to evaluate your options.
  • Involve drivers and other important stakeholders. Organise a test drive with your employees and get their opinion on models as they will be the ones driving them. This will foster enthusiasm amongst drivers and smoothen the change process.
  • Looking at your daily miles and where the vehicle charging will take place (at employees’ home, at work?), evaluate what kind of electric vehicles will suit your need.
  • Do not expect an electric car to fulfil all the requirements of a fossil-fuel vehicle, especially if your drivers do reasonable travels and do not require a long lasting battery.
  • Accept a performance loss of EVs by 20% during winter time, meaning calculate a plus 20% of battery capacity than what’s usually needed for the daily trips when choosing a car.
  • Be creative: Investigate solutions such as car sharing and car pool.
  • How many electric car charging points will you need on your premises? Start small by ordering 1 or 2, then check usage and user patterns regularly to make an informed decision before adding more.
  • Get your charge point supplier to look at how much power you have available and whether you need your charge points to have load balancing.
  • Do your employees need home charging? Help them set up EV charging so they can charge their company cars at home.
  • Allow for public charging. For example with My InCharge online portal, Fleet managers get all the necessary information (where the charges take place, when, how long for and the cost) to be able to process billing and settlement easily.
  • Look at tax benefits, subsidies and company support you can get. The UK Government offers a discount of up to £3,500 off the price of a brand new low emission vehicle and businesses can apply for grants from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) to get £500 towards the purchase and installation costs of an electric vehicle charge point. The Government is also removing the Benefit in Kind (BiK) tax for zero-emissions vehicles during the 2020-21 financial year making it very attractive for employees to switch to EVs.

Businesses with fleet vehicles are important players in the transition to electric driving. The change to an electric fleet involves understanding EVs and planning a strategy. Transitioning your fleet to electric vehicles will help you reduce your overall fleet costs (maintenance costs and fuel costs will be much lower) and show your customers, employees and local community that you care about the environment and are tackling local air quality issues head on.

Read next: How Vattenfall is transitioning to an electric vehicle fleet

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