Powering Up for the Switch to Electric Vehicles

There's no doubt that electric vehicles are the future. In fact, with several of the world's major manufacturers pledging to produce only fossil fuel-free vehicles within decades, it's likely just a matter of time before your business will convert.

Not that there aren't reasons to do so now, ranging from skyrocketing gas prices to a desire to be part of the movement away from greenhouse gases. Or perhaps your business has always been an early adaptor.

No matter the motivation or timeframe, there are several things to consider when replacing your gas-burning fleet with electric models. We take a look at some of the issues here.

Not an 'All of Nothing' Proposition

Not every vehicle in your fleet may be a good candidate to replace with an electric vehicle. So, if you're thinking of transitioning but overwhelmed by the prospect of doing so, know that it doesn't have to happen overnight.

Moreover, your fleet may include vehicles that don't make sense to convert until the industry has caught up. After all, we're still in the early stages of conversion. In this piece on forbes.com, the best vehicles to convert right now are identified as:

• Vehicles often used for short trips.

• Vehicles that spend a significant amount of time idling.

• Vehicles driven a considerable amount of miles daily (which increases cost savings).

Does your fleet fit this profile? If you operate in any of the industries identified as most likely to benefit from electric vehicles by unsustainablemagazine.com, chances are you may want to give switching more serious consideration. These include:

• Transport

• Utility Providers

• Ecommerce

• Delivery

Not surprisingly, businesses that manufacture electric vehicles or the batteries that power them are listed as prime beneficiaries, too.

Cost Saving Considerations

Cost will play a significant role in your decision to convert your fleet to electric vehicles. According to Forbes.com, "the total cost of ownership for light-duty EVs is often lower than comparable conventional vehicles, which makes them a great choice for fleets."

But be warned that the savings may not be realized upfront. Incentives may dial initial costs back a bit, but the real savings will come over the life of the vehicle.

According to a study in Consumer Reports, the total savings over an electric vehicle's lifespan can range from $6,000 to $10,000. A primary reason for this is that they cost less to maintain. For one, they have fewer moving parts and require less routine maintenance.

So, after five years of ownership, the annual maintenance cost for an electric vehicle is $900 compared to $1,200 for fossil fuel-burning vehicles.                                                                         

Charging Up

If you're concerned about charging your fleet, keeping it charged, and ensuring you can reach and return to your destinations without powering down, you're not alone.

However, such concerns are slowly chipping away due to a growing infrastructure of charging stations in the U.S. According to Forbes.com, the landscape is changing, and 95% of electric vehicle owners surveyed have never powered down enroute to their destination.

Moreover, nearly half of the fast-charge stations required to address the country's projected needs by 2030 have been installed, and 12% of the needed 'level 2' chargers are already in place. Since 2019 there's been a 26% increase in public stations.

Even electric vehicles with the shortest ranges can typically cover more than 100 miles on a full charge. So, if you're delivery footprint is small to average, your chances of running out of charge are slim.

If you operate in colder climates where sub-freezing temperatures can sap the charge out of batteries for both electric and conventional vehicles, you'll be encouraged to know that even places that experience freezing temperatures have made the switch.

In fact, countries like Sweden, Norway, and Finland have some of the world's highest percentages of electric vehicle users.

A Choice for Today or Tomorrow

The choice to replace your gas-burning fleet with electric vehicles may be one you're ready to make right now. However, if you're not, don't worry. You're not alone in the ranks of businesses waiting for the right moment to jump. Either way, it's a decision you're unlikely to regret when the time comes.