In recent years the transportation industry has begun to shift seismically towards more sustainable practices. It’s becoming increasingly important that small businesses and large companies alike reduce the level of impact they have upon the environment, while also optimising their operations.

An answer to these current issues is represented by fleet electrification, an idea that is accelerating due to its growing relevance. So that you can get an understanding on the subject, we’ve put together this fleet electrification guide which explains exactly what it is, the benefits, challenges, and how you can plan for the future.

What is Fleet Electrification?

Simply defined, fleet electrification is where an organisation replaces their internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles with electric vehicles (EVs). 

It is a process which entails switching from the use of fossil fuels to electricity for power and applies to a wide array of commercial vehicles including trucks, buses, vans, and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).

Why Fleet Electrification?

Principally, fleet electrification is of vital importance owing to its impact on reducing the carbon footprint of a vehicle fleet. 

Specifically, by moving away from a reliance on conventional fuels which release harmful greenhouse gases (GHGs), electrification enables the use of a cleaner and more sustainable energy source.

The Benefits of Fleet Electrification

Fleet electrification brings a host of benefits, including:

Reduced CO2 emissions

The primary advantage offered by fleet electrification is the significant reduction in fleet CO2 emissions, given that EVs do not rely on petrol or diesel. Additionally, This comes with the inherent benefit of decreasing air pollution, in turn, contributing to the fight against climate change.

Lower running costs

Electrification eliminates the need for fleets to spend on fuel, traditionally one of their largest expenses. Moreover, maintenance is cheaper for EVs because they have fewer moving parts, and so experience less wear and tear. Ultimately, this signals overall cost reduction.

Increased brand reputation

In today’s society, there is a substantial awareness of environmental concerns. Therefore, when fleets embrace electrification, they are perceived as committed to sustainability. Consequently, electrification enhances an organisation’s brand image and reputation in the eyes of customers, investors, and stakeholders.

The Challenges of Fleet Electrification

Despite fleet electrification offering remarkable benefits, it's important to acknowledge certain drawbacks. 

Firstly, EVs typically imply higher initial costs as opposed to standard ICE vehicles. However, it's crucial to reiterate that these upfront investments result in long-term cost savings. Secondly, there is still a marked shortage of charging infrastructure for EVs, especially when compared with the accessibility of petrol and diesel stations.

When taking the disadvantages of fleet electrification into account, it should be emphasised that the underlying technology is continuously advancing. After all, EV fleets are relatively new, and it's expected that we will see improvements in areas such as battery capacity, range capabilities, and the expansion of charging points, potentially coupled with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) integration, in the near future.

Commercial Fleet Electrification Strategy

It’s a fact that the collective switch to EVs is now a reality. Even considering that the ban on the sale of ICE vehicles has been pushed back to 2035, fleet electrification is inevitable, meaning it’s advised that you plan ahead. What’s more, early adopters of electric fleets are entitled to government incentives which partly offset the upfront costs, effectively making the change practical for more organisations.

In order to set out your commercial fleet electrification strategy, you’ll need to undertake EV vehicle selection, re-evaluate route planning, assess charging logistics, and accustom yourself to the particular needs of EVs.

We at MICHELIN Connected Fleet make the transition to a greener fleet seamless by factoring all of this into your organisation’s structure before establishing a comprehensive strategy. We fully believe in clean energy for fleets, and have developed electric vehicle fleet management solutions to make electrifying your fleet more attractive than ever. If you’re interested in our services, then be sure to make an enquiry today.