Many organisations are putting plans in place to transition at least some of their fleet vehicles to plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) that use a combination of electricity and fuel to run, or battery electric vehicles (BEVs), which are entirely battery-powered and release zero tailpipe emissions.
Total Cost of Ownership
Pressure from the government to change to electric vehicles (EVs) and the incentives they are offering are an attractive proposition for fleet managers. Is now the time to switch?
The main reason to make the change in 2021 is simple: the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). The cost for EVs keeps declining so there is no need to rush into a switch. Nonetheless, if a fleet is ready to be replaced then in some use cases – especially short, fixed delivery routes – it is already better value to electrify your fleet than the TCO of petrol and diesel cars.
The government incentives for company EVs and charging installation also sweeten the deal and in a number of cities, there are low-emission zones that penalise petrol and diesel cars.
It is also worth mentioning that electrifying your fleet should be on the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agenda. It’s good for the environment and it is an opportunity to improve the corporate image with both prospective customers and employees.
Running and maintenance costs
There are also cost savings to be had with converting your fleet to electric vehicles. The running and maintenance costs for EVs are much lower than for a typical combustion engine vehicle. From public sector vehicles like hybrid fire engines and other emergency response vehicles, to councils deploying electric vans and companies electrifying their pool cars, the fuel savings alone could be into tens of thousands of pounds every year.
The main issue with EV fleets at the moment is that you cannot depend on public charge points alone. Although there has been a massive increase in number of charge points being installed, the EV charging network is still very thin on the ground in comparison to fossil-fuel vehicles, and can be expensive.
Studies show that only 10% of all EV charging is done on public charge points. Approximately 30% of EV charging is done at home, and the outstanding 60% at work. Of course, for operational and cost efficiency, companies often prefer to install a number of charge points at workplaces and depots. Many companies will also offer their EV drivers the opportunity to install a home charging unit. Therefore, with sufficient charge point procurement, fleet electrification is certainly feasible, and already happening in many organisations.
Fleet EV Charging Procurement
To ensure the transition from conventional combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to EVs is as smooth as possible, necessary infrastructure must be put in place so that the fleet electric vehicles can be charged as and when required.
There are several EV charging procurement options and it is important that the appropriate charging network is put in place for fleet vehicles, with installations organised by an approved EV installer. The right framework for you to use will depend upon different variables and the most appropriate framework for your fleet EV charging requirements must be planned before decisions are made.
Clarke EV provide unbiased, objective, and expert advice to ensure that your route to vehicle electrification is shaped to your needs now and into the future.
Site Survey And Design
Fleet EV charge points will typically be installed where the vehicles are currently parked when not in use. A site survey will have to be carried out to work out whether sufficient electricity capacity exists on the premises, or if new supplies are required. This survey will inform the site design so that an appropriate EV charging solution is installed, that works for your individual requirements now, and has the capacity grow over time as more fleet vehicles are phased out for EVs.
Charge point types
There are a number of different types of charge points that can be installed, and different chargers are appropriate for different locations – at home, at the office, in public – determining which charge point needs to be installed to support your fleet charging.
Slow chargers (3 kW) typically charge an EV from zero to full in around 8 to 12 hours. Due to the length of time it takes to charge, slow chargers are mainly used as home or workplace charging devices where the vehicle will be parked for an extended period of time. Their ideal use case is for charging your EV fleet overnight, or when not being used during the day.
Fast chargers (7-22 kW) charge at about twice the speed of slow charges. Therefore, a full charge takes about 4 to 8 hours. Fast chargers can be installed at home, but due to being more expensive than slow chargers, they are more suitable to be used as public or workplace chargers.
Rapid chargers can charge up to 80% of an EV battery in just half an hour. The amount of power required is much larger, so they are unsuitable for home charging. The rapid charge points are usually found at large service stations and come in two kinds: Rapid AC chargers (43 kW) and Rapid DC chargers (50 kW).
What plug do I need?
In the same way that phone charging cables often have two connectors, one that plugs into the phone and the other into a socket, for EVs the charging cables tend to have a vehicle socket and the other end plugs into the charge point itself.
The type of connector you need varies by vehicle and the speed (power rating) of the charge point. Electric vehicles either have a Type 1 or Type 2 socket for slow/fast charging and CHAdeMO or CCS for DC rapid charging. Your fleet EV vehicles must have a portable charging cable that matches the vehicle’s Type 1 or Type 2 socket so that your drivers can charge on public networks.
Your charge point installer can advise on the best charge points for your premises and charging of most models of EV vehicles.
We could get a lot more technical, and if you want more information then please feel free to ask, but for most fleet managers, they need not become specialists – they just need to find fleet EV charging specialists.
Clarke EV can deliver all of your fleet EV solution needs from the very start of your journey, selecting the right charge point, to maintaining your EV charge points.
Let’s start with a conversation, -give us a call on 0800 170 0276 or request a call back.