When any business decides to purchase new fleet vehicles, there are a number of factors that come into play. Price, fuel efficiency, maintenance costs, space, styling, and environmental impact are all things that must be taken into consideration. Here is some helpful information to demonstrate the value and savings of converting from an internal combustion engine (ICE) fleet to a plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) fleet.
Bottom line savings
PEVs often have a higher initial price, but that may be offset by tax incentives and savings on operation and maintenance costs, which are considerably lower than ICE vehicles.
- Lower fuel costs: PEVs can cost as much as 80 percent less than ICE vehicles to fuel because electricity is far cheaper than gasoline or diesel on a per-mile basis.
- Lower maintenance and repair costs: PEVs run cooler because they have far fewer moving parts than comparable ICE vehicles, resulting in fewer maintenance requirements and repairs, which translates to lower costs. A battery electric vehicle (BEV) will save approximately 35 percent on maintenance1, 30 percent on repairs2, and their regenerative brakes typically last longer than traditional brake systems.3
- Purchase incentives: To help lower the overall costs of a new PEV, the government offers a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 for qualifying PEVs.
- Rebates: Check with your utility for other incentives.
Lower total cost of ownership
A savvy fleet operator will analyze the overall cost of acquisition, operations, and maintenance. For example, the out-of-pocket expenses for a PEV are about $12,000 less over a five-year period compared to a typical fleet sedan. When depreciation is included, then the PEV is approximately $4,000 less to own.
Predictability and convenience
The financial benefits are essential, but it’s also important to know PEVs provide your business with stability and added convenience.
- Stable fuel prices: Gasoline and diesel prices can fluctuate dramatically throughout the year making it difficult for fleet managers to predict their fuel budget. However, on an annual basis, electricity prices are typically more stable.
- More time on the road: Less required maintenance means more time on the road over the lifetime of your PEV.
- Priority lanes and parking: As the movement for clean energy grows, PEVs, sometimes qualify for car pool/ high-occupancy vehicle lanes. Some businesses are also giving priority parking to drivers of PEVs and other alternative-fuel vehicles.
- Convenient fueling: PEVs can be charged using standard outlets or, if you require faster charging, a Level-2 charging station can be installed at your business. This allows your PEVs to charge at your business and eliminates the need for frequent gas station trips. Just plug in your PEV at the end of the day, and it will be ready for the next day.
Selecting the Right PEV for Your Fleet
The best practice when selecting fleet vehicles is to select the size and class of vehicle that most accurately fits your intended use. Base your decision on the most typical use, not the occasional need.
- Size: Choose the smallest vehicle that fits your typical daily requirements. Generally, the smaller vehicles cost less.
- Range: The same rules should apply here. Select a vehicle that will meet the average daily mileage usage, and not the range for occasional long trips. Opportunities to top off your charge during or between shifts should also be considered.
- Type: Whether to choose pure electric, plug-in hybrid, or extended-range vehicles comes down to the needs of your fleet. PEVs offer the ability to run pure electric, and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles offer the flexibility to extend the range with gasoline.
Many models of PEVs to choose from:
There are over 20 PEV models available commercially. As the popularity of electric vehicles continues to grow, you can expect that auto manufactures will launch more models. If you are purchasing or leasing for a fleet, check with local dealers to see what models of PEVs are available in your area.
Other Benefits of PEVs
Good for the environment – PEV’s produce fewer emissions, even when you factor in emissions from power plants.
Energy Independence – As PEV’s become more widespread the USA’s dependence on foreign oil will be reduced. Electricity is generated with largely domestic fuel sources.
Enhance the company image – A fleet of PEVs is a visible way of communicating your company values and generating goodwill.
Fun to drive! – Drivers will enjoy the smooth and quick acceleration. Many PEVs are equipped with advanced telematics to enhance your fleet’s analytics.
QUICK GUIDE TO PEV TYPES
PEV: Plug-in electric vehicles get all or part of their power from the electric grid and include BEVs, PHEVs, and EREVs.
PHEV: Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles have batteries recharged from the electric grid, and also contain internal combustion engines fueled by gasoline.
EREV: Extended-range electric vehicles have gas engines that power electric generators for several hundred additional miles after car batteries are fully charged.