5 questions to answer before switching your fleet to electric vehicles
31st May 2019
The Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) reports that the transport sector is the largest contributor of UK greenhouse gas emissions. Against this backdrop, many businesses are considering replacing their fleets with electric vehicles (EVs). Haven Power’s EV lead Adam Hall shares the five key questions your business should ask before making the switch.
Read more below:
1. Why switch your fleet to EVs?
There are two main drivers motivating businesses to change to electric vehicles.
The first is economics. Would it be cheaper to run your fleet using electric power?
The second is one of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Will reducing your emissions – and helping to improve air quality by moving away from diesel – help you achieve your CSR goals? And will it have a significant positive effect on your staff and customers’ perceptions of your company?
2. What are your operational requirements?
The transportation requirements of your business reflect your operational needs. So, it’s essential that switching to an electric fleet isn’t going to have a negative impact on your operations.
When considering the replacement of your existing fleet of vehicles, you need to work out how many (if any) are suitable for electrification. You can base this on several simple questions about each vehicle, including:
- Is it near the end of its useful economic life or lease? Or would it be more economically viable to change later?
- Is the daily mileage for the vehicle achievable with an EV?
- Is there enough average ‘idle’ time to enable within-day charging (taking account of the varying charge point speeds available – see question 3)?
- Does your business have special transportation needs (e.g. choice of refrigerated EVs is currently limited)?
If your answers indicate that a switch to electrification would benefit your business, there’s even better news: there’s a much wider range of EVs available today than ever before. This range even includes an ever-growing number of electric vans, with more being launched over the coming months.
3. Does your business have the right electrical infrastructure for EVs?
Getting your fleet’s charging infrastructure right is crucial. For example:
- EVs from different manufacturers may require different charge point connections.
- The length of your fleet’s ‘idle’ times – the opportunities to charge your vehicles between periods of usage – may determine the speed of the charging points you install (some are faster than others).
- Do drivers take the vehicles home when they are not on shift? This may mean that home charging makes the most sense, and if so, how will this be managed?
- Are you happy for employees and visitors to use your charge points for their own EVs?
- Will you use your EVs as ‘mobile batteries’ to provide electricity to your buildings – and/or to the Grid? If so, how much value will this add?
4. Do you have the right electrcity tariff for EV's?
Changing your fleet to EVs will mean that your business consumes more electricity. Depending on how much more power you use, and when you’re using it, you may need to consider changing your electricity tariff. It could even be worthwhile investing in your own renewable electricity generating capacity.
You can also develop your energy management strategy further by using your EV fleet to store electricity, either to power buildings or sell back to the Grid.
5. Who can help you make the switch?
Switching your company’s fleet to EV isn’t entirely straightforward, so many businesses find an experienced energy partner to help them manage the change.
Utility provider SES Water recently turned to Haven Power and Drax Group plc to help convert its fleet to EVs, using 100% renewable electricity.
Henrietta Stock, Energy and Carbon Manager at SES Water, said, “We have already significantly reduced our carbon emissions over the last year and working with Drax has enabled us to create a bespoke EV solution. [Now] we can understand exactly how to save the most energy, further lowering both our carbon emissions and our costs”.
To discover how Haven Power can help your business develop, deliver and manage its electric vehicle strategy, get in touch using our contact form.Contact us
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