As we become more aware of how our actions and business operations impact the environment, many transport fleets are looking into adopting electric vehicles (EVs) in the hopes of minimising their footprint.
Thankfully, EVs are evolving from a niche offering into an affordable, versatile asset. Here’s how EVs will help you reduce your fleet’s overall carbon emissions and how to make the most of insights collected via telematics in the meantime.
Electrify for Future Change
The electrification of fleets is gaining momentum, primarily driven by government targets, sustainability commitments, contract requirements and compelling economic drivers. In the long run, the total cost of ownership of an electric vehicle will be much less than a vehicle with an internal combustion engine – because the cost of electricity, maintenance, tax and the residual loss of vehicle value are all much lower.
This presents a compelling consideration for any business – as fleets filled with expensive vehicles present a low return on investment. By considering EV, businesses will often find they’re able to make drastic savings.
The appetite for switching to green measures is definitely increasing amongst fleets across Australia, with sales of electric and hybrid cars surging over the first half of the year.
Moreover, there is now a heightened environmental awareness amongst consumers and businesses alike – they are actively seeking information on the green credentials and sustainability efforts of any brand or business, the provenance of goods, the methods of production, and how they’ve been transported. If you can be seen to be making a positive step in tackling a major polluting part of your business, it could potentially pay dividends for maintaining existing contracts and picking up new ones in the future.
EVs are a great option for companies running light vehicles that require their team to run about town for short tasks. For businesses running heavy vehicles or that require a lot of country miles, it may not be feasible just yet. While the battery range for passenger EVs is increasing with every new model, there is still some way to go before the technology of electrified trucks gets to a point where it’s feasible and cost effective to drive long distances with heavy cargo. Currently, hydrogen-powered trucks on fuel cells are proving to be a viable option, but they still aren’t quite there on range compared to fossil fuels.
Instead, transport operators should look to technology and insights from telematics around vehicle performance and driver behaviour to reduce fuel usage and rates – Telematics users save an average of 12.7 per cent according to Teletrac Navman’s 2019 Telematics Benchmark Report.
It’s important to note that the total cost of running an EV depends on the federal and/or state incentive schemes that are available to you. Talking about EV strategy in general is difficult because different states and countries have different policies. In Australia, just three states and territories offer discounts on stamp duty and registration - the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland and Victoria.
In addition, by being clever in where charging stations are set up, governments can also help boost local economies. If charging stations are set up at local small businesses such as roadside cafés or galleries, it would make a real difference to those businesses and shift people’s spending away from globally run petrol stations to local economies.
All in all, changing to EVs can be a financial and environmental beneficial solution for company fleets, but it is still up to governments to keep pushing the benefits along in the form of improved incentive schemes and increased funding in the research and development of EV and hydrogen technology.
Insights from Telematics
Until EVs become a viable option for businesses to add readily into their fleet, telematics goes a long way to reduce your fleet’s carbon emissions. In fact, Teletrac Navman customers have seen up to a 30 per cent reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions after actioning sustainability goals – depending on the fleet setup.
As a key part of the supply chain, transport businesses across Australia have an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage by improving their sustainability profile. You can effectively reduce your carbon emissions through a more efficient running of your fleet, and technology can help you achieve that.