Are fleet businesses moving towards electric vehicles?

You may have seen the news that Amazon is leading a $700 million investment round in the all-electric vehicle start-up Rivian Automotive. Rivian received great praise when it introduced its first two electric vehicles at the L.A. Auto Show in November, and Amazon, which is currently exploring ways to reinvent its delivery fleet, has been quick to get in on the act. The deal is an important milestone for the shift to sustainability, with commercial fleet management teams around the world sitting up and taking notice.

The Rivian deal is just the latest in a number of steps Amazon has taken in its attempt to reach zero emissions for shipping. While the firm may receive criticism for the way it manages its employees, its approach to fleet management is nothing if not progressive. The world’s largest retailer has committed to making half of its trips carbon neutral by 2030, a plan which will require an aggressive adoption of electric vans and delivery vehicles.

But Amazon is not the only mega-fleet to take such a stance. With investors increasingly wanting to work with firms that take sustainability seriously, other fleet management teams are already following suit.

Global companies sign up to the EV100 initiative

More than 30 global companies have pledged to switch their commercial fleets to electric vehicles through the EV100 initiative. The EV100 is a global initiative that was created to bring together forward-thinking companies that are committed to transitioning to electric vehicles and making electric transport the new norm by 2030.

31 companies with a combined revenue of over $500bn have now made an EV100 commitment. In the UK, that includes names like Unilever, BT, EDF, IKEA and Heathrow Airport. The commitments made by those companies will see 145,000 vehicles in 66 markets switch to electric by 2030. The result will be an estimated reduction of 6.6 million metric tonnes of CO2 a year, which is the equivalent carbon produced by 1.9 million UK households.

Electric vehicles will soon become the new norm

It’s no longer the case that improving the green credentials of a business has a detrimental commercial impact. On the contrary, recent reports into the deployment of electric vehicles in fleets have found that in the right circumstances, electric vehicles can provide clear financial benefits and commercial advantages. However, despite those benefits, the uptake of electric vehicles by fleet management teams still needs to improve.

More than half of all the new cars in the UK are bought by fleets. In order to develop a business case for deploying electric vehicles, it’s important fleet management teams understand the different range of operations within the fleet where electric vehicles can be deployed most effectively. As commercial fleets invest in more new electric vehicles, that will also increase the supply of used electric vehicles for private buyers.

The benefits of investing in greener fleets

The fiscal benefits, increasing charging infrastructure and a growing range of new vehicles to choose from have all made electric vehicles increasingly attractive for commercial fleets. Some of the benefits of investing in greener fleets include:

Reduced whole-life costs

There are very different costs involved in the ownership of combustion engine and electric vehicles. The upfront costs of electric vehicles can put some fleet managers off, but the only fair way to compare the two is to look at their whole-life costs. Although the purchase price of electric vehicles is high, the fuel costs, maintenance and repair costs, taxes and congestion charges are far less. There are also significant government subsidies that can reduce the initial capital outlay. That makes a strong business case to add electric vehicles to your fleet.

Added value for employees

Making electric vehicles part of your fleet can also lead to a significant reduction in personal fuel costs for employees, thereby reducing their company car benefit in kind tax. By paying less of their wages in tax, employees will be able to enjoy a benefit that makes a real difference to their lives.

A boost to PR

Adding electric vehicles to your fleet in an increasingly environmentally-conscious world can have significant branding benefits for your business. With consumers demanding greener products and services, your fleet management decisions can boost the eco-credentials of your business.

The Go Ultra Low (GUL) campaign

The GUL campaign is picking up speed recently (pun intended) in its attempt to inform consumers and corporations about the benefits of switching to electric vehicles. Rather than an exercise in propaganda or spin, GUL simple shares the facts, allowing you to ‘make an informed decision’.

Their website has a wealth of information for business owners and fleet managers about how a move to electric vehicles can bring multiple gains, including tax benefits, fuels savings and reduced maintenance costs. With the UK committed to all new cars being ‘zero emission’ by the year 2040, the GUL is the first point of information for many thinking of making the switch to an EV.

However, the incentives are wider than simply saving money. Many businesses are now striving to be ‘certified B‘. A Certified B Corporation is one that meets ‘the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose’. With consumers becoming more focused on the ethical practices of the businesses they patronage, this sort of certification is more useful than ever. Partnering with an eco-friendly company that actively promotes improved labour practices such as Dropless is a step in the right direction for any organsiation hoping to meet the requirements listed on the Certified B Corporation website.

What other green changes can businesses make?

Switching to electric vehicles is not the only fleet management change businesses can make to reduce their impact on the environment. Businesses are also facing increasing pressure to maintain and clean their fleets in a more sustainable way. While climate change is arguably the biggest threat to the health of the planet today, excessive water usage is certainly not far behind. In fact, it has been predicted that London will face water demand that exceeds supply within the next decade, potentially leading to severe water shortages in the capital by 2040.

On average, over 160 litres of water are wasted every time a vehicle is washed, with up to 300 litres wasted when pressure washers are used. If every vehicle in London was washed just once in 2019, 400 million litres of water would be wasted. It’s not surprising then that businesses and their customers are increasingly becoming aware of the fleet cleaning techniques that are being used.

A green approach to fleet cleaning

At Dropless, we offer a greener alternative to conventional fleet cleaning methods. Our waterless fleet cleaning service does not use a single drop of water to boost the sustainability of your business. Get in touch to find out how we can help you achieve your CSR responsibilities and give your business green credentials worth shouting about.