Deciding to electrify a commercial fleet is a significant challenge that’s unlikely to be quick or easy for any organisation. One of the first stumbling blocks is the probable absence of an existing team with the right experience, so if you want to build the case for Electric Vehicles (EVs), you may need to start by assembling that team.
So how do you identify the key people you’ll need to get on board?
Who’s in your electrification team?
While you’ll need support from your senior leadership team, you probably won’t want to approach your Managing Director or Chief Executive before you’ve built your case. Often, the next most influential leader is the person in charge of finance.
Switching to an EV fleet’s going to require significant investment. So, you’ll need to understand the financial advantages of electrification.
These include lower lifetime costs compared to traditional vehicles, and much more besides. Charging at the right times can save money on fuel bills and EVs can even generate revenue if you use vehicle to grid (V2G) charging.
Your finance director can help you work out which of the many available government incentives for electrification apply to your fleet. And they should be able to say exactly how much financial support your organisation can expect to receive.
They’ll also be responsible for working out how to pay for the switch and for freeing up the capital required to invest in the new infrastructure that’ll make it all work.
It may be worthwhile reminding them of the possible reputational upside of switching to EVs. Positive PR around your organisation’s improved sustainability credentials should resonate well with your customers and prospects, and may even lead to increased loyalty and new sales.
You can also remind your FD about the possible downsides of delaying a transition or not switching at all. For instance, the 2030 ban on the sale and purchase of new diesel and petrol vehicles will soon be upon us all. And you should also consider the potential increase in operating costs of a fleet of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles in areas with Clean Air Zones.
The key environmental benefit of the switch to EVs is that they don’t emit carbon at the point of use. They also produce zero polluting tailpipe emissions. Which means they’re absolutely within the remit of the person responsible for sustainability in your organisation.
As noted already, switching to an EV fleet can help progress your organisation’s sustainability plans or deliver on your Environmental Social Governance goals (ESG). This could be a big draw for any colleague responsible for delivering carbon reduction targets.
To maximise decarbonisation, the contract to provide electricity to your EVs should be based on renewable energy. Further down the line, your organisation might also consider generating your own renewable power and using it (in part) to charge your EVs.
Your sustainability director will influence all these decisions, so they’re someone you need on your team.
The person responsible for running your organisation’s fleet is central to the decision. If you’re not the fleet manager yourself, you’re going to need them on board.
They’ll be responsible for sourcing the vehicles, planning deployment, and ensuring the drivers have access to the infrastructure. And they’ll maintain the fleet and infrastructure moving forwards and be thinking about measurements for success.
The fleet manager will also be working with Operations to ensure the vehicles meet your organisation’s operational requirements. An EV fleet should make a fleet manager’s job easier – if they understand the benefits, there’ll be no issues gaining their endorsement.
Electrification is going to make the energy manager’s role more important than ever, since they’ll have the task of finding the right contract and tariffs.
This may be the first time your fleet and energy managers have worked closely together. But they’ll be key players if your organisation starts to exploit the potential of EVs as electric assets and tools for optimising your energy use.
Depending on the size of your organisation, you may need to create a formal tendering process to find the right partners to assess your EV fleet needs.
Your procurement colleague will play a big part in the suitability assessment and making your business case. They’ll help you work out the right mix of EVs for your fleet, the right way to pay for them, and the right infrastructure to keep them going.
Your facilities manager’s going to be responsible for making changes to the estate to accommodate new infrastructure, as well as for helping install that infrastructure and maintaining it.
Consider their needs early on and you’ll help them save a lot of time and money.
They’re going to need to understand how EVs will fit in with your current operations. When and where will drivers charge them? How will this affect the availability of each vehicle and driver?
The ops manager is at the sharp end of what your organisation does, and their support for electrification will be vital.
Last, but not least, you need to get the people using your EV fleet involved with your team. They’ll need an introduction to the benefits of the electric driving experience and training on the differences between EVs and ICE vehicles.
Your organisation will only be able to realise the full benefits of EVs if this vital group is on-board with your plan too.
Want a step-by-step guide to creating a business case for electrification? This guide, created by Drax, takes you through the process from start to finish. Download your free copy today