Is too much choice slowing the electrification revolution?
30th June 2021
We all think we want more choice. But is the paradox of choice stopping fleet managers from making the switch to electric vehicles (EVs)?
Having options gives us the opportunity to make our own decisions and take control. But having too many options can leave us unable to decide - sometimes known as the paradox of choice.
It could be this over-availability of options that’s holding some businesses back from making the leap to electrification.
Fleet managers and the paradox of choice
Despite the selection of EV models available being far more limited than that for traditionally fuelled vehicles, the transition to EV brings with it many new considerations.
From electricity supply and power capacity, to operational requirements and charging infrastructure - fleet managers are entering unknown territory. But making progress means not sitting on the side-lines.
Here are a few of the decisions your business might consider when debating switching to EVs…
What are my operational requirements?
The very first step in any electrification journey is to understand your operational requirements. An accurate understanding of how your business uses the vehicles in its fleet is crucial for understanding how EVs would fare under the same conditions.
To understand your operational requirements, you may look at information such as fleet size, mileage (both per trip and per day), purpose, areas of operation and resting locations.
Using this insight, you can build a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculation: the complete cost of electrification throughout a vehicle’s lifecycle. This calculation is useful to show where you have an operational need for EVs, and where you can make cost savings.
How do I choose the right EV for my fleet?
Once you’ve got an understanding of your needs, you can start to consider the practicalities, and what vehicle(s) you’ll choose to replace your existing ICE fleet.
You’ll need to refer back to your operational requirements again here, considering:
- Function: Are your vehicles for transporting salespeople from A to B, or are they transporting heavy goods?
- Drivability: Just like internal combustion engine (ICE) models, different EVs will be suited to different driving environments
- Form: Looks aren’t everything, but your fleet represents your business, and can be used to promote your brand’s sustainability credentials
- Range: How far does your vehicle need to go in one journey?
- Charging: While most businesses can plug in and recharge slowly overnight, for others, rapid charging might be the only option. If this is the case, you’ll need a model that supports this.
The charging conundrum: Fast vs slow chargers
You’ve decided on your vehicle, now you need the infrastructure to power it.
When it comes to charge points, you’ll need to decide how many you want, and where you want them. But the biggest challenge for many fleet managers right now is, what type?
Charge points fall into one of three broad categories: slow, fast, and rapid (measured in output of power, kW). Rapid charge points are the ones you’re most likely to see at public pit stops like motorway services, and they also tend to be the most expensive.
Many fleet managers overestimate their charge requirements. The audit from your operational requirements assessment will determine whether rapid charging is necessary, or if you can save money by choosing fast charging in a smart location based on your fleet’s operational patterns.
Future thinking and the bigger picture
While your first step to electrification might be swapping a few ICE vehicles for EVs, or installing a couple of charge points, there’s no denying that we’re at the tipping point of this electrical revolution. The need to electrify our transportation industry is only going to accelerate, and to stay ahead, you’ll need to innovate.
Throughout this process, you’ll want to be thinking towards the future. For example, when it comes to charge point installation, consider where you’ll want to be 10 years’ time. By thinking forward, you can do the groundworks now for minimum disruption, downtime and expense in the future.
And staying on top of technological advancements and market launches will mean you’ll know when the time’s right to expand your EV commitment.
There’s no one size fits all approach with EV
While electrification brings new considerations and challenges, we need to look at this as a great opportunity.
It’s becoming ever clearer that fleet management can’t simply be a one size fits all approach, and electrification offers the opportunity to design a fleet truly suited to your business needs.
Want the answers to the rest of the questions?
Our guide, 8 steps to electrifying your business fleet, orders a complicated process into manageable steps. With this guide, you can help your business save time, create a cost-effective EV infrastructure and avoid potentially costly wrong turns.Download your free copy today