Who do you need in your EV fleet transformation team?
30th July 2021
Deciding to electrify a commercial fleet is a significant challenge for any organisation. So it’s not one that’s likely to be quick or easy.
This is partly because it’s extremely unlikely that there’s already an existing team responsible for it. So anyone who wants to build the case for Electric Vehicles (EVs) may need to assemble that team themselves.
So how do you identify the key people you’ll need to get on board if you’re serious about persuading your organisation to make the switch?
Who’s in your electrification team?
First things first: You’re going to need support from your senior leadership team. It’s unlikely that you’ll want to approach your Managing Director or Chief Executive before you’ve built your case. The next most influential leader in most organisations is often the person in charge of finance.
Switching to an EV fleet’s going to require significant investment. So, you’re going to need the person in charge of finance onside by persuading them of the financial advantages of electrification.
These include lower lifetime costs, but they go far beyond that. Smart charging can save money on fuel bills. And when fully embraced, EVs give your organisation the potential to generate revenue by using them as electric assets through vehicle to grid (V2G) charging.
Your finance director is the person who’ll be able to work out which of the many available government incentives for electrification apply to your fleet, as well as 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 provide the investment to free up the capital required for new infrastructure to make it work.
They’ll need to understand the possible reputational upside of switching to EVs, and the fact that this could lead to an increase in sales.
And they’ll need to remember the possible downsides of not switching. For instance, considering the potential increase in operating costs of a fleet of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles in areas with Clean Air Zones.
This is very much an issue right now. London is expanding its Ultra Low Emission Zone, and cities such as Bristol are considering introducing similar schemes.
In summary, here are the things you should research to get a finance director or CFO on side:
- Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of an electric fleet versus and internal combustion engine (ICE) fleet
- Grants, incentives and subsidies available from the Government or other sources
- Cost of upfront switching investment – such as paying for any groudworks or infrastructure
- Potential future cost of not switching – for example, increasing Clean Air Zone driving penalties and reputational costs.
The key environmental benefit of the switch to EVs is obviously 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 who is responsible for sustainability in your organisation.
Switching to an EV fleet can help progress an organisation’s sustainability plans or deliver on Environmental Social Goals (ESG). This could be a big draw for any colleague responsible for delivering carbon reduction targets.
To maximise decarbonisation, it’s also going to be vital that the contract to provide the electricity that your EVs need is based on renewable energy. All these decisions ultimately land on the sustainability director’s desk, which makes them 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 to get them on board.
They'll be responsible for sourcing the vehicles and ensuring the drivers have access to the infrastructure. They’ll also be the ones maintaining the fleet and infrastructure moving forwards, so they’ll want a say in the set-up.
The fleet manager will also be the one working with Operations to ensure the vehicles meet the operational requirements. They’ll also be thinking about planning deployment and measurements for success.
An EV fleet should make a fleet manager’s job easier – if they understand the benefits, there’ll be no question about their endorsement.
Electrification is going to make the energy manager’s role more important than ever.
Your organisation’s EV fleet is going to be fuelled by electricity, which means your energy manager’s going to be a key player in finding the right tariffs.
This may be the first time your fleet and energy managers have worked closely together. But they’re also going to be a key player going forward if your organisation starts to exploit the potential of EVs as electric assets and to help optimise 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 keeping it going.
Having them on your team as you make the case for switching to EVs is not only necessary but will be a huge benefit. Consider their needs early on and you can help save them a lot of time and money.
They’re going to need to understand how EVs will fit in with your current operations, how they will be charged and how this will affect their availability. They are 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 who are going to be working with your EV fleet involved with your team. They’ll need to be trained on the difference between EVs and ICE vehicles. And they may need to be introduced to the benefits of the electric driving experience.
Want a step-by-step guide to creating a business case for electrification? This guide takes you through the process from start to finish. Click below to download now.Download your free copy today