The complete guide to electric vehicles
Whether you're evaluating electric vehicles or you've already started your electrification journey, our guide can help you in the process
Electric Vehicles for Fleets: A Comprehensive Guide
The cost of petrol and diesel has soared at the pumps, while sweeping new laws introduced from 2030 will mandate a switch away from fossil fuels, leading companies to consider a switch to electric vehicles to help lower operational costs and reduce carbon emissions.
Whether you're currently evaluating electric vehicles for your fleet or you've already started your electrification journey, consult this guide to learn everything you need to know about electric vehicles.
What types of electric vehicles are available?
Currently, there are three main types of electric vehicles:
- BEV (battery electric vehicle) - These are ‘pure’ electric vehicles where all the power comes from a large battery. There is no petrol or diesel engine.
- PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) - These combine electric power with an internal combustion engine. They are able to run on either power source, or use both together, and can typically cover 30-50 miles on battery power alone. You need to plug in the car to fully recharge the battery.
- HEV (hybrid electric vehicle) - These are petrol or diesel cars with electric assistance to improve efficiency during acceleration and cruising. The small battery is charged by the engine and can only power the car for short distances on its own.
What are the benefits of electric vehicles for fleets?
Lower operational costs
You can save money on petrol or diesel costs by eliminating or reducing your fleet's reliance on fossil fuels. The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) reports that companies can slash ‘fuel’ costs by more than 50%, depending on their charging tariff. For example, electric and plug-in hybrid cars typically cost £50-80 per month to charge. For an equivalent petrol or diesel vehicle, a fleet would spend up to £200 a month on fuel.
Reduced maintenance costs
Maintenance costs for electric vehicles are lower since there are fewer moving parts to maintain. Electric vehicles do not require oil changes, or other engine fluid replacements, and many parts last longer. A range of industry reports indicate that maintenance is around 25% cheaper for EVs compared to an equivalent diesel or petrol car. A key saving is brake pads, as EVs use regenerative braking to harness energy and recharge the battery when slowing down. This reduces wear on brake pads and discs, with some high mileage fleets reporting brakes lasting 100,000 miles on EVs, up to four times longer than a petrol or diesel equivalent.
Electric cars and vans eliminate tailpipe emissions, which benefits the environment, particularly when it comes to air quality in urban areas.
Fleets can enhance the impact of their electric vehicles by choosing renewable energy sources when recharging, for example opting for green energy tariffs, where all power provided is generated from wind or solar.
Key environmental benefits of switching to zero-emission vehicles include:
- Improve air quality in your areas of operation and reduce CO2 emissions
- Protect against future disruption from planned environmental regulations
- Enhance your business reputation with a commitment to social responsibility and environmental stewardship
Thousands of car fires are caused each year because of fuelling problems with petrol and diesel. In contrast, electric vehicles are less likely to catch fire, especially following an impact. Furthermore, their low centre of gravity improves road-holding and makes them less likely to roll over in a crash.
The Workplace Charging Scheme offered by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles reduces the purchase and installation cost of a new workplace charging station by 75%, up to a limit of £350. A single business can claim for up to a maximum of 40 sockets.
While the plug-in car grant has been withdrawn following a rapid rise in demand, government funding of up to £5,000 per vehicle remains available for vans.
Should you transition to an electric vehicle fleet?
Electrifying fleet operations paves the way for a cleaner future. For forward-thinking fleet managers, an electric vehicle fleet is key to helping them achieve environmental goals, respond to government regulations, and align with customer expectations.
Increasing competition among manufacturers is also driving down costs, making this an ideal time to consider starting the switch to zero-emissions, ahead of the proposed government ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans starting in 2030. As electric vehicles offer a different driving experience, you should initially consider hiring an electric or hybrid vehicle to understand how it might meet the specific requirements of your fleet.
How to evaluate an electric vehicle
There are several factors that you need to consider when evaluating your electric vehicle fleet options. Take the following criteria into consideration:
Charging station infrastructure
One of the biggest factors when considering electric vehicle ownership is ensuring that you have the proper charging station infrastructure to keep your electric cars and vans running. Ensure there is suitable charging availability at your offices, along with public charging stations on commonly used routes. Assess home charging requirements for staff, along with solutions for those without off-street parking.
Most electric vehicles now offer a driving range of more than 200 miles – some even manage nearly 400 miles on a single charge, enough to take a driver from London to Edinburgh without needing to stop. In reality, the vast majority of car journeys are less than 10 miles and only a small fraction exceed the range of electric cars. Rather than drivers stopping for lengthy periods to recharge until their batteries are full, short ‘pit stops’ are proving most effective. For example, some of the fastest chargers can now add 100 miles of range in 15 minutes.
Why telematics should power your electric vehicle fleet
The use of telematics empowers fleet managers to make informed decisions based on detailed vehicle and driver insights. Telematics can provide essential data on vehicle usage patterns that show where electric vehicles might perform at their best and identify areas for improvement, such as ensuring employees adapt their driving styles to maximise range and reduce charging stops.
We can support you
Developing an EV electric vehicle strategy will be one of the biggest challenges fleet managers face – and we are here to support your move towards a greener future. At Reflex Vehicle Hire, we can guide you through this journey with a range of services and advice, including EV:IE (Electric Vehicle Information Exchange), our unique vehicle evaluation tool that provides a foundation of insight about switching your current fleet to zero-emission alternatives.
We pride ourselves on providing the support you need to successfully start the transition from diesel and petrol vehicles. Our team is available to provide advice to fleets nationwide, so get in touch with us today.
Find out more
Find out how Reflex Vehicle Hire can help your company.
Call 0330 460 9913 or visit our contact us page.