How to choose the best electric vehicle for your fleet

Choosing the right electric vehicles for your business

The government plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans, starting in 2030, so fleets have to start changing

Electric vehicles (EVs) are the future of motoring and business transport. The government plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans, starting in 2030, so fleets have to start changing. By the end of 2021, one in 10 new cars sold were plug-in vehicles. Already more than two-thirds of current EV registrations are for business or fleets and this is likely to continue in 2022. Some fleets report 80% of their vehicle orders are now electric.

Fleet managers and businesses who run petrol and diesel vehicles are being hit with high fuel costs and garage bills, while tax rates are also increasing. There are big savings to be made by switching to electric vehicles, especially if you rent instead of purchasing or leasing, to quickly get the right vehicle, on flexible terms, in the shortest possible time. Whether you need electric car hire or electric van hire, you have plenty of options.

But how can you identify which vehicle is right for you? In this guide, we look at the ins and outs of choosing the right EV for your fleet.


Analyse mileage patterns to upgrade your fleet to electric car hire or electric van hire

This is a crucial step when making the transition to EVs using electric car hire or electric van hire. You need to analyse how your current fleet is being used. For example, telematics data can identify journey patterns, while fuel card data can summarise expenses and fuel economy information. You can then compare this to the typical range of EVs on offer and charging infrastructure that is on a driver’s route. Drivers can arrange to make quick pit stops at a fast charger to top up their batteries during the day to boost their range.

Bear in mind that real-world driving ranges can be significantly lower than the distances published by manufacturers, especially if you use energy sapping equipment, such as heating and air conditioning. Cold weather can also reduce range. Electric car hire and electric van hire can help because you can source vehicles for trials without making a long-term commitment, allowing you to source the right equipment for your fleet using real-world experiences.


Payload and capacity for electric van hire and electric car hire

Fleets either need payload, space or a combination of both when choosing a van and it will be the same when switching to EVs. Your electric van hire provider can explain the carrying capacity of each model available so you can compare with your current fleet. When choosing electric van hire, it is a perfect time to look at decluttering your vehicles. Do you need all the equipment that is being carried? How often is it used? You could be making vehicles heavier than necessary by storing equipment you rarely need. Instead, consider storing them at base to expand your plug-in range.

Most cars typically carry a single person for work, but you may need to check if extra carrying capacity is needed and the maximum number of seats required, which could influence your choice of electric car hire.


Vehicle charging for electric car hire and electric van hire

Customers who have opted for electric car hire or electric van hire need somewhere to plug-in their vehicles, so what do you do about charging your EVs? Charging at public charging points can be expensive so the best place to charge is at your own depot, overnight when tariffs are the cheapest. If drivers take vehicles home, check if they have access to a driveway where a charging point can be installed. If they live in shared accommodation or flats, look for local charging options.

Charging points come in different power ranges. The higher the kW, the faster the battery can charge, if it has been built to accept that level of power. If you plug a vehicle that can only accept 4kW into a 50kW charger, then it will restrict charging to what it can cope with to protect the battery. Most home and work chargers will range from 3.7kW to 50kW. A 3.4-7.4kW charge point is sufficient for overnight charging, but you need a fast charger for daytime top-ups. It is well worth checking on charging rates, as some fast chargers end up much more expensive than filling a petrol or diesel car, in terms of pence per mile cost.


What does it cost to run an electric car or electric van?

When you opt for electric car hire or electric van hire, you need to consider wholelife costs.

This takes into account all the running costs of the vehicle during its lifetime to provide a ‘total cost of ownership’

It includes:

  • The impact of government policies, tax incentives and grants
  • The cost of electricity
  • Service and maintenance costs 
  • Depreciation, hire costs or leasing rates

When you include everything, this can be shared across the expected distance the vehicle will cover during its fleet lifetime to calculate a ‘pence per mile’ cost, which can be used to compare against equivalent petrol and diesel models or different electric car and electric van options.


Saving money with electric car hire and electric van hire

Every fleet is different, but there is a general rule that electric vehicles can save money in the long run. They may cost a little more initially, but they are more efficient, cost less to ‘fuel’ and have lower servicing costs that diesel and petrol alternatives.

You may not break even or save money straight away, but experts tend to agree that break even arrives within an increasingly short period in business operations, especially in urban areas where EVs avoid congestion charges and ultra-low emission zone fees.

A critical advantage of switching to electric car hire or electric van hire is that you avoid the initial up-front costs associated with purchase or leasing, so you can start saving money straight away.


Electric van hire and electric car hire with Reflex Vehicle Hire

Electric car hire and electric van hire is the key to your future fleet and business travel needs on the road to zero emissions. Whenever you plan to switch, going through these steps will help you manage the transition successfully. Electric car hire and electric van hire with Reflex Vehicle Hire makes the switch to plug-in vehicles easy. Take a look at our vehicle selection to get you started.

Get in touch with us today and a member of our friendly, professional team will get back to you! Alternatively, you can find out more about the industry by checking out our regular updates of latest news.


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