11 Jun 2020

Five lessons from EV frontrunners

The electric vehicle (EV) segment has continued taking market share from its petrol and diesel equivalents. We believe this trend is likely to continue against a backdrop of growing low-emission zones (LEZs), tax incentives, emissions regulations, falling costs and social awareness about climate change.

Five lessons from EV frontrunners

Fleet managers are recognising the opportunity to support corporate sustainability targets by accelerating their shifts towards a fully electric fleet.

This is a good time to consider the key lessons we can learn from early EV adopters:

1. Prepare!

It seems obvious, but make sure your planning covers all elements of the transition process and addresses the issues likely to arise. Here are some of the most common:

  • Which drivers? It’s likely that not all your employees will be able to transition EVs straight away. Determine who can do so, and consider an interim solution for those that can’t transition yet.

  • Charging options. Evaluate the costs and benefits of home and workplace charging versus public charging.

  • Vehicle budgets. If your current budget for Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles doesn’t include fuel, determine separate budgets for electric cars. To actively stimulate EV adoption, increase the budget for EVs and decrease the budget for ICE vehicles.

  • Investment. Calculate the financial impact of EV adoption based on the total cost of ownership, including possible financial benefits, such as tax incentives for both the company and the driver. These vary considerably per country.

2. Adjust your car policy

Clearly state your company’s ambition to switch to a fully electric fleet in the car policy and other relevant corporate policies. Be sure to include details of any available employee support services (e.g. charging points, holiday car options).

3. Communicate!

Transitioning your fleet to EVs could lead to many internal discussions and may not be welcomed by all drivers. A strong communication plan should be in place to address the needs of your audiences, and could include some or all of the following elements:

  • Clear messages. Be sure to explain the benefits of transitioning to EVs for the company and for employees, while allowing scope for everyone to have their say.

  • Information resources. Flyers and websites can help answer frequently asked questions about EV adoption

  • Q&As and EV test drives. Comfort levels increase when employees can ask the questions they want, and experience EV driving for themselves.

4. Lead by example

Managers should be among the first to switch to EVs to demonstrate top-down support across the organisation. Select enthusiastic employees to take part in a pilot project and become EV ambassadors.

5. Monitor feedback

Listen carefully to what employees, especially EV ambassadors, are saying about their EV experience so you can tackle misunderstandings or misgivings early on. Also be prepared to fine-tune your fleet policy so that it’s aligned with your company’s and employees’ needs as the transition takes place.