Unlocking sustainable fleet management: How to transition to a green and electric vehicle fleet

Posted 16 Oct 2023

Why Electric Vehicles are an attractive option for sustainable fleet management objectives

With global initiatives like Net Zero, more and more companies are looking for aggressive ways to slash their carbon footprint as part of a sustainable fleet management strategy. A big part of challenging climate change is through the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy. Until recently that seemed like an impossible feat for commercial vehicle operators. However, with a rapidly growing and advancing electric vehicle (EV) market that includes commercial heavy-duty vehicles, it doesn’t seem quite as impossible as it did just recently.

Another influencing factor is the growing number of countries vowing to ban the sale of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles (EU, US). While these have largely focused on cars and light commercial vehicles until now, it is only a matter of time before they extend to heavy-duty vehicles.

The advantages of EV over ICE vehicles 

Maintenance costs: Comparing maintenance expenditures of EVs to ICE vehicles, it quickly becomes apparent which is superior. With fewer parts to consider for maintenance checks, EVs are cheaper to run.

EV vehicles having fewer moving parts means less can go wrong, which mean less maintenance. Also, EVs don’t require emission checks (emissions are non-existent).

Regular maintenance requirements for ICE vehicles, that aren’t necessary for EVs include:

  • Regular oil changes
  • Replacing various filters: oil, transmission, gas, and air
  • Topping off fluids: transmission and radiator
  • Replacing spark plugs

EV vehicles also tend to have longer-lasting brake rotors and brake pads, typically brakes travel double the distance without the need for repair work. This is possible because of the charge back to the battery when the accelerator is released, which recaptures inertia energy.

Fuel Price: Electric vs Fossil: A study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory noted that driving big electric rigs is 13% cheaper per mile versus diesel trucks, meaning a $200,000 saving over a 15-year lifetime.

Vehicle Range: Range anxiety is evaporating as newer models are rapidly becoming available on the market with greater single charge distances possible. The current drive capacity for electric semi-trucks is 500 miles, a realistic drive range when driver rest breaks are factored in, which can also be used for charging.

The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program further supports the use of electric trucks, requiring states to make plans to build public charging stations every 50 miles along alternative fuel corridors (including for heavy-duty vehicles).

How to transition your fleet from fossil fuels to EVs 

Fleet managers might worry about how to ensure the smooth operation of electric vehicles within their fleet, however, there is a wide variety of supporting technologies that can be used to better understand how effectively resources such as vehicles and staff are being utilised. Rather than introducing multiple different systems to manage vehicles and human resources, instead look at video telematics. Video telematics providers continuously adapt to market demands, such as introducing features that can help ensure electric vehicles capitalise on each charge as effectively as possible.

Charges can be timed to be aligned with the break of the driver. Telematics data can confirm whether the driver is charging to the optimal percentage of 80%. Once 80% charge has been achieved the battery management software typically slows down the rate of charge to prevent a build-up of heat and for the health of the battery.

Also, the telematics data can be used to identify the best charging locations or understand areas with limited charging access to ensure EVs aren’t limited to built-up cities. It also helps avoid situations requiring rapid charging, especially on motorways where rapid charging is a lot more expensive compared to charging at the depo.

Telematics data ultimately will empower fleet operators to establish an effective charging strategy.

Overcoming the higher purchase price of EVs

There are a wide variety of grants being offered in the US to stimulate the adoption of EV trucks, which fall under The Inflation Reduction Act.

The Inflation Reduction Act: Signed into US law on August 16, 2022, providing billions of dollars in grant and loan programs and other investments for clean energy and climate action. Some of the allowances include:

Tax Credit for Commercial EV Purchase: If purchasing an EV for business purposes, it is now possible to receive a tax credit of up to:

  • $7,500 for vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 14,000 lbs
  • $40,000 for vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 14,000 lbs.

The credit amount received is either 30% of the price you pay for the EV, or the extra cost of the EV compared to a similar regular fuel vehicle, whichever is lower. Available until the end of 2032.

Tax Credit for Commercial Charging Equipment: Also running until the end of 2032, is a tax incentive for the installation of new EV chargers or EV charger equipment.

To qualify, the equipment must be installed in low-income or rural areas, with the program offering businesses a credit of 6% of the cost to the business, with a maximum credit of $100,000 per unit. Businesses can claim a 30% credit if their projects meet ‘prevailing wage and registered apprenticeship requirements.’

National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program (NEVI): Provides $5 Billion in funding to States between 2022-2026 to strategically deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

UK Grants: Grants of 20% of the purchase price for an electric vehicle

  • Up to a maximum of £16,000, for vehicles between 3,500kg and 12,000kg gross weight.
  • Up to a maximum of £25,000, for vehicles above 12,000kg gross weight.

Other support includes the workplace charging scheme, corporation tax incentives, and exemptions or discounts on congestion and emissions zones, learn more from OZEV.

Prioritising green fleet management within your fleet

Transitioning your fleet from fossil fuels to electric is a big consideration for any fleet operator. For those who want to take a more staged approach to an EV transition read our blog regarding vehicle modifications to make them more fuel-efficient.

However, between improved performance, and ample funding available to mitigate the price differences between fossil fuel and electric vehicles, it might not be as long a process as once thought to fully transition to EVs. With continuous improvements and available resources, it is becoming easier than ever for fleet operators to begin rolling out EVs across their fleet.

Also, with the assistance of supporting technologies such as video-telematics, insights can be quickly leveraged to understand how to utilise and manage new EVs within the wider fleet.

Recognising this shift in market requirements at CameraMatics, we are evolving to ensure our system assists fleet operators with EV transitions. Providing them with the insights to help decide when and how to implement EVs across their fleet.

Contact us today if you want to find out more and embark on the journey towards a greener and more sustainable fleet solution.