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Electric Vehicle Fleet: How to Add EVs to Your Fleet

Electric Vehicle Fleet: How to Add EVs to Your Fleet

By Vanessa Peng

For many fleet managers and businesses, the thought is how rather than when to transition their internal combustion engine fleet to an electric vehicle fleet. Many corporations, including Amazon, DHL, AT&T, Genentech, and Siemens, have already fully adopted EVs or have partially added electric fleet vehicles.

Switching to an EV fleet is not a simple undertaking, but is well worth the time and effort. When compared with traditional gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicles, EV adoption means huge savings on maintenance and fuel costs, a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, and a boost in brand equity among other benefits. Read more about the benefits of fleet electrification and why you need to consider all the benefits of switching.

What is an EV fleet?

EV fleet refers to a group of zero emission vehicles owned or leased by the same company or organization. Fleet vehicles are used to transport people or goods. They are usually branded and can be any type of battery electric vehicle.

An EV fleet does not produce carbon emissions when it is operating. Unlike traditional fleets, electric vehicle fleets depend on batteries as opposed to gasoline or diesel to run. Just like a conventional fleet vehicle needs to be refueled every so often, an electric fleet vehicle has to be recharged through an EV charger.

What are the advantages of having an Electric Vehicle fleet?

There are many reasons to convert to EVs, most notably saving money, decreasing your carbon footprint, and attracting and retaining customers and employees.

Save Money: EVs are much cheaper to maintain than traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. EVs have fewer moving parts, don’t create as much strain on brake parts due to regenerative braking, and require no oil changes.

Fuel costs are unstable and are much higher than electricity prices. A University of Michigan study found EVs cost less than half to drive than ICEs.

Reduce Carbon Emissions and Meet Sustainability Goals: EVs don’t emit carbon emissions while in service, unlike their ICE counterparts. You can see a decrease of up to 90% in carbon emissions when you switch to EVs, depending on the type of energy you are receiving from the grid (fossil fuels or renewable energy). This reduction in fossil fuel dependence allows your company to contribute to the global community as well as meet sustainability goals.

Boost brand equity and awareness: Consumers are becoming more concerned with how socially responsible the businesses they patronize are. They want to know the companies they support care about the environment and sustainability. When consumers see you have adopted electric trucks and other EV models into your fleet they are more likely to become long-term customers.

Attract and Retain Customers and Employees: As EV adoption grows, so will the need for EV infrastructure. Customers and employees will be seeking out places to charge their EVs. Once you have established your EV fleet charging stations, you can open them up to employees and the public. This will give both customers and employees a reason to stay with your company.

How do I transition my commercial vehicles to electric vehicle fleets?

Whether you are planning to electrify some of or all of your fleet, it is important to note it will not be a quick and easy switch. You will have to consider which EV is best for your business model, how to manage and track your electric car fleet, figure out the logistics of the fleet operations, and what type of commercial EV chargers you will need to install and where.

The first thing you will need to nail down is your incoming electrical capacity and the total cost of ownership for your new EV fleet. While most EVs and the electrical infrastructure that goes along with them will be a large expense, ensuring you have the right design will be imperative to a successful implementation.

Hiring a firm that specializes in design, implementation, and installation is key. US Energy Recovery can help guide you through this process and provide an affordable installation and EV charging solution.

You can save big with incentives for EVs and EV chargers offered by local electrical utilities, state agencies, and the federal government. At the same time, an electric vehicle fleet has a high return on investment if you consider how much you’ll save over the lifecycle of your fleet operation.

Choose the right Electric Vehicle for your fleet

With the growing number of options for electric vehicles, you’ll more than likely find an EV that fits most, if not all, of your EV fleet needs.

You’ll have to ask yourself a few questions before making the final decision. Will you be using light-duty, medium-duty, or heavy-duty vehicles?

How many miles does your fleet operation handle in a typical day? Range time refers to how far an electric vehicle can go on a full charge. This helps you figure out if you should go with an EV with a long-range or short-range battery.

There are dozens of other features to consider, including size, cargo space, and charge time.

Cost-effective EV adoption strategy

Without a well-planned EV adoption strategy, no fleet manager or other business leader will be able to successfully adopt electric vehicles into their organization’s fleet. Of course, budget is the likely number one concern. You need to know how much you can spend before you start making decisions on what type of electric car you will be choosing and the type of charging equipment you will be installing.

Once the budget is identified you will have to decide on hiring a company that specializes in EV charging infrastructure. Learn more about how we can help with this.

You’ll have to figure out the maximum number of miles a fleet vehicle will drive each day. Then, from there decide which type of commercial EV charging infrastructure you are going to need. Usually, this is determined once you know which electric vehicle you will be charging and how many vehicles will need to be charged at one time.

What type of chargers do you want to invest in? There are three different types of EV charging and the time they take to charge is different. Some EVs cannot charge with all the available types of charging and some vehicles have a limit on how fast they can charge. We take a deeper dive into the different levels of EV charging here.

From there you will need to identify the ideal location for your EV charging station in relation to your fleet‘s route. Installing EV chargers at the workplace is a must, but what if your employees can’t drive back to the office? Learn more about how we are helping businesses install home EV charging solutions that can monitor, track, and charge their commercial vehicles.

In the rare situations where your employees need a quick fast charge, public EV charging stations are becoming more popular and can fully charge an electric vehicle battery in under 30 minutes.

The work isn’t fully over yet, next, you’ll want to optimize your operation with fleet management to ensure everything is operating the way it should be. With a variety of fleet management software available, EV fleet managers will have an easy way to stay on top of electric delivery vehicles and their clean energy utilization.

EV fleet managers monitor many different metrics than conventional fleet managers do, including state of charge, charging information, where the EV is charged, and how much energy the cars consume. EV fleet managers need to find ways to increase battery life, reduce operating costs, and optimize fleet performance. Learn more about EV fleet management here.

Our team of experts are here to help electrify your fleet, contact us today and schedule a free consultation.

We are the leader in EV fleet electrification.