Fleets of all types and sizes, across the world are increasingly electrifying. In North America, there are several motivating factors behind the rise in adoption of EVs in fleets: government incentives, stronger corporate sustainability programs and a reduction in operational costs to name a few. Aggressive organizational targets to reduce emissions are a growing trend for both public and private fleets, and electrification offers the biggest opportunity to bring those emissions down.  

Several initiatives have brought cities together in their electrification goals and many local governments are introducing zero-emission-first procurement policies to prioritize EVs. Founded in 2014, Climate Mayors is a network of mayors across the U.S. committed to demonstrating leadership on climate change through meaningful action in their respective communities. They have established an EV purchasing collaborative that enables access to EVs for their fleets regardless of their region or state. Mayors from some of the world’s largest urban centers have also committed to creating zero-emission areas in their cities by the year 2030. And, thanks to the sizable reduction in emissions due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, cities, states and governments worldwide are eager to restart the economy – without the pollution that can come with it. 

Private companies are also moving towards fleet electrification

Public fleets aren’t alone in their growing pursuit to transition to EVs. Private organizations are increasingly enacting sustainability practices leading to an increase in EV adoption. Company announcements of aggressive EV goals continue to proliferate my news feed, a recent one being rideshare giant Lyft, who has publicly committed to transition 100% of its trips to EVs by the end of 2030. Lyft joins a growing list of EV100 members, which brings together companies committed to accelerating the global transition to EVs. Another parallel initiative is the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance, led by Ceres. Both groups recognize the buying power of large corporations, and how they are key to accelerating the electric vehicle market at large. 

Amazon has committed to sustainable business practices through The Climate Pledge with the goal of being carbon neutral by 2040. The company publicly announced its order of 100,000 custom Rivian electric delivery vans, which are set to be incorporated into their fleet by 2021.

Price and model availability no longer a hindrance

As more EV models hit the market, fleets are electrifying more rapidly, taking advantage of the increasing availability of medium- and heavy-duty EV models. As highlighted by GreenBiz, we can expect many fuel-powered trucks and vans to be replaced with EVs in the next 10 years. Along with traditional OEM names who have thrown their hats into the race to electrify the medium-to-heavy duty space, there are market disruptors who exclusively offer zero-emission vehicles, such as Tesla, Rivian, Nikola, BYD and Chanje. CALSTART’s Drive to Zero initiative offers an interactive online tool, the Zero Emission Technology Inventory (ZETI) that profiles the many commercial vehicles available on market.

While the upfront cost of going electric may have dissuaded fleet operators in the past, the cost of battery packs for electric vehicles has dramatically decreased in price in the last decade, falling 87% since 2010. In fact, forecasts show the majority of light-duty EVs will reach cost parity with conventional vehicles by 2030. With additional savings to be gained from maintenance and fuel, switching to electric will be the economic choice.

EVs contribute to lasting environmental improvements

Governments are increasingly seeing the opportunity to achieve lasting environmental change. To this end, the new California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Advanced Clean Trucks rule requires roughly 60 percent of new medium- and heavy-duty vans and trucks sold in the State of California to be zero-emission by 2035. The recently approved rule is the first EV standard for trucks in the U.S., which will create a market for up to half a million electric trucks by 2040.

With motivations coming from all sides, the fleet sector is ripe for a wide-scale electric transition. But how can fleets ensure their electrification plan is successful and scalable? How can they guarantee their emissions targets can be met? 

With a data-driven approach. Monitoring vehicle fuel consumption and establishing an emissions baseline is a first step to understanding the impact of any green fleet plan. The next step is choosing the right vehicle for the job. Geotab helps fleets do this through their Electric Vehicle Suitability Assessment (EVSA). The EVSA accurately determines what EVs are range capable for the fleet’s actual duty cycles, and predicts the resulting fuel, emissions and cost reductions based on the real-world performance of EVs, before actual procurement occurs. Taking out the guesswork helps ensure a successful EV transition.

Visit https://www.geotab.com/fleet-management-solutions/evsa/ to learn more about fleet electrification.