Commercial fleet managers are increasingly considering electrification as a way to prepare for a greener future. New EV makes and models continue to be released, including electric vans and trucks, giving managers more options and opportunities to electrify their fleets. The journey to fleet electrification can feel like a daunting task, but breaking the process down into more manageable steps can help fleet managers focus on the easy wins to set themselves up for success.

1. Questions need answers

There are many considerations to take into account when deciding whether or not to electrify your fleet. For starters, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of your fleet’s current running costs in order to form an accurate comparison. Daily driving distances are also vital to understand as this data will help inform the maximum range requirements you should look for when choosing EVs for your fleet.

Here are some questions fleet managers should ask:

  • What is my EV target and which vehicles in the fleet are the right candidates for switching first?
  • Is switching to EVs going to be viable both operationally and financially?
  • Which EV models are available in the local market, and can they do the required job?

2. Data can give you reliable, accurate answers

Arming yourself with reliable data about your current fleet operations is critical for managers looking to electrify. Telematics data can provide fleet managers with a comprehensive view into the performance of their existing fleet to help inform decision-making. Access to existing fleet data through telematics can help fleet operators better understand current costs and operational range. Telematics data can also provide:

  • daily driving distance readings to assess required range, and
  • fuel consumption readings to inform fuel savings calculations.

3. An EVSA gives you the right answers for your unique fleet requirements

The Geotab Electric Vehicle Suitability Assessment (EVSA) is a free tool designed to help fleets create a blueprint for electrification. The EVSA draws on real-world data to recommend the best candidates within a fleet to electrify. It delivers the data analysis fleet managers need to transition to electric in a way that fits their organization’s budget and time frame.

An EVSA can help fleets electrify with confidence by helping fleet managers choose the right makes and models of EVs to swap into their existing fleets. It makes certain that both financial and operational requirements are met.

A federal agency in Canada trusted Geotab’s EVSA to do just that, when they were tasked with reducing emissions from government fleets. They used the EVSA to determine which fleet vehicles were best suited for switching to EVs. Out of the 270 light-duty vehicles they analyzed, 157 vehicles were suitable for replacement with lower-carbon alternatives. The EVSA recommendations identified opportunities that, if fully implemented would result in a potential savings of $1.3 million across the lifetime of the new fleet, and a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Similarly, an electrical utility in Eastern Canada needed to build a business case and strategy for fleet electrification. They had to make certain that the EVs they proposed to swap into municipal fleets in their service territory would perform similarly to the vehicles those fleets were currently using. They also needed to effectively communicate both the cost-saving and environmental benefits associated with adopting those EVs. They performed a series of EVSAs with Geotab to gather the detailed data they needed to present a compelling case for electrification. The results showed a potential 94% reduction of GHG emissions and a fleet-wide savings of over $1 million CAD.

While the thought of fleet electrification can feel intimidating to even the most seasoned fleet operators, a tool like the EVSA can help by turning data into actionable recommendations to inform decision making. As the world continues to move toward greener initiatives, fleet managers are in a unique position to make a positive impact by speeding up the transition to EVs, helping reduce global emissions and meet looming government mandates in the process.