Electric vehicles are fast becoming an attractive alternative to traditional, fossil fuel-powered vehicles. New electric vehicles are better equipped, more powerful and showcase just how far electric technology has progressed. 

At first glance, it might seem that the cost of purchasing an electric vehicle is higher than the cost of a comparable petrol or diesel vehicle. That said, many commercial fleets that have bought electric vehicles are already expecting a lower cost of ownership in total. 

The reason for this is that the bigger purchase costs are outweighed by the significantly lower operating costs. In actual fact, electric vehicles could generate huge savings depending on the number of miles driven and period of ownership. 

However, there are drawbacks to using electric vehicles for your fleet. For example, upfront costs are typically higher than they are for petrol or diesel cars. There’s also the lack of charging infrastructure to consider; if your fleet drivers are driving in a rural area on a long-distance job, they may find it difficult to locate a charging station for their vehicle. 

Despite these concerns, change is inevitable and some fleets are already experiencing the benefits of electric commercial vehicles. Read on to find out what these advantages are. 

Lower fuel costs 

Based on fuel costs alone, electric vehicles are significantly cheaper to run than petrol or diesel vehicles. 

Typically, a driver could save around £1000 a year in running costs if they drive an electric vehicle instead of a petrol or diesel motor. However, this is dependent on charging at home, rather than at a charging station. 

Your drivers could save approximately 11 pence per mile driving an electric vehicle, in comparison to a petrol or diesel powered vehicle, as long as the vehicle is charged on-site. If a driver travels an average of 7,600 miles per year, they could save around £850 per year in fuel costs. This equates to spending around £342 per year on home-charging, vs. an annual spend of £1,200 on petrol. 

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Reduced maintenance costs 

Electric vehicles are substantially simpler in function than petrol or diesel vehicles. For instance, an electric vehicle only has one moving part - the motor itself. They also feature less complex transmissions and do not need fluid replacement. 

With electric vehicles, wear and tear is reduced thanks to features such as regenerative braking. 

If your commercial fleet is operating with electric vehicles, you could see savings in maintenance costs of around 70%. In fact, studies have shown that electric vehicle users could save more than £300 annually in maintenance costs. Apply this across your entire fleet and you could be seeing significant savings. 

Promote a healthier environment 

It’s no secret that fumes from petrol and diesel engines are connected to higher rates of health problems such as asthma, dementia and cancer. As an employer, you have a duty of care to your staff to care for their wellbeing whilst they are working. 

Acting on this duty of care will lead to a reduction in sick days and a more content, focused workforce. 

Higher employee retention rates 

Using electric vehicles for your fleet services can also have a positive impact on employee retention rates. This is because many employees in your workforce may want to work somewhere that cares for the environment and is committed to making positive changes to reflect this. 

By introducing electric vehicles to your fleet, you could attract more candidates and retain your best employees. Using electric vehicles may project that you are a forward-thinking company who cares about the environment and employee health.

Future-proofing your business 

In spring 2019, the Committee on Climate Change suggested that the government bring forward the diesel and petrol car ban to 2030 from 2040

No business wants to get left behind in times of change, so it’s definitely worth making preparations now if you want to get ahead of the curve. 

It’s also worth noting that electric vehicles allow you to leverage new technological trends, such as Vehicle to Grid (V2G) and battery management systems. As well as reducing the cost of charging your vehicles, these trends could also help you develop new revenue streams. V2G allows unused energy stored in your vehicle to be sold back to the grid when the grid needs it.

Battery management systems require additional investment, but help to manage stored power in a vehicle battery, delivering power to the rest of the vehicle. The main functions of a battery management system include safety assurance, cell balancing, wear leveling and charge and discharge monitoring. These systems are often accompanied by solar panels. This can help to decrease charging costs even more.

Read our EV revolution guide to explore the growing importance of EV replacement vehicles and original research from AX.

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Last year, we conducted a survey of more than 2,200 UK drivers to determine what Britain’s motorists really think about EV ownership and adoption. Download the full report to find out what consumers see as the biggest advantages and disadvantages are, the most common misconceptions around EVs and more. 

 

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