February 22, 2022

5 Common Objections to Commercial Fleet Electrification


3 Min. Read

Commercial fleets are finally in a position where a transition to zero-emission electric vehicles (EVs) isn’t only an environmental consideration, but also a possible financial boon. However, it is important to make the move with proper risk assessment considering overall driver productivity, purchasing proper equipment, and more.

Top five objections to commercial fleet electrification

Electrification has become a buzzword lately, but it is more than just a word or phrase. The electrification of the automobile industry is sweeping across the country at a quick clip and it is now moving to the commercial fleet sector. This is a massive market that has huge potential to transform the industry from top to bottom.

With any fast-growing trend there are bound to be skeptics and objections:

(1) Big upfront costs for car upgrades with dubious ROI

Converting to a zero-emission fleet can be expensive. There are obvious costs to incur when upgrading or replacing a commercial fleet. Costs to purchase new electric vehicles can be high, but that is only part of the picture.

There are several factors to explore to get a full understanding of cost and potential ROI. These include:

  • The total cost of ownership takes into account the complete financial picture for converting to an electric fleet. The initial purchase price is just the start. You must also factor in maintenance costs, downtime from maintenance repairs, government incentives and route efficiency.
  • EVs have been confirmed to be much cheaper to maintain than internal combustion engines (ICE). ICE vehicles cost on average $0.101 per mile to maintain while EVs come in at $0.06 per mile. This is a significant difference especially if you extrapolate the cost over many vehicles and years.
  • Federal and local governments typically offer incentives to purchase EVs and or charging stations. While not always easy to find, these are perks that can have a significant financial impact.

Looking at the complete picture may help sway companies to move toward electrification, once they understand the numbers.

(2) “EVs and their parts don’t have a secondary market, and I can’t factor in their resell value.”

Because the EV market is relatively new, the secondary market is not as large as traditional internal combustion engine vehicles, but this is changing fast. In fact, EVs are now among the fastest-selling used cars in the United States. This can make future planning easier for the industry as the secondary market continues to grow.

(3)”We’re content with gas cards and reimbursements for our drivers. New systems are hard to implement.”

Industries can get set in their ways, and change can be difficult to implement. But when we look at this holistically, there is a lot of administrative work that comes along with gas cards and expense reports, etc. Removing these from the equation will make a more nimble and efficient operation.

(4) “There aren’t enough vehicle choices. We’ll transition when the market matures. No reason to get in early.”

Automakers are making huge commitments to go completely electric in the coming years. This means more and more EV options will be available in the near future. Moving to EVs sooner may prove to be beneficial for companies. If you are an early adopter, you will be ahead of the curve and will begin to see financial savings sooner. This will make your company stand out from the traditional model and more market share could be gained.

(5) “There are no charging stations in this state. It’s easier to wait until that’s developed.”

Charging infrastructure is a challenge in certain areas, but there is a huge push to expand and install charging stations nationwide. The Biden Administration has a plan to install 500,000 charging stations across the country, which will help alleviate some of these concerns.

At-home charging stations can also help rectify these concerns in any state. In some applications, small, independent commercial fleets will have the opportunity to be fully charged if they are parked at home overnight.

Objections and questions are natural and a normal part of the due diligence process. But as more research is conducted the outlook will become clearer.

Turnkey solutions exist

Qmerit offers turnkey solutions to help you create your own at-home charging infrastructure. What was once thought to be a prohibitively expensive undertaking is now more in reach with Qmerit’s technology and resources.

Qmerit offers:

  • Unparalleled expertise in the EV market and trends. Qmerit is a national leader in electrification and is on the cutting edge of electrification trends and training.
  • A wide network of certified installers nationwide. These qualified installers will provide top-notch service and equipment that will give consumers peace of mind.

Contact Qmerit today to learn more about its services.

Author: Ken Sapp

Ken Sapp

Senior Vice President, Business Development