September 13, 2022

Reasons for Fleet Managers to Switch to EV Beyond Saving Money at the “Pump”


5 Min. Read

It is common knowledge that EVs are much cheaper to “fuel up” than gasoline vehicles, and this gap is becoming increasingly more significant with the ever-rising price of fossil fuels. This is only one of the many benefits fleet managers recognize when they shepherd their companies into this sector of the electrification movement. There are countless rebates, tax breaks, ESG goals, operations & maintenance considerations, and other incentives you can benefit from if you know where to look.

Corporate Goals

Being a sustainable, environmentally friendly organization is gaining traction with many consumers and business leaders. One-third of consumers said they are willing to spend more money if their purchases are more environmentally-friendly, and that number is even higher for the younger generations who are gaining more purchasing power. Over half of corporate leaders believe sustainability leads to higher profits. As a result, many organizations have developed aggressive environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) goals that all of their organizational levels are consistently working towards.

EVs are the next generation in ground transportation and switching to a fleet of electric vehicles goes a long way in meeting those ESG goals. What was once a niche market with limited options from even fewer manufacturers is now becoming commonplace. Major auto brands are getting on board the electrification movement and catering to more than just personal drivers; specifically, they are looking to meet the needs of fleet managers. This means you have more options designed for your business when you make the switch to electrification.

Government Incentives

Federal and state governments also have sustainability goals, and, to meet these, are offering tax incentives for the purchase of EVs as well as EV charging stations. California, as an example, provides the Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP) for Businesses that subsidizes up to $4,500 of the initial purchase or lease of an EV. Depending on your area, government incentives may center on installing charging stations for cars. California will also allow EVs in the HOV/HOT lanes with only a single person in the vehicle. This is not a direct financial benefit, but it equates to gained person-hours, as your workers are not idling in traffic as long as they otherwise might. Travel time between jobs is expensive; reducing this means lower costs and higher profits for your business. Your customers also benefit from this, as you can more efficiently get from job to job.

Utility Incentives

Many utilities are also stepping up to help pave the way for a greener future. Some states require their utilities to offer programs no matter where in the state you are located, while some, like Alabama Power and Salt River Project, are offering incentives without a government mandate and helping lead the way in the electrification revolution. Multiple types of programs are available, but the two most popular are reduced rates when charging an EV, and subsidies for installing EV charging stations.  Different types of charging stations for electric vehicles may have various rebate programs as well. For example, SRP will offer $1,500 for each Level 2 charging station for cars installed on a 240V circuit and $15,000 for each DC fast charger installed on a 480V circuit. These subsidies increase if you are government, non-profit, a school, or a multifamily building.

Taking on a transformation of your fleet from gasoline to electric is a significant endeavor, and there may be programs to help do the initial leg work. SRP will offer up to $20,000 to complete a study on making this switch. Studies like this typically include upfront costs of the vehicles themselves, charging stations for cars, fuel cost savings, and long-term maintenance.

The utilities know the grid is struggling to keep up with the increased demand for electricity from advancing technology. There may be ways to take further advantage of your EV fleet with bi-directional charging. Some power companies have programs in place to pay you to use stored energy from the battery in your EV when not otherwise in use, to help stabilize the grid.  They will drain power from the vehicles’ batteries to add it back into the grid and give the owner credits for this energy. If there is a power outage in the area, EVs with bi-directional charging can act as a backup battery to keep the lights on in the building.

Operations & Maintenance

The upfront cost of buying a vehicle is only part of the cost of ownership. As fleet managers know well, maintaining vehicles throughout their service life is also a high cost from a financial and time standpoint. Recurring maintenance requires advanced planning and coordination to have a minimal impact on operations. Unexpected maintenance and repairs can have high costs and result in a scramble to keep things moving. Every vehicle needs to be serviced, but EVs have lower maintenance costs and don’t have as many unexpected repairs as gasoline vehicles. Most of this is attributed to EVs not having an engine or as many other moving parts that break down over time, instead having other aspects, such as regenerative braking, which does not rely on sacrificial components like brake pads as much as a vehicle with standard brakes. Some maintenance and related activities can also be skipped altogether, such as emissions testing and oil changes.

The highest cost of operating a fleet is always what keeps them moving; in traditional vehicles, that is gas, which has seen rapid price increases lately. Even before recent price hikes in fuel, EVs were cheaper to run than their gasoline counterparts, and the utility incentives mentioned above make EVs even better.

Qmerit Helps With The Process

Qmerit simplifies fleet electrification by helping fleets overcome the complexities of installing charging stations for cars. We provide a simple and seamless installation experience with top-quality service you can trust, helping fleets budget and control costs while tracking every step of the process.

See how Qmerit’s expert team is ready to make your @Home EV charging installation simple, with guaranteed satisfaction and support. Contact us today for more information.

Author: Ken Sapp

Ken Sapp

Senior Vice President, Business Development and eMobility