But as already mentioned, despite the above benefits of EVs, challenges persist that should be addressed by any company seeking fleet electrification. Let’s review the most significant ones:
Total cost of ownership (TCO)
Up front, EVs tend to cost more than ICE cars. Higher purchase prices also mean higher average insurance rates, while sophisticated, non-standard tech elevates repair fees. Add the cost of adjusting your current infrastructure (charging stations, grid upgrades), which makes up a hefty sum.
That said, two factors will more than compensate for the steep initial investment in the mid to long run. Firstly, an EV-based fleet is more affordable regarding operational expenses thanks to longevity, lower maintenance costs, and less money spent on fuel.
Then, governments and municipalities offer subsidies to incentivize companies and individuals to switch to EVs. These include purchase grants, tax deductions, lower parking fees in selected areas, preferential charging tariffs, and more. Using them wisely, fleets can cover the difference between investing in traditional and electricity-powered vehicles.
Modern EVs have already proven their capacity for day-to-day personal use. Still, many fleet managers doubt battery power would be sufficient to handle long-range commercial hauls.
While these fears may have been justified in the early days of EVs, they should no longer be a concern. Research shows that the average range of EVs doubled between 2013 and 2019, and as of 2022, almost all new models can run between 340 and 480 kilometers on a full charge (200 and 300 miles). The range can also be improved by adjusting driving style and additional battery usage (e.g., cabin heating).
Power station availability is often a significant headache for fleet operators considering the switch to EVs. While battery capacities and publicly available chargers have been steadily increasing, ensuring that your cars won’t be left stranded takes some planning.
Another thing to consider is the charging time itself. Depending on the vehicle and infrastructure, it can vary from 30 minutes to one hour. It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s enough to disrupt your existing schedules if not accounted for. On the other hand, we seem to be on the brink of solving the long EV charging time, with recent developments bringing it down to 10 minutes.