Onboarding: the final frontier in launching an Electric Fleet

Venson helps fleet managers execute a successful switch to electric

Fleets are becoming increasingly electrified but making the switch to fully electric vehicles (EVs) from petrol and diesel is not as simple as changing the options available to drivers. A recent white paper from Venson Automotive Solutions, ‘Living with your electric vehicle’, provides some key insights to help fleet managers tackle the challenge of onboarding an EV introduction.

Alison Bell, Marketing Director at Venson Automotive Solutions comments, “Many businesses are putting in place policies to drastically reduce emissions, with the aim of becoming fully-electric. To achieve this, a fleet manager needs to gain buy-in from across their business to make that a reality. Knowledge and ability to answer queries will help smooth the way for getting the necessary management buy-in; thorough research will also go a long way.”

One challenge can be convincing decision-makers and office managers to give the green light to installing charging points in the workplace. Fleet managers need to be sure they understand and can demonstrate the business benefit, such as reducing the tax burden, Class 1A National Insurance contributions and Car Fuel Benefit charges. While there remains some uncertainty around CO2-based benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax beyond 2024, financial incentives are still strong and continue to drive the EV transition.

Another challenge can be identifying vehicles to meet the various needs of company car drivers – range between charging is still lower for most models than for petrol or diesel alternatives, meaning charging breaks will often have to be scheduled into a journey. The good news is that manufacturers regularly announce new EV models which offer greater charging capacity, and this is set to increase rapidly as we approach the 2030 deadline for the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.

Alison Bell continued, “Electric vehicles are becoming more mainstream, more affordable and more practical, and there is a wealth of information available to fleets still struggling to make the shift -whether through lack of knowledge or lack of buy-in from decision-makers. The Association of Fleet Professionals and the Electric Vehicle Association England are both good sources of information, and our latest white paper offers insights, advice and information on the pros, cons and practical considerations for electrifying a fleet. Those fleet operators that are quick to adapt their company car lists will be the first to dramatically cut business costs and meet their environmental targets.”

EV onboarding checklist

  • Get business buy-in – having decision-makers on board from the outset will be invaluable later, so present your case and the business benefits clearly, and keep them updated as plans develop.
  • Do your research – you need a full understanding of current requirements, future expectations, available options and the cost and benefits each will bring. Understanding drivers’ attitudes and openness towards switching to an EV will also be valuable.
  • Make a plan – include all stages of the transition to fully-electric, the costs involved (including for implementing charging infrastructure) and realistic timelines. Include space for test drives and opportunities for drivers to find out more about living with their electric vehicle.
  • Consider a pilot scheme – a small-scale test run transition will help show up any details that have been missed, and pain points that could be difficult to resolve once the scheme is active for the whole fleet.
  • Go live and monitor – when the transition launches it is important that it is closely monitored for teething problems, or areas where improvements could be made to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Also understanding if the EV program is delivering what was intended.

Download a copy of ‘Living with your electric vehicle’