How increasing how far you travel can end up reducing operational costs

 In Inside FleetCarma


Utilization Handbook Cover

Earlier this year we put on a great webinar (now available in a recorded version) that detailed how some fleets we work with found ways to save with electric vehicles.  We looked at the data logged from electric vehicles in the real world, and broke down how these vehicles are being used, when they are used, and ways in which fleets can save by reducing payback periods.

Improving the utilization of plug-in vehicles improves your bottom line.  When a plug in vehicle is used in the place of a conventional vehicle, fleets benefit from fueling that vehicle with inexpensive electricity and not costly gasoline.  The more these vehicles are used the greater the savings seen.

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What we found from the webinar was that fleets are driving their purely electric vehicles, like the Nissan Leaf, about 36 km each day (note: that’s the entire day, not a single trip).  The Leaf is capable of going at least 100 km in a day, and we’ve seen fleets take it up to 120 km.   Plug in hybrids fared a bit better, with vehicles either travelling around 60 km in a day, or 140 km.  This distribution is shown on the graph below.

The distribution looks to be likely due to two different causes.  The first group of fleets may only take their vehicle out up until the electric range available, but no farther each day.

Bar graph showing the usage of plug-in hybrid vehicles in terms of the daily distance each vehicle travels. The graph shows vehicles either travelling 50-70 km each day or 130-150 km each day.

Graph of plug-in hybrid vehicle usage. The graph shows the total daily distance each vehicle travels. For similar graphs and details on how these usage patterns affect payback periods, check out our free webinar.

The second group of vehicles travels farther each day, either by fitting in opportunity charging, or with the on-board range extender.  For plug in vehicles, savings can be realized both by increase the vehicle’s overall utilization, and increasing the portion of that distance that is powered by the battery and not gasoline.

The webinar touched on some lessons and best practices for fleets looking to save.  We wanted to give fleet managers a handbook that summarizes these lessons and highlights their individual benefits.  This handbook is now available to download online, along with our other resources on greening your fleet, and EV ownership.  The handbook provides best practices for charging, using heating and air conditioning, and highlights which goals are important to set and monitor.  Check it out today!


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