Greening your fleet with electric vehicles

 In Green Fleet

Media Planet LogoThe following editorial by Eric Mallia, Business Development Manager at FleetCarma, appeared in the Corporate Citizens Mediaplanet Special Report in the National Post on December 27th, 2011.

Greening from within as a means of applying Corporate Social Responsibility:

According to a recent industry survey, 81 percent of companies expect to purchase more efficient vehicles for their fleets in the future.  This finding recognizes several truths.  First, more efficient vehicle technologies, particularly electric vehicles, are being developed by automotive manufacturers to meet tougher regulations.  By 2025, current mandates in North America will require the automotive industry to produce vehicles that are twice as efficient as they are today.  Second, companies understand that being responsible corporate citizens means being committed to reducing waste in all areas of their operations.  Greening their fleets is a part of that commitment and in many cases is a smart way to make a significant difference.

Environmental benefits of fleet electrification:

In Canada, the environmental benefits of fleet electrification are quite compelling.  Since approximately 60 percent of the electricity generated in the country comes from renewable sources, Canada has one of the cleanest electricity systems in the world.  This translates to substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions when shifting vehicle technologies from internal combustion of gasoline to grid-enabled vehicles.

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Evaluating the cost savings:

Seeing the business case for electric vehicles has been challenging for some companies due to the uncertainty associated with their real-world operational costs.  The concern is a valid one because the acquisition costs of these vehicles are higher and their efficiency gains vary considerably depending on operating conditions.  However, companies committed to greening their fleets are working with analysts to gather data from their current vehicles to simulate what they would pay to operate the more efficient alternatives – before they commit to the capital costs.  The process is called reliable cost of ownership forecasting and it takes the guess work out of determining the potential cost savings by going green with electric vehicles.

Author profile:

Eric Mallia is a business manager at FleetCarma, a consulting firm that works with fleets to make total cost of ownership calculations simple and accurate.

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