2014 Will Be The Year of Fleet EVs


Nissan e-NV200 in British Gas Test Fleet

Nissan e-NV200 in British Gas Test Fleet

Will 2014 be the year that fleets around the globe start purchasing plug-in vehicles in volume?

e6 Mostly Only a Fleet Offering

e6 Mostly Only a Fleet Offering

The Procurement Leaders 2014 Trend Report suggests that 2014 will be a break-out year for EV purchases by fleets, so perhaps all this fleet trial stuff will come to an end.

According to Procurement Leaders, most fleets now fully understand the advantages of going electric.  The Trend Report suggests that the “sustainability agenda will be pushed close to the top of the corporate fleet managers agenda,” but we seem to think that saving money will be the driving force behind fleets purchasing EVs.

Procurement Leaders states:

“Research from Alphabet found that the next three years will see the adoption of electric vehicles by businesses more than double, while in more general terms the research also found that 2014 will be the year that SMEs make sustainability a top priority.”

“…this year will be the year that electric vehicles finally make an impact in the corporate sphere as total cost of ownership of these types of cars falls, a result of advancements in vehicle design and technology, and rising fossil fuel costs.”

So, it’s twofold according to the report.  Sustainability and cost of ownership will both contribute to increasing purchases of EVs by fleets.

Whatever the reason, we’ll be thrilled to see EV adoption rise at the fleet level.

Source: Procurement Leaders

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10 Comments on "2014 Will Be The Year of Fleet EVs"

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Excellent, if it happens.

I’ve been saying for years that everyone is focused on either micro (bottom up) or macro (top down) change, and ignoring a major component, meso (middle out). There is a tremendous potential for furthering the electrification of our rolling stock of vehicle via fleet adoptions. Often it’s a matter of just a few key decision makers being convinced to change dozens to thousands of vehicles.

The exciting times just keep getting better.

I wonder what some of the biggest fleets are. How many does UPS/Fedex have? Or the USPS?

Fuel cell range extenders are possibly the critical enabling technology for widespread delivery vehicle adoption:

‘Plug Power has announced it has signed a deal with FedEx to develop fuel cell range extenders for the company’s express electric delivery trucks.

This will allow the truck to nearly double the amount of territory the vehicles can cover with one charge.

This $3m project is funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and includes project partners FedEx Express, Plug Power and Smith Electric Vehicles. The resulting hybrid vehicles will be powered by lithium-ion batteries and a 10KW Plug Power hydrogen fuel cell system. The fuel cell solution is based on Plug Power’s GenDrive Series 1000 product architecture.

Currently, electric delivery trucks are limited to traveling about 80 miles per charge. By doubling the vehicle range, Plug Power’s range extender makes battery-based electric vehicles feasible for nearly all delivery routes. It is an enabling technology that makes electric-powered delivery vehicles a viable solution for a wide range of applications, including parcel delivery trucks, taxis, post office trucks and port vehicles.’


Further down they say that less than 1% of these vehicles are electric today.

Maybe now that the federal government is out of the GM stock they can start buying Volts and other efficient vehicles for the federal fleet. If they had bought them while they were still part owner, it would have looked bad, at least to the superficial politicians and their typical constituencies. However, fleets, including the federal fleet have known usage patterns that can be used to match fleet service vehicles in mixes that significantly reduce costs. In other words, the feds could save some dough on fuel and mantainance costs, which would be good for the tax payers. Although, I would expect much whining from the enemies of green.

There is no winning in political football…unless there is a prize for slinging the most mud.

It would have really helped the Post Office these last few years, if their urban delivery vehicles were electric, and their rural vehicles were fitted with a Voltec powertrain. But, since they are already losing money, it may be hard to justify the expense.

Here in the UK with the congestion charge in London the case for electric vehicles is perfectly clear financially.
Take up has still been tiny, so hopefully fleet managers will now get in gear to buy some serious numbers.

“we’ll be thrilled to see EV adoption rise at the fleet level.” … yes, EVs do very well in fleets where you have a choice of vehicle depending on your needs each day.

In reading websites like these it appears to me that people are reluctant to have an EV as their only car. However people with two or more cars in a family (basically a fleet of size 2) seem very happy with an EV in the mix.

Whether for real or percieved limitations, this does seem to be the case. Those with only EVs (no ICE) are very rare.

However, once I can afford a Tesla, you can add me to the list.

There are so many EV/PHEV opportunities in fleets …

I hope GM starts building a police cruiser based on the Volt powertrain.

One reason …. I walked past an accident scene recently and a few of the usual V8 cruisers were blocking off the road for the cleaning effort, but the police cruisers were idling. So I asked why. It is “policy”. So I asked why. Apparently the radios and computers in the police car consume so much power, the engine has to remain on to feed them.

It is about time! Business after business all said they would invest in BEV fleet purchases, and then when the Volt and the Leaf went on sale, these companies where nowhere to be found. All the press releases where companies were green-washing their fleet purchases by saying they would buy green cars if car makers would only build them, turned out to be just a lot of hot air. All of the projected numbers that GM and Nissan put out prior to starting sales were all based upon these statements of intent for various fleet purchases that never happened. It made GM and Nissan look bad when the fleet buyers didn’t live up to their statements of intent. Among the big 3, GM sells 37% of their cars to fleets, Ford 31%, Dodge 39%. Ford’s Taurus itself had 55% of it’s sales go to fleet buyers. But only 8.9% of Volts were sold to fleet buyers, and only 4.3% of Leafs were sold to fleet buyers. That is even when counting all the fleet sales that went to GM itself for their own company cars! With all of the press releases from various companies about their plans to buy BEV… Read more »