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The easy transition to an all-electric company fleet

December 20, 2021

Why do petrol and diesel cars abound our streets, when the case for electric cars is so clear?

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Why do petrol and diesel cars abound our streets, when the case for electric cars is so clear? The advantages of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are not always known. Whether you care about finances, the environment, or your health, the right car will always be an electric vehicle.

Yet, if you are an employee using a company car, you may not be given the choice of what vehicle you drive. Today, six out of 10 cars in Europe are company cars, and 87% of those new registrations were still petrol and diesel vehicles in 2020. Can we shift this trend and start electrifying company fleets? And most importantly, why should we?

Battery electric vehicles have many advantages. In particular, they are:

  • cheaper to run: the cost of the electricity required to charge an BEV is around 40% less than the cost to use petrol or diesel for a similar sized vehicle driving the same distance;
  • cheaper to maintain: a BEV has fewer moving parts than a conventional combustion engine, and servicing is relatively easy, less frequent, and cheaper overall; 
  • fun to drive: electric motors provide instant torque and impressive acceleration, combined with a smooth and silent ride, boosting comfort levels;
  • better for the environment: BEVs have zero exhaust emissions — but still create some greenhouse gas emissions when charged from the electricity grid, if electricity isn’t coming from renewable energy sources;
  • better for our health: having no harmful exhaust emissions, BEVs reduce air pollution and the associated  health problems and costs — BEVs are also quieter than petrol/diesel cars, which means less noise pollution. 

With so many advantages, why can’t you find more BEVs in your company fleet? One reason is their purchasing price: the upfront cost of acquiring BEVs is still higher today than equivalent internal combustion engine vehicles. However, when a total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis is made, BEVs become the cheaper option.

Whether you are a fleet manager or an employee driving a company car, making the switch to electric vehicles will provide sizable benefits — i.e. cost savings, a cleaner environment, an improved corporate environmental strategy.  To encourage businesses and employees to transition their current company car fleets to fully electric vehicles, T&E is showcasing three success stories that prove that any business can go fully electric now, regardless of its fleet size.

Small fleet size: EASYCHARGER 

EasyCharger is a Spanish company deploying and operating a network of fast charging stations with the objective of enabling EV drivers to travel seamlessly —just like with an internal combustion engine vehicle. 

EasyCharger has a small fleet of just nine company cars, but they are all fully-electric: five Volkswagen ID.4, one Tesla Model Y and three Volkswagen ID.3 make up their fleet.

Medium fleet size: SAP LABS

SAP Labs France is a company that provides business software and solutions, helping companies to streamline their business operations and run at their best. 

They have three sites in France with close to 400 employees —most of them benefitting from a company car— and got their first EVs in 2015, when they also installed three charging stations for employees. Having reached 14% of EVs in their fleet, in 2016 SAP Labs France decided to ban diesels from their fleet altogether, followed  by a ban on all internal combustion engine vehicles in 2019. 

Today their fleet is made of 290 company cars, 98% of which are fully electric. 

SAP Labs France has also now deployed close to 160 charging stations for employees, both at work and at home, and has installed a massive solar photovoltaic infrastructure at their headquarters in Mougins —near Cannes, in South East of France— which includes batteries. The site of Caen is also benefiting from solar shades that were inaugurated in September 2021.

Large fleet size: ONTO 

Onto is an all-inclusive electric car subscription company formed in 2018 that is accelerating EV adoption and making driving affordable, flexible and sustainable. Through a monthly subscription, customers get the latest electric cars delivered to their door along with insurance, servicing, breakdown cover, and free public charging at over 12,000 locations in the UK. Onto makes the switch to driving an electric car radically simple. There is no upfront deposit, and just like other subscription services, it’s only ever a 1-month commitment.