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Electrical car fleet: from fiction to reality for companies

Are you considering converting your car fleet to an electrical one? Do you wish to anticipate the pros and cons before taking the first step? Tells us everything!

Converting to an electrical car fleet has been a frequent topic for companies, due to economic issues, needs of durability and carbon footprint concerns. Despite all these arguments, companies are still holding back from converting as there are some impediments to introducing an electrical car fleet. What are the pros and cons of converting your car fleet? What solutions can be brought to the table to overcome the difficulties ofelectrical conversion?

| Financial and consumption factors

Before talking about the reasons why a company should transition to an electrical car fleet, it is important to remind us of the why they would like to alter their transportation modes.

If an electrical car fleet produces less carbon than a thermal car, where do these emissions come from? They are featured in multiple situations. First of all, we should mention the consequences of the different types of vehicles: old, energy consuming heavy trucks are obviously more likely to produce greenhouse gas emissions.

Within the French national car fleet, electrical cars pollute less than fuel or diesel-consuming vehicles as the fueled car is often misused: using such a car is mostly necessary for trips above 80 km per day.

Driving habits can also be heavily carbon consuming, such as driving fast, using AC or even breaking when unnecessary.

And finally, planning routes also acts on fuel consumption and therefore on the carbon emissions: a route that is poorly organized will lead to many additional kilometers which could be avoided.

These consumption issues can be solved with different solutions, on top of the use of electrical cars. We can optimize routes (such as commercial visits), train employees to drive with an eco-friendlier manner, encourage carpooling or using alternative means of transportation (such as biking or public transit), install tracking devices on the car fleet to identify consuming agents, or settle a homeworking system for employees able to work from home.

However, these solutions can decrease companies’ carbon footprint but converting to an electrical fleet remains the most significant option.

| Electrical car fleet: pros for companies

According to the current French law, companies are not legally compelled to change their vehicles for greener ones, or even raise awareness to drivers on greener car-driving habits. There are still solid pros for a company to adopt an electrical car fleet.

First of all, there is the financial aspect. Upkeeping an electrical vehicle is cheaper than upkeeping a thermal one. Indeed, as the different pieces from the electrical car are not bound to specific maintenance, and as the car’s mechanics are simpler, the vehicle will be less likely to break down. Furthermore, it is worth noting that electrical engines last longer.

In addition to less and cheaper maintenance, the electricity cost compared to the fuel’s is unquestionable: a 100-km trip in an electrical car will have an average cost of 2€ (data relies on the model used), whereas one in a fueled vehicle can come up to 8€. The cost reduction related to the energy consumption is major.

Accessing low emissions areas (restricted areas within cities) cannot be overlooked. As the French legislation gets tighter, fueled vehicles will have less and less access to some urban areas, limiting actions from companies offering services for example (delivery, facility management, etc.).

In addition to the financial and practical pros, there is the environmental impact from the use of an electric car fleet: an electrical vehicle still consumes energy and produces carbon emissions, but it remains greener than a thermal vehicle which fuel combustion produces way more greenhouse gas emissions.

Lastly, a company can benefit from the help from the State for converting to an electrical car fleet: tax exemption, grants, etc. There are many public financial resources for French companies.

If there are many pros to adopt an electrical car fleet, how come it is not so common?

| A complex access to the transition

Many obstacles can rise up when a company wishes to convert its car fleet to an electrical one. The cost can curb the process but it is essential to keep in mind than on the long term, an electrical car will require less maintenance than a thermal vehicle and will last longer. Besides, as mentioned earlier, the French government has planned financial helps for many types of situations.

The expansion of charging stations in France is still in process and the lack of them in some areas prevents companies from using electrical cars. Partnerships can be established with electricity suppliers and the State to put charging stations in strategic areas to ensure the efficient use of electrical cars.

The battery life of electrical cars can be shorter than the fueled vehicles’s. However, research and development are working to improve the battery every year, and the projections are quite positive and encouraging. It is yet necessary to optimize routes for electrical vehicles, such as having them drop by a charging station when the route exceeds its battery, avoiding large detours to save batterie, etc.

How can we take up the organizational challenges of an electrical fleet in the best way?

| A software to ease up the conversion

To take up the challenges from the conversion to an electrical car fleet, Neovya Mobility by Technology has developed a data-based SaaS solution to optimize the use of an electrical fleet. Thanks to this solution, you can simulate the use of electrical cars according to the needs and restrictions from your activities.

Neovya Daily Commute organizes the electrical fleet conversion based on 3 different scopes:

  • Route planning: Neovya Daily Commute plans automatically your employees’ trips, according to the travelled distance between the initial place and the customer’s site. The software integrates different types of data such as postal addresses to select the best trip scenario, consumption-wise.

  • Simulating the car’s life battery: Neovya Daily Commute can rate the electrical vehicle’s autonomy on a given trip. If a trip is too long for a vehicle, the software will suggest dropping by a charging station or using another vehicle with longer battery life.

  • Carbon footprint calculation: thanks to the emissions factors given by the ADEME (the French Agence for Ecological Transition) and integrated in the software, Neovya Daily Commute calculates the carbon footprint from the cars’ trips and compares them with different scenarios (different routes, the use of a fueled vehicle against an electrical one) to advise you with the most ecofriendly alternative.

“ We were able to quickly deploy the Neovya Daily Commute solution on a large number of our business units. Data is integrated in a few clicks. The solution is powered by the best of breed computing engines which prove to be very efficient. The solution is very simple to use and available anywhere, any time. We have access to clear and precise dashboards to lead our strategy with efficiency. The solution provides us with an informed overview of the greenhouse gas emission made by our employees’ commute to work. We are now able to consider practical and pragmatical measures at the individual and the collective levels to encourage the shift towards more virtuous alternative modes."

Nicolas Galet

Low Carbon Development Manager, VINCI Facilities

Are you considering converting your car fleet to an electrical one? Do you wish to anticipate the pros and cons before taking the first step? Tells us everything!

Neovya Mobility by Technologyis a software editor of mobility simulation and modelling. We cover diagnosis, planning and optimization of all means of transportation. Founded by mobility and software experts, we work together towards a greener transportation system.


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