While over 1.3 million electric vehicles are on the road today in the U.S., the market for electric commercial vehicles is just beginning. Findings from a new survey of fleet managers finds that adoption of electric vehicles will depend on cost savings and efficiencies, not just positive environmental impacts.
When asked what would encourage an organization to purchase EVs, 44% of fleet managers said reducing fuel spend, 44% said reducing maintenance cost, and 37% reducing environmental footprint.
The survey, conducted in late March by Wakefield Research for telematics provider Samsara, went out to 300 fleet managers in the U.S. across all sizes and industries. (The survey may have included Samsara customers but wasn’t specific to them.)
In the survey, 90% of fleet managers believe electric vehicles are the inevitable future of commercial fleets. Regarding the timeline, 32% responded that they believe fleets will be one quarter electric within five years, while 50% believe in 10 years.
According to respondents, switching to electric vehicles requires these needs to be met:
- Data analysis on fleet suitability for EVs
- Identifying suitable charging station network providers and chargers
- Custom materials to drive internal leadership support for EVs
- EV model recommendations based on fleet management data
- One on one consultation / coaching on how to get started with EVs
Some 85% of EV owners in the survey reported that traditional vehicles cost more to maintain than electric vehicles. More than half (53%) of all respondents would use cost savings from EVs to increase driver wages.
In other findings, 94% of fleet managers say that COVID-19 will impact their operations more than any single event in the past decade. However, fleet managers of EVs seem more optimistic about weathering the storm: 96% of respondents with EVs in their fleets feel prepared to weather a recession, while 72% of non-EV owners feel prepared.
To help fleet owners build their fleet electrification plan, Samsara created a Fleet Electrification Report.
The Fleet Electrification Report compares light-duty vehicles within a fleet and grades them on suitability for candidates for electrification. The report uses six major criteria to determine candidacy: vehicle age, average fuel efficiency, average daily range, maximum range, estimate annual fuel savings, and estimated annual emissions saved.