Driver EV adoption: Developing the right frameworks and policies
April 18, 2023
How can fleets promote electric vehicle (EV) adoption with their drivers? We’re here to help you to establish strong EV governance, make strategic choices, and select drivers who will be advocates for your fleet electrification program.
Developing the right framework and policies for EVs
There are four main factors to consider when developing frameworks and policies to promote driver EV adoption.
- Vehicle selection
Bloomberg points out that electric cars have set a record with an almost 300-mile average range. In the United States, EV range has quadrupled since 2011 and is today a third higher than the average globally. EVs are the most efficient vehicles in the market and can fit most driving scenarios.
To kickstart your EV transition, look at your drivers’ asset class and the increasing number of EV models that are now available or will soon become available on the market.
Identify the right fit-for-use vehicles. Ensure that EVs suit your needs in terms of range (miles or kilometers), recharging times, cargo capacity, and lifecycle cost. This will help you to shortlist units or narrow down the selection to your best options.
- Vehicle assignment
When developing your EV framework, you should outline the criteria for vehicle assignment to address one-off situations. This will help you identify the potential number of drivers ready for an EV.
You should consider implementing policies that define:
- What makes a driver eligible or ineligible to take an EV?
- How can a driver prequalify for an EV deployment?
- What to do if a vehicle needs to be reassigned?
- What variables would you add if a driver is relocated?
- Charging infrastructure
EV charging policy: Home charging and depot charging are the best solutions to recharge EVs, as they are more cost-effective, widely available, quicker to deploy, and provide the best charging experience for drivers.
Hence, it is important to understand the potential for a driver to install an EV charger in their home to refill the battery, and for you to consider the cost versus benefit associated with having an electrical upgrade at the residence of your drivers.
According to Juniper Research, the downward-trending costs of installing home EV chargers and their convenience will drive spending to $16 billion in 2026 (up from $3.4 billion in 2021). This is the right time to find low installation costs when deploying EV charging for your drivers.
While some companies install home chargers at no cost to the driver, others implement approval limits or cost-sharing opportunities with their drivers. For example, if the average home charger and installation process costs $2500, there will be situations where the costs could escalate to $6000. If there is an approval limit of $4000, then the driver would have the opportunity to cover the remaining $2000 for an electrical home upgrade and EV-ready charging infrastructure at a discount to them.
It is important to add to consideration factors like evaluating:
- Who owns the charger – the company or the driver?
- If a driver happens to leave the company, what do you do with the charger? Do you uninstall it? Do you let them keep it?
- If a driver moves, will you support a charger installation at their new residence?
When charging is done on site (office or depot), it is important to set best practices and timetables to ensure that all the vehicles in the fleet have a recharging process. Define the best time to recharge to take advantage of cheaper electricity costs.
Element provides its ChargePoint solution to clients, which allows drivers to leverage an extensive public charging network in North America. Drivers can use EV RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) cards to seamlessly pay for charging sessions.
- Charging reimbursement
A reimbursement policy with electricity billing reporting should be in place. Consider how you will reimburse drivers for their electricity costs from a home charging and public charging standpoint. Encourage drivers to charge at home as much as possible, and to charge vehicles when not in use at lower energy rates. Your telematics data that collects GPS charging events will continue to be a powerful tool, to support your efforts to compensate drivers for energy use.
What should companies look for when selecting drivers to pilot EVs
Whenever you change the status quo, it is important to select those drivers that want to become EV ambassadors of change. These first adopters will enjoy the benefits of the leading edge of technology that EVs bring and will speak from experience to their peers. These drivers will provide you with the best feedback for your specific operations.
Consider the following:
You can use this tool to identify drivers that may be more interested in piloting an EV. The survey provides insights into the driver’s primary residence and if this is conducive to pre-qualify for home charging. It will highlight your best candidates to start an EV deployment program.
Daily distance driven
For a great EV driving experience, you should consider looking into the average daily distances that your drivers need to complete their routes. Your goal would be to select drivers that drive enough miles to lower variable costs but not so many miles that they need to charge during the day. While analyzing routes, you will have the opportunity to assess supporting public charging networks at your driver’s disposal, to top-up their EV battery when needed.
Drivers that have experienced new ways of driving, such as driving a hybrid vehicle, could be a good fit for an EV deployment program. Drivers of hybrids are potentially used to features like regenerative braking to recharge the battery of the vehicle while driving, and they may appreciate utilizing vehicles that are quieter and smoother. EVs will bring these and more advances!
Leverage our strategic consultants and telematics data to select drivers to deploy EVs. Their analysis can determine a set of drivers whose routes fit the EV’s range, proximity to public chargers, and environmental and special weather conditions better suited for your EV operations.
Engage drivers to support EV deployments
Communication is key to engaging drivers. Setting clear expectations from the beginning and introducing new processes in stages will set the tone for a smooth driver EV transition. Change management, upfront planning, and laying out the framework will help garner driver support.
Conveying the role drivers play in achieving corporate sustainability goals, and the benefits of EV adoption, will add purpose to your mission and encourage participation in the program.
Key step: You will need an initial driver meeting to walk your ambassadors through the differences between operating an EV and their current internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, to set drivers up for success. This would include extensive training on the new technology, and best practices to optimize range, leverage vehicle preconditioning, prolong battery life, and boost overall vehicle performance. When drivers have a positive experience, they will be strong advocates for driver EV adoption.
Arc by Element provides clients with holistic support in EV fleet deployment. Clients achieve desired sustainability outcomes, while controlling costs and driving operational efficiencies. Partnering with Element will give you the right frameworks and policies for your EV fleet.
Element’s strategic consulting team has the experience and expertise to simplify the EV adoption process. Get in touch with us to learn more.
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