December 14, 2023

The Economic and Environmental Benefits of Adopting a Fleet of Electric Vehicles

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6 Min. Read

Adopting an electric vehicle fleet creates a new operational model that unlocks economic and environmental benefits, turning your organization into an agent for change. As a fleet manager, familiarizing yourself with the benefits of switching to a fleet of electric vehicles is the first step toward creating a detailed cost-benefit analysis.

The Economic Benefits of EV Fleets

On average, charging an EV at home costs 75% less than what refueling a similar gas-powered vehicle would amount to, and with gas prices averaging $3.32 in 2023, the savings are non-negligible and also insulate businesses from fluctuating gas prices.

A fleet of EVs can leverage federal, state, and local incentives, including a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 for each new vehicle purchase, to benefit from further savings.

There are additional economic advantages to consider on a broader scale, such as contributing to a more resilient economy and improving community health through better air quality.

Cost Savings and Operational Benefits of EV Fleets

Switching to an EV fleet comes with reduced operational costs compared to a traditional gas-powered fleet.

Fuel Savings

Data reveals that driving 15,000 miles a year costs anywhere between $550 and $4,400 depending on the type of vehicle operated, while driving an EV over this same distance typically adds up to just under $800, with EVs getting an average of three miles of range per kWh and electricity costing $0.15 per kWh.

Reduced Maintenance

EV fleet managers can expect to save $300 a year on maintenance due to EVs having fewer moving parts and fluids. These savings can be higher for fleet vehicles that see more miles compared to the average passenger vehicle.

Telematics

Modern EVs are packed with sensors and smart features that support visibility and remote monitoring, allowing for an advanced fleet management process that creates more value for the business. Leveraging this technology to manage an electric vehicle fleet can result in optimized routes, improved accountability from drivers, and more responsive real-time route adjustments.

Incentives

Commercial users can explore more than 600 programs at the federal, state, municipal, and utility levels to save further when switching to an EV fleet or investing in a charging infrastructure. Some insurance providers also offer competitive rates by leveraging telematics to assess risks more accurately.

EV Fleets Enhance Brand Image and Customer Perception

A fleet of EVs can generate indirect value in the form of a tangible ESG asset that will enhance your brand image and shape customer perception.

Switching to a fleet of electric vehicles sends a powerful message about your organization’s commitment to the environment while providing you with tangible data to support your ESG efforts. This project can resonate with environmentally-conscious consumers who share your core values, investors with an interest in ESG, innovative partners, and even new talent looking for meaningful employment.

Winning consumers over with an EV fleet is particularly relevant as the sustainable market reaches its mature stage and consumers actively seek eco-friendly options while considering a wider range of factors when assessing green offers.

In 2023, Amazon added 10,000 electric vehicles to its fleet of delivery vans, a project that coincided with the eCommerce giant gaining six points on its customer satisfaction index. Adopting an electric vehicle fleet can also draw positive attention from the media, such as MetLife appearing in Newsweek’s list of the greenest companies in America after deploying programs designed to offset the organization’s carbon impact on a global scale.

What Are the Environmental Impacts of EV Fleets?

Hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and oxides of nitrogen emissions are byproducts of burning gas or diesel to power ICE vehicles, making the transportation sector the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

These harmful tailpipe emissions, also known as greenhouse gases, impact air quality and contribute to raising the surface temperature of the planet, one of the key mechanisms of global warming.

EVs completely eliminate tailpipe emissions by replacing fuel with electricity. With 40% of electricity coming from clean sources like nuclear and renewables, an EV fleet still has an environmental impact, but investments in grid-scale renewable energy projects are gradually reducing the harmful emissions that stem from producing and distributing electricity.

Fleet managers should also consider the environmental impact of manufacturing an EV and its battery when switching to an EV fleet. It’s possible to offset this impact by selecting a sustainable EV manufacturer, extending the lifespan of the vehicles with maintenance, and participating in battery recycling programs.

How Do EV Fleets Reduce Emissions?

Research shows that greenhouse gas emissions are 60 to 68% lower on average over the lifespan of an EV, making an EV fleet a tangible way to significantly reduce your organization’s carbon footprint.

Between Q2 2022 and Q2 2023, solar energy production capacity increased by 20%, and some sources predict that the total capacity increase for the U.S. solar energy market will reach 52% by the end of the year. As the U.S. power grid continues to integrate renewable energy projects, electricity will become an increasingly cleaner source of energy.

Reducing emissions has a direct impact at the local level, and experts estimate that switching to EVs and adopting a modern energy infrastructure could generate public health savings of up to $978 billion, besides preventing over 89,000 premature deaths linked to poor air quality by 2050.

Conservation of Natural Resources

Adopting a fleet of EVs contributes to a new model where the economy isn’t dependent on oil and isn’t affected by fluctuating fuel prices.

With the U.S. importing petroleum products from 80 countries, transporting fuel has a significant environmental impact. Dependence on fuel also contributes to stoking conflicts around the globe, affecting the lives of many and indirectly contributing to poverty and other social issues.

At the local level, extracting petroleum products disturbs ecosystems and can have disastrous consequences in the event of a spill. In the U.S., domestic production heavily relies on hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. This extraction method requires up to 9.7 million gallons of water per well, and experts believe that disposing of wastewater by injecting it into deep wells could increase the risk of earthquakes.

Widespread EV adoption would go a long way toward conserving natural resources, and it’s possible to mitigate the environmental impact of EVs by turning old batteries into storage components for microgrids or even reusing recycled battery materials when assembling new EVs.

Supporting the Shift to a Sustainable and Energy-Efficient Grid

Electrification and EV adoption on a large scale will result in an increased demand for energy. Early adopters can play a part in jumpstarting this shift and encouraging energy providers to expand their production capabilities by investing in clean grid-scale energy projects.

EV adoption will also contribute to a new model that leverages Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology, a technology that allows an EV fleet to become a portable source of stored energy that can upload unused electricity back to the grid to meet demand spikes or increase resilience during an outage.

Enhance the Economic Benefits of Fleet Electrification With At-Home Charging

Adopting an electric vehicle fleet has multiple economic and environmental benefits for businesses and the economy as a whole, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions, significant fuel savings, and an improved brand image.

Fleet managers can get the most out of this investment in electrification by embracing at-home charging for fleet vehicles, an approach that facilitates access to affordable energy rates and convenient overnight charging. Learn more about at-home charging for fleet vehicles and contact Qmerit to explore how electrifying your fleet can save you money, improve your brand reputation, and help build your business for the future.

Author: Ken Sapp

Ken Sapp

Senior Vice President, Business Development and eMobility