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Why Fleet Owners Are Electrifying Their Vehicles This Year

Posted 04/04/2023

The best time to transition your business vehicle fleet from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to electric vehicles (EV) is now. Thanks to new tax credits for EVs and EV charging stations as well as lower fuel and maintenance costs for EVs, fleet managers can now save money while setting an example for other organizations. Here are four reasons why now is the time to electrify your business or government fleet.

Limited time to claim tax credits for EV fleets

There are currently numerous incentives to purchase EVs and EV charging equipment. But, like all good things, these will eventually come to an end.  For example, the federal government’s Clean Vehicle Credit (CVC) for purchasing two-wheeled EVs expired at the beginning of 2022. That means that while motorcyclists could claim tax credit in 2021, they can no longer do so. While that is bad news for our motorcycle riding friends, individuals and businesses looking for electric vehicles can claim tax credit for EVs with four wheels (like a car or truck).  The Clean Vehicle Credit for individuals and businesses, which we've discussed on the blog previously, and the Commercial Clean Vehicle Credit are in place until the end of 2032. There is also a new tax credit for used EVs beginning in January. But that's not all. In addition to electrifying your fleet, you can also use Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit to save money on charging infrastructure. Qualifying businesses can receive up to 30%, up to $100,000 per station. While this tax credit is restricted to publicly available charging stations, some facilities with consistent fleet schedules could open their chargers to the public during the day, then use the stations for their fleets at night. In addition to federal tax incentives, there are numerous state- and municipal-level incentives for EV charging infrastructure that your company may be eligible for.  Blink Charging has compiled a list of EV purchase incentives for businesses, which you can filter by state. 

Reduced fuel costs with EV fleets

Tax credits will help mitigate the potentially higher upfront cost for EVs, but the real savings come after purchase.  Fueling a vehicle with electricity is much cheaper than gasoline or diesel. Multiply your savings over an entire fleet and you are potentially saving tens of thousands of dollars every year on fuel costs. And with electricity generated by your local or regional utility, your business is not held hostage to wildly fluctuating gas prices. You won’t have to wake up one day to discover that the gas prices have doubled overnight due to supply chain or geopolitical issues in another country.  In addition, fleets can save money by further optimizing your charge times. By utilizing your utility's off-peak energy rates, you can set policies to only charge during cheaper times such as evenings or overnight. The Blink Network allows fleet managers to schedule start and end times, so your fleet vehicles will take full advantage of off-peak hour electricity rates. Load management features also allow you to reduce costs by sharing power between multiple stations. 

Reduced maintenance costs with EV fleets

But it's not just fuel. Because electric vehicles do not have an internal combustion engine, they have fewer moving parts and fewer replaceable filters. In fact, one fleet analysis found that maintaining an EV was 75% lower than maintaining a similar gas vehicle! As with fuel costs, when you multiply the savings across dozens of fleet vehicles, they add up quickly. Take oil changes alone. Imagine the amount of money you would save on maintenance by just getting rid of oil changes for all your vehicles. While EVs continue to require some maintenance, such as tire rotations and cabin air filters, fleet electrification means less time spent at the repair shop and more time spent on the road.

Fleet EV charging as leadership

The last thing that any business wants to do is miss a trend, or send a message that you're "behind the times." Whether you manage a government or business fleet, chances are that your stakeholders and employees are thinking about sustainability. One recent global survey from the IBM Institute for Business Value showed that employment seekers, consumers and investors alike all hold environmental sustainability in high esteem when choosing brands and companies to interact with. In the 2022 United Nations Global Compact (UNGC)—Accenture CEO Study on Sustainability, 34% of CEOs stated that they were prioritizing reducing their Scope 3 GHG emissions. If your fleet has not yet begun transitioning to zero-emissions vehicles, your employees, customers, regulators, and investors may soon ask why. 

What are the best EV chargers for fleets?

The best fleet charging solution depends on your needs. However, if you manage a fully electric fleet, you may consider combination of at least one direct current fast charger (DCFC) and multiple Level 2 chargers. Level 2 charging stations are perfect for fleets that will charge overnight or have limited power supply. They are also compatible with plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles. DCFC are perfect for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles that need a higher power level. They are also a quick solution for fleet depots where drivers must charge for an hour, then get back on the road quickly to complete their route. You may also want to invest in a mobile charging unit in case any of your fleet drivers forget to charge overnight. Switching your fleet from ICE vehicles to EVs is not a small undertaking, but it need not be complicated. With the help of an experienced EV charging company like Blink, you can design a comprehensive plan to transition your fleet to EVs in a way that fits your budget and preferred timeline. The sooner you transition your fleet from ICE vehicles to EVs, the sooner you will be able to enjoy the cost savings EVs provide. Ready to get started? Contact your Blink sales manager to start the conversation.

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