When we think of the word ‘fleet’ we immediately are drawn to the classic Royal Mail red vans or our nation’s buses. However, the word applies to any commercial or public sector collection of vehicles. A fleet can be anything from company cars to golf karts. Fleets currently make up around 56% of the vehicles of our roads. Road traffic contributes towards around 50% of our air pollution, which means that fleets alone are still significantly more damaging to our air than our power stations, domestic and commercial energy usage, and other heavy industry combined. As such, we believe it is crucial that fleet managers and businesses recognise the need to transition their fleet away from traditional fuels.
Domestic uptake of electric vehicles has been positive, particularly with the popularity of brands like Tesla. However, if we are to really make an impact, then we are reliant on businesses converting their vehicles to electric. That said, we have reported before on the positive sentiment held by many fleet managers. Most businesses are under pressure from increasingly green-conscious consumers and many recognise that fleets are a major source of carbon emissions for their business.
We have received many enquiries to assist in the full, or partial, transition of vehicle fleets for some small and medium sized businesses, as well as local UK councils and public sector entities. These are a fantastic way for us to move towards an electric future. Think about it, if you as an individual decide to change your car to electric, that’s one car off the road. If a council or a business decide to change, that could be around 100 cars or vans being replaced with zero emissions alternatives. While we are not saying that the individual changes are less important, companies are able to make a much greater impact just by sheer volume.
Nevertheless, we live in a world ruled by multinationals and conglomerates. When we think of the Amazons and Apples of the world, smaller companies seem much more like individuals in terms of size. Creating meaningful change really depends on companies with global fleets of thousands of vehicles making the decision to change to electric. One such company which has recently pledged to do so is Lyft. The global ride-share company announced in early June that they will convert their entire fleet to electric by 2030. By working with automakers and rental car companies, as well as the millions of independent contractors who drive for Lyft every day, it is believed they can prevent “tens of millions of metric tons” of pollutants from entering our atmosphere.
There is growing pressure for ride sharing companies like Lyft and Uber to move toward electric vehicles. Their two largest competitors, public transport and traditional taxis, are themselves in the process of electrifying. Many buses in towns and cities in the UK are now electric and our train network is not far behind. Moreover, with the introduction of the LEVC taxi, this British icon has been given a space age electric makeover.
There is clearly demand for companies to transform the way their workers travel, and the intent is obviously there. However, it is the responsibility of companies like us to help make this process as easy as possible and to guide these organisations through any transitional periods. One major factor is making sure that charging infrastructure is available for these vehicles. If you are a fleet manager, company owner or you drive a company car and would like to discuss your options, please get in touch. A member of our team would be happy to discuss this in more detail and answer any questions that you have. Call us on 0141 280 8890 or drop us an email at [email protected].