With the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles fast approaching, our customers are increasingly looking to improve their sustainability credentials and considering electric fleets. Clare Cameron, a fleet analyst within the outsource team at Lex Autolease for six years, tells us about how she supports customers to help them improve the sustainability of their fleets.
For Clare, a large part of her role is helping customers meet their sustainability targets and overcome potential barriers when considering switching to electric vehicles (EVs). She explains: “Many of our customers want to make their fleets more sustainable but in reality, it isn’t always as straightforward as switching to electric vehicles. For example, drivers who use their vehicles in more rural or agricultural areas may not have the access to charging points they require.”
To start the process, Clare works with her customers to properly understand what their sustainability targets are, and how far they have to go to meet them. “It’s all about working together”, she says. “Take the example of rural drivers. Rather than just overlook EVs as an option, we can introduce plug-in hybrid vehicles. This gives both the business and the drivers some benefits – financial as well as sustainability-focused – and helps the customer move closer towards their targets.”
Clare shares the example of one customer she’s worked with for a number of years, who made the decision to be carbon neutral by 2030 – 20 years ahead of government target. To support this commitment, our fleet analysts worked with them to understand where their challenges were and started adding electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles to their fleet.
While some drivers didn’t take them on, others did, and since then word of mouth within the company has led to a much higher uptake. Clare explains: “Introducing EVs in this way has enabled the drivers to get a better understanding of what's out there and what's available, sometimes just by looking at a colleague’s car in the car park.
“It’s been a great success – at the end of 2021, this customer removed all internal combustion engine vehicles from their choice list, leaving only full electric or plug-in hybrid options and resulting in a really sustainable fleet.”
It isn’t about telling customers what they should be doing though, Clare says, it’s about giving them the information they need to make an educated choice.
“We share different information with customers on a monthly and quarterly basis. Monthly, the detail is more granular, whereas quarterly we use our sustainability tool to show them where they are compared with their competitors. The information from the sustainability tool can be used to feed into board reports and provide benchmarking figures, as well as predictions on where a fleet’s CO2 levels will be at any given point in time. It’s also often used from an employer brand perspective, as it allows our customers to make sure they’re offering the best policies for their employees.”
For those customers that are starting out on the journey to electric, Clare advises taking baby steps: “Understand first what your business is and what your sustainability targets are, and then break this down at fleet level to get a clear picture of what can actually be changed. We’re seeing a lot of success when companies speak to their drivers and ask them what they want and why, as this helps identify barriers to adoption. We can then work with our customers to find ways to overcome them.”
At Lex, everything we do is tailored for our customers to help them meet their individual goals. Clare summarises: “Some things that have worked for a customer that has a fleet of nearly two and a half thousand vehicles might not work for a fleet of 300, or differences could be down to where you’re based in the UK."
"Because as fleet analysts we have so much knowledge about different sectors and fleet sizes, we can share insights as a team and with our customers to make sure all recommendations are bespoke and make a real difference to our customers’ sustainability ambitions.”
The examples provided are based on customer’s individual circumstances at a specific point in time. Similar benefits/savings may not be achievable by other customers due to a variety of different circumstances and factors, and these examples should not be construed as a guarantee of the benefits/savings achievable.