In the driving seat for Episode 1 is our Principal Consultant and EV Sustainability Specialist, Chris Chandler. With 25 years of experience in the sustainability sector, Chris has seen the green fleet agenda evolve from vague ambitions around carbon reduction to today’s electrification revolution. Together with the rest of the LEXpert team, he’s in the perfect position to inform your thinking to help you get started with the electrification of your commercial fleet.
Lexperts episode 1
Finding your path to a greener commercial fleet
Why get moving now?
As Chris explains, there are some seriously compelling reasons to get moving fast towards your sustainable fleet future.
“2035 is important. It means that we now have a firm deadline that we must meet. And rather than leaving everything to the last minute and panicking ─ and probably incurring extra costs and stress as a result ─ it makes sense to develop a good strategic plan for being compliant by that time. Cars are fairly easy, but commercial vehicles provide a few more challenges.”
Of course, fleet managers and decision makers will already understand that there are differences between a car fleet and Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs), but the fine details of how that will affect the move to electric require attention ─ starting with something as basic as understanding which vehicles can go electric now and which will have to wait.
“With smaller commercial vehicles,” Chris continues, “there’s a fair amount of choice in the market at the moment, but for the larger or specialist commercials, there are some areas in the market where there just isn’t an electric product available yet. So, you’ve got to look at which vehicles in your fleet can transition first and then which are the slightly tougher ones.”
This nuanced picture is emphasised by the other LEXperts throughout this first film, including Ashley Barnet, Head of Consultancy, who tells us: “LCV fleets are different because there are just lots of complex areas to consider. That goes all the way from charging to the types of vehicles you’re going to need, the payloads they can carry, and much more besides. Not to mention getting people on board with the idea that electrification is a good thing in the first place!”
Quick wins, big benefits
According to Chris, cutting through this complexity starts by looking for the low-hanging fruit.
“Start with the easy wins. Look at vehicles where there are already good electric alternatives, look at where there’s good charging infrastructure, look where you’ve got employees who are interested in making the change and, you know, have an environmental interest.”
The good news is taking quick wins like this now means you’ll gain big benefits even before your fleet is fully transitioned.
- Cash incentives: for LCVs at the moment, there are a number of grants available both for the vehicles themselves and for installing charging infrastructure ─ plus scrappage schemes for older ICE vehicles. Details can change quickly, so it’s worth keeping an eye on official government guidelines for the latest grants available for LCVs.
- Operational savings: Electric vehicles typically need less maintenance which gives you greater uptime ─ an important factor for commercial businesses. Electric Vehicles (EVs) also don’t pay to access congestion zones and clean air zones. Depending on where you operate, that could soon add up to big operational savings.
- Competitive edge: more and more tenders for business services ask about the environmental credentials of potential suppliers. A demonstrable commitment to fleet electrification is a big tick in the box, boosting your brand and helping you win more business.
- Environmental benefits: while it’s great to know that going electric makes sense for the business, it’s also fundamentally the right thing to do for the environment too. That’s got to feel good!
Plan to win
Every commercial fleet needs a bespoke strategic plan to make the most of these quick wins, avoid common pitfalls and reach 2035 as a compliant and competitive part of the businesses they serve ─ ready for whatever comes next.
Going on that journey is so much easier if you’re travelling with someone who knows the way.
Watching LEXperts, you’ll see that our team understands the specific needs of commercial fleets on their transition to electric. We can provide you with the insights and analysis needed to keep your fleet running in the most efficient manner during and after the transition.
As our expert Andy Hill, LCV Specialist Commercial Vehicle Manager, notes: “Moving over to electric vehicles can be a minefield unless you've got a good transition partner who's been on that journey before. They can help steer through that minefield.”
It’s a point that Chris himself echoes as he closes the film:
“You can go it alone and you can learn and work out how to do it yourself. But if you have experts on board who have the knowledge and experience, then there are a lot of issues or bear traps, if you like, that you can avoid.”
Lex Autolease is ready to help you with these challenges and opportunities right now. We’re here to help you plan your journey and provide all the guidance and support you need, every step of the way.
Information correct at the time of filming, April 2023.
Opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect that of Lex Autolease.