As the world shifts to become more environmentally conscious, many industries are adopting operational methods that are more sustainable for the future of our planet. The same is true for the motor vehicle industry, and by extension, commercial fleets - which are set to join the EV revolution.
A recent report by the Climate Group, in fact, revealed that there has been a 93% rise in EV adoption globally in the past year. As such, there are nearly half a million electric vehicles on roads around the world today. In their EV100 insights report, they also noted that of all new car sales in 2022, 10% were EV sales.
Through EV100, the group aims to make EVs “the new normal” by 2030. By joining forces with several organisations and companies worldwide, the group has already made a notable impact on CO₂ emissions in the motor vehicle industry.
“EV100 businesses have deployed over 168,000 EVs over the last 12 months, and now operate over 400,000 EVs globally.” Climate Group EV100 - Progress and Insights Report 2023.
To put this into perspective, the group’s efforts have thus far avoided CO₂ emissions equivalent to the annual energy consumption of more than 50 000 US homes.
With this clear push to become more efficient and sustainable, the focus is shifting to the environmental impact of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) and in particular, heavy trucking vehicles.
“While only accounting for 4% of vehicles on the road globally, they are responsible for 40% of all road transport emissions and a third of total transport fuel use. Including these most polluting vehicles in the shift to zero-emission solutions will be crucial if we are to achieve the Paris climate goals” - Sandra Roling, Director of Transport, Climate Group.
Instead of an internal combustion engine that burns petrol or diesel fuel, EVs operate utilising an electric motor and a battery pack. This is better for the environment because EVs produce noticeably less greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline-powered vehicles as they have no tailpipe emissions. Though the total emissions of an EV vary depending on the type of electricity used to charge it, EVs still emit less pollution than gasoline-powered cars.
Additionally, EVs are more energy efficient than petrol vehicles. Internal combustion engines (ICE) are constrained by their design and the laws of thermodynamics, requiring a lot of energy to operate the vehicle. EV motors, however, can convert more than 80% of the battery's energy into motion. As a result, EVs need less energy to cover the same distance as a car that runs on petrol. This also saves time and reduces costs.
With EVs, there is also less reliance on fossil fuels as they can run on sustainable energy sources such as wind, solar, and hydro. This can aid in minimising the potentially damaging effects of oil exploration, transportation, and refinement on the environment.
What’s more, EV engines are quieter, so noise pollution is reduced, and vehicles have longer lifespans compared to petrol-powered cars. This is because EVs require less maintenance since they have fewer moving parts and batteries can be recycled or reused, lowering the amount of waste produced.
As a whole, EVs are more environmentally friendly than conventional petrol-powered cars because of their lower greenhouse gas emissions, improved energy efficiency, decreased dependency on fossil fuels, decreased noise pollution, and longer lifespan.
EVs in fleet management have a lot to offer in terms of sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and lower maintenance requirements compared to traditional ICE vehicles.
With an electric fleet, operators could benefit from significant cost savings, more robust data, and reduced harmful emissions. This, in turn, may help operations run more efficiently while also improving safety thanks to advanced telematics built right into the vehicles.
Even driver satisfaction could be improved by EVs, thanks to the quieter and smoother ride offered. With a more comfortable drive, factors such as driver fatigue and road accidents can be reduced.
Though it's still an emerging market, EVs undoubtedly have a significant role to play in developing safer, more sustainable fleet operations. In fact, as EV technology continues to improve, it's imperative that we see widespread adoption of EVs in fleet management to ensure a better future for all.