25/11/2021

8 simple steps before deciding on your first electrical car to your company fleet

8 simple steps before deciding on your first electrical car to your company fleet

Suppose you are a business owner or are working for a SME. You consider to add new cars to your company fleet. Moreover, EV charging as technology of future promises,  lower operational costs, more convenience to drivers and efficient services. But, what will be the impact of such a decision? It might be wise to think about an EV charging strategy or company car policy. Your reasons for adding might range from minimizing your ecological footprint, attracting employees, or increasing your client’s satisfaction. Below, we outline 8 attention points for those taking the first steps as a company towards electric driving and charging.

1. What will be the current and future EV charging demand?

One of the key questions to answer is, who will be charging their electric vehicle at your company? Groups to consider are:

a. Employees

b. Drivers of your company cars

c. Customers

d. A wider range of EV drivers from the neighbourhood who can take advantage of your charging facilities.

2. Total cost of ownership EV charging: what costs should be considered?

What cost categories should you take into account when adding your first electrical car  to your companies fleet? Cost categories to consider are:

a. The maintenance costs if you were to buy the EV’s

b. The construction costs of the charging infrastructure like cabling and charging points

c. The expected savings on fuel costs

d. Leasing or buying electric vehicles: what is the best option for your company?

3. Your first electrical car, which one to choose for your employees or company

Which electrical vehicle to choose for your fleet or to offer to your employees? Firstly, soon there will only be EV’s on the market, as many car manufacturers will soon only produce EV’s. Secondly, for now, it might be wiser to have a mix of gasoline and EV’s. Or to have a mix of plugin hybrid cars and 100% of electric cars. Full electric  might not (yet) be a good choice. If you decide to go full electric, do address the following concerns:

  • The driving range
  • The fear of paying a premium
  • Time required to charge
  • Lack of EV charging infrastructure
  • Safety concerns with the battery technology

Thirdly, your required driving range is depending on personal circumstances of an employee (distance home-work) as well as business objectives (what is the service level and area of your company).  Fourthly, deciding on which car is the perfect one for your company or employee, will probably be largely driven from a fiscal and funding point of view. A great guide to the benefits of electrical charging stations for cars in European countries can be found on the website of Wallbox.  Finally, all rationale explained before, might actually not be a good starting point. Choosing a (company or personal) car is of course an emotional decision.  

4. What charging level should be offered in your company?

The first consideration given in this article was, who will be charging? Different types of employees require different levels of comfort when it comes to charging. Sales personnel can be on the road a lot and not necessarily charge a lot. An operational director may be in the office more, which allows for a longer charging time. Anyway, it is good to assess the time it takes for a vehicle to charge the car battery up to 80%, certainly if you consider to add a full-electric as your first car. At this moment, offering a level 2 charger is most common for SMEs.

5. Which changes in the authentication infrastructure are necessary?

Often forgotten, but it is not wise to allow just anyone to charge their car on your premises. You need a lock on the charging station. Most companies use a RFID (company) card. Some companies do already use smartphones to access their company building. The same smartphone can be used at the charging pole, if the pole has a good RFID reader. For those interested in the future, electrical vehicles will authenticate themselves via cable at the EV charging stations, the so-called Plug and Charge.

6. Which EV charging station to choose ?

There is a wide range of electrical charging stations for cars available on the market. Important is the charging level, available plug types, design (check for red dot design award), (the) reliability, (the) dimensions, authentication and the service level offered by the installer.

7. What will change in your electrical infrastructure?

A major impact of allowing EV’s to charge at your premises, will be the change in the electrical infrastructure. The EV charging installation is a load management system that allows the available energy to be divided between the different cars charging. Cars with almost no load will be given priority over those who let’s say are already filled at 80%.

8. How will the new parking facilities look like?

Two questions that need to be addressed when it comes to parking facilities are: is it possible to attach the charging facilities to the company building or is it necessary to install separate charging poles? Good to keep in mind: the charging infrastructure requirements have changed. Energy Performance of Buildings Directive will require the installation of electric recharging points for new commercial buildings with more than 10 parking spaces as of 2025. So even if you are still in doubt, for companies which are growing and innovating, EV will be knocking at your door.

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Janno Franssen

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