From ease of access to city centres, tax incentives, reduced maintenance costs and even convenience of use, electric vehicles have many advantages that make them attractive to businesses.
Finding answers to transportation problems is a major challenge simultaneously involving states, local authorities and the automotive industry. In line with COP 21 and the Paris Agreement, European governments are pushing for the development of electric mobility, as the European Union has set a target of reducing CO² emissions by 35% by 2030 for cars and commercial vehicles.
Many companies opt for electric mobility to comply with these regulations, to bolster their environmental responsibility and to promote the sustainability of their activities. The company SEPUR, for example, which has operated in the environmental services/waste management sector since 2014, updated its fleet with a hundred Renault ZOEs. Beyond this sector, each year, numerous European companies from all industries are joining the circle of electric vehicle users.
Beyond the consideration of environmental pressures, the economic benefits of acquiring and maintaining an electric vehicle figure among the reasons for this choice. Thanks to the subsidies for purchase offered in most European countries, such as the environmental bonuses (France, Germany) or reduced taxes (Luxembourg, Austria, France), companies can build up electric fleets on very favourable terms.
When it comes to usage, the main savings come from charging, which works out to an average price of €1.5 to €2 per 100 km. Another important savings mechanism is maintenance, since upkeep requirements are reduced to their simplest form. For an electric vehicle, changing the brake pads and fluid as well as replacing the tyres are the main expenses.
Quiet and easy to use, electric vehicles also offer an incomparable feeling of pleasure when driving thanks to their automatic transmission. Professionals who spend several hours a day behind the wheel appreciate this additional benefit.
When it comes to electric commercial vehicles, since early 2018, Renault has offered fleet managers the Master Z.E., an electric van available in six different versions. “On the road, it’s a more zen driving experience. It’s smoother and less prone to accidents”, said Mathieu Charpentier of Groupe JCDecaux when describing his experience with the new Master Z.E. It’s a sentiment shared by Christophe Contoux of Fnac Darty, who described driving the Master Z.E. as “gentle and pleasant”.
“The product offers a compelling driving range and volume”, says Oscar Rodrigues, from the Portuguese company EMEL (Empresa Municipal de Mobilidade e Estacionamento de Lisboa). “Its other advantages include its simplicity and comfort, as its ergonomic properties have been well thought out. It’s a real plus, and it’s very amenable for a delivery driver.”
In a context where the last kilometre of a delivery represents some 20% of the delivery chain’s total cost, electric vehicles are an asset that can improve the economic performance of the companies concerned. Quite often, vans are used to make trips or rounds in a small area, with a predictable number of kilometres travelled, and with several stops in environments that are mostly urban or peri-urban.
These are all factors that make electric vehicles particularly well suited for this type of use. “I think that with this new model of the Master Z.E., a large part of the needs of the professional and logistics sector has finally been met… It’s something that the market wasn’t offering before now… I had never driven an electric vehicle with these characteristics. It’s a very nice vehicle and one that I would say is easy to handle.” This, then, doesn’t seem to be the last we’ll hear of the electric fairy godmother of business!
Copyrights: Nils MIDTBOEN, POSTEN, Thomas DERON