In order to reduce fossil energy consumption, electric mobility is a key component of creating sustainable transportation. Not only is the transport sector responsible for 30% of total EU CO2 emissions (72% of which are from road transport), but the rate of emission reductions has also slowed down. Other sectors, such as energy, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and housing, have significantly reduced their CO2 emissions since 1990, while in the transport sector's CO2 emissions are higher today than in 1990 due to the ever-increasing role of mobility in our lives (European Parliament, 2019). One solution to reduce transport-related CO2 emissions is electric mobility. Due to their longer lifespan and lower operational costs, electric vehicles can be financially beneficial. Fleet solutions facilitate the diffusion of electric vehicles rapidly and successfully into the market. Additionally, facilities to charge the electric vehicles are mandatory (Proff, Fojcik 2016, p. 128).
The main goal is to diffuse electric mobility for environmental reasons. The overall vehicle population can be reduced by building up electric fleets. Plus, using electric fleets provides opportunities for companies and cities to create an innovative image and to test new technologies. The limited range of electrically driven vehicles is often less of an issue for company- and city-operated vehicles, as shorter distances are primarily covered. Fleet applications offer excellent opportunities for fast and successful diffusion of electric vehicles into the market, paticularyl since e.g. around 60 % of annual new car registrations in Germany are accounted for by companies and the self-employed. After their first commercial use, the vehicles are usually transferred to the used car market after a few years. Electric fleets for companies are thus a catalyst for the wider potential market diffusion of electric vehicles.
About 60 percent of annual new car registrations in Germany are accounted for by companies and self-employed persons. After some years of business use, the vehicles are transferred to the used vehicle market. That is why electromobility in fleets creates an opportunity to diffuse environmentally-friendly vehicles rapidly and successfully into the overall market. The development of electric vehicles in previous years has shown a steady growth worldwide (refer to Figure X, below) (Andreas Ahlswede, 2019). However, the share of electric vehicles as a segment of all vehicles is still low. Figure X shows that the share of electric vehicles on the market in Europe was below 2% in 2018, second after China. This statistic includes battery-powered electric vehicles (BEV) as well as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). The share of BEVs is even below 1 percent (International Energy Agency, 2019). The countries with the highest number of new electric car sales are Norway, Germany and the United Kingdom.
The worldwide number of electric cars in February 2019 was 5.6 Million. Compared to the previous year, this represents an increase of 64 % (Zentrum für Sonnenenergieund Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg, 2019).
The annual kilometres travelled by shared mobility (taxi, car-sharing, …) accounts for less than 5% of the overall travelled distance of passenger vehicles. According to Bloomberg NEF, this is expected to rise to 19 % of total kilometres travelled by 2040. As mentioned before, mobility fleets provide an opportunity to diffuse electric vehicles rapidly into the market. While only 1.8% of shared mobility fleets are comprised of electric vehicles, by 2040 80% of the vehicles used in fleets are expected to be electric. Furthermore, by 2040 it is expected that the passenger vehicle sales will be 57% electric and 30% of the global vehicle fleet will be electric. The predicted rise of electric vehicle sales is based on the theses that battery prices are falling, plus emission regulations are getting tighter, both at the national as well as the city level. In addition, research by Bloomberg NEF shows that the share of electric vehicles in the segment 'light commercial vehicle' is expected to rise the most, after the segments 'passenger', 'medium commercial' and 'last heavy commercial' (McKerracher, Izadi-Najafabadi et al., 2019). Nevertheless, according to estimates by Frost & Sullivan, corporate car sharing should increase enormously. According to these market researchers, only about 200 companies in Europe used corporate car sharing in 2013, but this number has been expected to rise to over 4,000 by 2020. After all, this could create access to vehicles for employees who do not have their own company car.
There are three different operating models of electric car fleets. These are divided into self-administrated fleets, outsourced fleets and a mixture of the two. The main reasons for outsourcing are the reduction of administrative work, access to expert knowledge/experience and the increase in cost transparency and security through fixed price offers. The advantages of in-house administration are independence from the service provider, the retention of internal know-how within the company and the preservation of individual processes. In a mixed form of the operator model, only certain services are outsourced, such as driver's license control. In addition, or alternatively, external services can be integrated, such as rental vehicles or car sharing offers. With centralized administration at one point in the entire company or group, the focus is more on optimization than with decentralized administration by the respective organizational units. Thus, approaches such as the shared use of vehicles are more likely to be considered for central administration.
Different varaiants are possible when electrifying a fleet, such as:
- vehicle and battery purchase
- vehicle purchase and battery leasing
- vehicle and battery leasing
car sharing: Carsharing as a model for companies. The vehicles can be used both during working hours, e.g. to get to an appointment, and for private purposes. If used during working hours, the vehicles are invoiced via the company account, and if used off-hours they are invoiced privately. In the company context this model reduces the costs incurred due to the elimination of taxi costs and transports needed with company cars. The advantage of sharing a fleet is that the vehicles are used much more often. This increases the mileage and means that fewer vehicles must be purchased.
purchase of charging infrastructue
leasing of charging infrastructure
1. Staff for planning and implementation
- Marketing and communication experts
- Financial and legal experts
2. Staff for operation
- Maintanenace and reparation
- Fleet management
- Vehicles, charging stations
- Tools to repair the vehicles (possible subcontractor)
- Spare parts
- Spare vehicles
- Back-end & Front-end for booking system
- Back-end & Front-end for fleeet management system
- Energy management system
- Space for vehicles and charging stations
The resources differ with regards to fixed and variable costs. An average split of the costs for a company car in Europe split up as the following image indicates:
1. Distances to be traveled
Due to the limited range of electric cars, a pure e-vehicle fleet is not very advantageous for companies in which long distances have to be covered daily. On average, 95% of all daily journeys are at a maximum of 40 km. The range of the electric cars currently on the market is up to 250 km in winter and up to 350 km in summer, meaning they are therefore quite sufficient in most cases.
2. Areas of use and speed of travel
The actual range depends on the driving profile (speed, gradient, ...) on which the e-car is driven and which additional energy consumers (e.g. heating) are switched on. In order to obtain a real range, therefore, about a quarter to a third of the above values must be subtracted. In addition to speed and gradient, the efficiency of the electric car and the air resistance value (cw value) also play a role in the range; because the electric car recovers energy during braking (recuperation effect), electric cars are also particularly suitable for city traffic.
For companies that operate predominantly in cities or in interurban traffic, the switch to electric cars is therefore more advantageous for their vehicle fleet than for companies whose routes increasingly take them along motorways.
3. Plannability of journeys
In connection with the range, it should also be noted that it is less advantageous to use only electric cars as company cars if the routes cannot be planned easily. However, if the same routes are covered every day or if they are always within a plannable range, it is possible to assess in advance for which use electric cars are most appropriate within the company.
But even if the distances are longer, planning is limited or the proportion of motorways is occasionally greater, environmentally-friendly mobility needs not to be completely abandoned. In such cases, the electric car fleet can then be easily supplemented by one or more combustion engines as pool vehicles, which can be accessed at any time. INSTADRIVE offers telematics solutions for company fleets to make the use of these vehicles by several employees as efficient as possible. With the help of a digital key the cars can then be unlocked and used by any authorized person. Information such as the current location or charge status of the e-cars can be accessed at any time via an app. A booking platform also enables the smooth running of operational car sharing.
4. Charging options
The availability of charging stations, or the possibility of installing them, is also a decisive factor in deciding on an operational e-car fleet. An electric car can be charged at any household socket (Schuko). However, a specially fused car socket (type 2) is preferable for safety reasons in the event of continuous use. Ideally, electric cars can be charged at a private parking space or in your own garage, which has the advantage that you are then hardly dependent on external charging infrastructure. In case the electricity can be drawn from a photovoltaic system, one even benefits from an additional cost advantage. If there is no charging station at home, it is advisable to find out about external charging options. Some employers offer their employees the opportunity to charge their electric cars during working hours. Otherwise, a public charging station would have to be used. The possibilities should be checked in advance.
5. Financial benefits
When considering equipping the company fleet with electric vehicles, the cost factor usually plays a role as well. Here, too, precise calculations must be made in order to obtain realistic savings potential. Although electric cars are more expensive to buy than comparable combustion engines, their operating costs are significantly lower than those of gasoline and diesel cars. Not only is charging with electricity (at around €2.50 per 100 km) significantly cheaper than conventional filling up, but an electric car also costs much less for maintenance and repairs. In addition, there are tax advantages for electric cars and the elimination of non-monetary remuneration (up to €960 gross), which represents enormous added value for employees and is therefore equivalent to an immediate salary increase.
There are several governmental initiatives supporting the electrification of fleets such as:
- Temporary exemption of the motor vehicle tax
- Disadvantageousness equal to company car taxation
- Wage tax advantages
- Environmental bonus
- Funding on the BMVI
- KfW support programme (240/241)
- Chinese EV quota
- Fast E