Going Electric: A Case for Commercial EV Fleets
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Going Electric: A Case for Commercial EV Fleets

Photo by:   Felipe Gallego
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By Felipe Gallego Llano - MegaFlux
COO and Co-Founder

STORY INLINE POST

Late last year, leaders from around the world met in Egypt at the COP27 summit to continue discussions on creating strategies to reduce emissions worldwide and limit the impact of global warming. As part of that strategy, many countries, including Mexico, made specific commitments to creating a positive environment for companies and individuals to invest in electric vehicles. To honor this commitment, I will give you five reasons why we need to begin migrating to electric vehicles today, particularly regarding commercial fleets.

The first, and most important, is that we need to reduce our emissions and pollution to improve our quality of life. Commercial or transport vehicles account for almost a fifth of global CO2 emissions. A meaningful electrification of commercial fleets will have a significant impact on reducing emissions, pollution, and noise in our cities. While a lot of focus is on CO2 emissions, I want to highlight that pollution alone has a massive impact on our lives. Based on a report by Greenpeace Southeast Asia and the Centre for Research on Energy, air pollution has a US$2.9 trillion economic cost globally, equating to 3.3 percent of the world's GDP. In 2018, the report estimates that it was linked to 4.5 million deaths with fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution also responsible for 1.8 billion days of work absence, 4 million new cases of child asthma and 2 million preterm births. In Mexico City, for humanity to be able to continue to prosper, we will need an environment suitable for us to thrive. With rising temperatures around the world in the near future, we will feel the pressure of a harsher and more volatile environment: stronger hurricanes, floods, fires, and rising sea levels are some of the impacts. These events will impact our day-to-day lives, and we will need to mitigate them. The cost of these impacts far surpasses the cost of going electric in commercial fleets.

Second, many companies have made strong commitments to environmental, sustainability and governance goals or “ESG.” Establishing ESG goals within your organization sets up your company for success in the medium and long term as your stakeholders value these commitments. For many investors and customers, companies actively reporting their ESG goals and commitments help create a culture of accountability within the organization. It also engenders a culture of working toward a common purpose as a society. The recent COVID pandemic showed us that companies, governments, and people working together toward a common goal can tackle almost any challenge. Operating an electric fleet is a significant step toward meeting corporate ESG goals and showing stakeholders that your company is aligned with its stakeholders.

The third reason for going electric is that EVs can have a lower total cost of ownership compared to diesel options. In real world operations, an 18T GVW commercial electric vehicle can reduce your cost of fuel by up to 80 percent and reduce your maintenance costs by up to 50 percent (projected) since electric vehicles have considerably less maintenance requirements. Considering an annual usage of 25,000km, you can save up to 11,000 liters of fuel per year and avoid 18.8 tons of CO emissions per vehicle. A fleet of 12 vehicles can reduce the same amount of CO2 as the Chapultepec Park in Mexico City absorbs. This means that operating an electric vehicle in your fleet can reduce your overall operating cost when compared to diesel. 

The fourth reason is that your company will significantly improve the quality of life of your employees and drivers. Think of it as an emotional salary. For a person who drives a truck for eight to ten hours per day, they could experience a significant reduction in stress related to driving a diesel truck. Electric vehicles are silent. They also don’t generate pollution, reducing health problems among your drivers and employees. The vibrations in the cabin generated by the diesel engine are eliminated. The heat generated by the diesel engine no longer flows into the cabin, making it more pleasant. Your employees and drivers will be happier and enjoy their jobs more, increasing their commitment to your company. 

The fifth reason is that electric trucks last longer. Even though EVs are fairly new, we have been building and perfecting electric motors for decades for use in other applications. Compared to diesel engines, electric motors do not require major overhauls if they are operated within their normal specifications. With proper preventive maintenance, most of the components of an electric drivetrain last for decades. Even with the battery pack, you can expect to make the first change around year 10 and by that time, battery technology will have improved significantly, cost a lot less, and offer an even longer lifetime. The efficiency (i.e., miles per gallon) of the vehicle will not decrease significantly over time compared to diesel engines. Also, you will not be subject to the increasingly tighter emissions restrictions that will come into place in the future, making your diesel vehicle less valuable.  

The reality is that, once you go electric, it will be difficult to go back. You, your company, and your employees will adapt to this new technology and enjoy a new way of operating. Within the first minutes of driving an electric vehicle, you will realize you made the right decision. 

We as humans must work toward a cleaner, safer world. We owe it to ourselves and future generations.

Photo by:   Felipe Gallego

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