This week GE announced plans to purchase 25,000 electric cars by 2015. This the largest purchase in the history of electric vehicles. The purchases will be for its own fleet and for its Capital Fleet Services business, where customers can lease electric cars through GE. GE plans to convert over 50 percent of its massive global fleet (over 10,000 fleet vehicles) and purchase 12,000 electric cars from GM.
GM does big business in fleet sales. Fleet sales look like they’re going to be a key part of electric vehicle adoption. Corporate fleets make a lot of sense because of their sheer volume. Plus GE fleet sales are quite profitable. One of the most popular green fleet vehicles is the GE Volt, an electric vehicle that shifts to gas power after going 25 to 50 miles on its battery, so drivers aren’t entirely dependent on the battery.
According to BusinessWeek, gigantic orders like this could do a lot to push electric vehicle prices down and speed up adoption. “By electrifying our own fleet, we will accelerate the adoption curve, drive scale, and move electric vehicles from anticipation to action,” CEO Jeffrey Immelt said in a company statement.
According the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), there are three compelling reasons to adopt a green fleet management program for your fleet. Operating a cleaner, greener fleet means more than counting the number of hybrids or alternative fuel vehicles you put on the road. Successful management means actively measuring and reducing your fleet’s greenhouse gas emissions over time. There’s no need to wait. You can get started today with relatively minor changes— vehicle selection, maintenance schedules and driver education—that add up to significant improvements in fuel economy, operating costs and emissions.
1) Cut operating costs—By improving efficiency, a greener fleet can significantly reduce lifecycle costs and vulnerability to volatile fuel prices.
2) Reduce greenhouse gas emissions—Because vehicles are a primary source of greenhouse gas pollution, fleet vehicle emissions can represent a large slice of your company’s total emissions. Implementing a green fleet program is an immediate and meaningful way to reduce your company’s carbon footprint.
3) Improve corporate reputation—With public concerns about climate change reaching all-time highs, companies are under increasing pressure to set and achieve environmental goals. Green fleet management can provide measurable results—often within the first 12 months—to report to employees, customers and shareholders.
The Green Fleet Conference will be taking place in San Diego next month. In light of today’s environmental issues and corporate responsibility expectations, the concept of Green Fleet Management should be important to all fleet managers, whether you have a fleet of one or one thousand. Developing and managing a green fleet requires a thorough knowledge of available products, technologies, and an in-depth cost-benefit analysis, plus much more.
The Green Fleet Management Conference will provide “two intense days of education and dynamic dialogue for green fleet managers,” according to Bob Brown, conference chairman and Automotive Fleet associate publisher. The Green Fleet Management conference “is the only alternative-fuel and technology event that combines and focuses solely on car and truck fleets with an environmental sustainability component,” Brown explained. The Green Fleet event features in-depth education sessions, a first-time ride & drive event, and valuable networking opportunities.
The team at FieldLogix, an industry leading provider of the most unique Green GPS Fleet Management System, is looking forward to the Green Fleet Management event. Not only is it in San Diego where FieldLogix is based, but the Green Fleet Conference will provide attendees with valuable insights, ideas, and examples to help fleet managers create the most cost-effective and environmentally conscious Green Fleet possible for your company.
Fleet Cost-Reduction Strategies: Direct Expenses
Use the right vehicle with the right equipment for the job. Feature and model creep are common causes of excess fleet vehicle depreciation. Drivers love four-wheel drive, extended cabs, plush leather seats, V-8 engines, and all kinds of other features. While providing fleet vehicles with those options may be good for morale and can be a good business decision, it will add to the depreciation cost. Trading in older vehicles for more fuel efficient fleet vehicles is also a good decision and this will be discussed further. Also, choosing fleet vehicles without regard to expected resale value can result in higher depreciation. For example, if you convert fleet vehicles from SUVs to sedans and remove some unnecessary amenities you can save up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in fleet expenses.
Negotiate well with vehicle manufacturers. After selecting the right vehicle, acquire it for the best possible price. Vehicle manufacturers compete aggressively for market share and have significantly increased purchase incentives for fleet customers who buy new vehicles. By sourcing with only one manufacturer, your fleet can improve net discounts by approximately 5%, reducing depreciation by up to $225,000 per year.