Fleet Managers Unlikely To Purchase Hybrids, Electrics

by | Jul 13, 2010

Almost two-thirds of private and government-owned automobile fleets are unlikely to purchase either an all-electric or hybrid vehicle, according to a recent survey covered by FleetOwner. Of the one hundred companies included in the survey, 65 said they would probably not move to electric or hybrid cars for the fleets.

The report said companies cited a lack of information about the costs associated with such vehicles as a reason not to invest in them. Many said they were particularly concerned about the battery recharging process, but also mentioned concerns about data regarding fuel efficiency, resale values, pricing, specifications, emissions reduction and operating costs. Specific concerns related to the battery include in the availability of charging stations, the potential need to build a recharging station at a corporate facility, and the amount of time required for a vehicle to fully charge.

Companies also said that not knowing the specifications of how efficiently the battery operates under specific conditions made it difficult to accurately calculate the emissions reductions moving to an electric vehicle would generate.

According to FleetOwner, the supply of such vehicles is also significantly limited at the moment, making it difficult for fleets to switch over to hybrid or electric vehicles on a large scale.

But 35 percent of companies surveyed said they did see potential benefits to using such vehicles in their fleets. Service and sales drivers were both considered niches where electric vehicles could provide a good fit. Those companies that were positive on the notion of going electric said they would consider rolling out electric vehicles through multiple regions, though the Midwest received special interest from respondents as a test region, according to the report. But this may present a challenge, as the majority of electric charging stations are currently being built on the coasts.

More companies are successfully deploying hybrid and electric models in lighter-weight  heavy-duty roles as well, according to FleetOwner.

Almost half the automotive fleets in the country, 49 percent, are now measuring their emissions, according to a recent survey by fleet management services provider PHH Arval. Carrier Corp., a unit of United Technologies, reduced emissions by more than 30 percent since 2006 following an analysis of its fleet of 3,000 vehicles.

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