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How to Evaluate Your ICE Fleet to Determine Electric Vehicle Suitability

Electric vehicles are not yet available in my local market, why should I evaluate my fleet now?

Yes, but they are on the way. Due to immense environmental concerns, global current efforts aim to ban petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025. Countries such as Norway, France and the UK are leading in electric mobility adoption, with the most electric vehicles per capita. This will have an impending negative impact on the South African local automotive market as vehicle exports are predominantly to the European Union.

Governments are beginning to clamp down on CO₂ emissions, worldwide. Road transport in South Africa currently accounts for 91.2% of total transport greenhouse gas emissions and is considered the primary source of transport-related CO₂ emissions.

In order to introduce electric vehicles and their capabilities to South Africans, and accelerate adoption by government, Rubicon is bringing a Tesla Model X Performance Edition all-electric SUV to South Africa this week.

What are some benefits to going green?

  1. Less parts and thus less maintenance requirements.
  2. Lower petrol costs.
  3. Reduced environmental impact.
  4. Government rebates and incentives to transition.
  5. Lower Taxes.
  6. Lower emissions tax on zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV).

Factors inhibiting local electric vehicle adoption

  1. High Cost of Vehicle

Electric vehicles are perceived to be extremely expensive. Substantial taxes and a lack of government subsidies contribute to the higher cost of electric vehicles in South Africa. Internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles incur 18% import duties, whilst electric vehicle imports incur 25%.

However fleet managers need to consider long-term savings. Electric vehicles show significant cost savings on fuel and maintenance that compensate for the vehicle price. Furthermore, fleets transitioning to electric stand to qualify for government incentives.

2. Insufficient Infrastructure

It is a common misconception that South Africa is not adequately equipped with charging stations. Motorists can drive from Johannesburg to Cape Town with sufficient charging stations along the way. On the N1, N2, N3 and N4 the distance between charging stations is under 200km.

3. Limited Models

Models of electric vehicles are still limited in the South African market. The four types of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) available for sale are the BMW i3, Nissan Leaf, Jaguar I-Pace, and the Mini SE. BMW i3 leads in sales with 422 units, followed by the Leaf at 94 units.

4. Electric Vehicles Cannot Do the Job

Range anxiety remains one of the main deterrents of fleet electrification. Before replacing an ICE vehicle with an EV, it is critical to ensure that it can fulfil the job requirements.

Due to significant investments by OEMs, electric vehicle technology has come a long way. EVs now boast lithium-ion batteries and a light-duty vehicle can travel 400 kilometres on one charge.

Where do I start?

Fleets need to employ a telematics solution that can assist in evaluating the vehicles. Telematics hardware gathers data from connected vehicles, sending it to a software platform which in turn provides actionable insights on fleets. This data informs decision making around fleet electrification and its feasibility.

Geotab’s EVSA solution identifies which electric vehicles are suitable to replace ICE vehicles in a fleet. These suggestions are based on criteria such as daily driving distance readings and fuel consumption readings.

Based on data gathered through the telematics solution, fleet managers can access reporting that shows best fit analysis that calculates fuel and CO2 emissions reductions, lifetime cost and financial analysis.

Download the free EVSA add-in for MyGeotab clients.

Author: The Geotab Africa Team

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