Features
3 May 22

ALD: Act today, don't delay fleet electrification

The perfect sustainable fleet solution is unlikely to appear any time soon, so international fleet decision makers should focus on what is achievable today and start immediately to transform the environmental impact of their businesses’ mobility needs, according to leasing giant ALD Automotive.

Waiting for the charging infrastructure to improve, prices to fall, or electric vehicles to have a range of 600-plus kilometres between charges merely delays measures that could start to address the climate emergency right now, said John Saffrett, Deputy CEO, ALD Automotive.

“Stop trying to achieve perfection before you do anything, because perfection does not exist,” he told an audience responsible for some of the world’s biggest fleets.

Citing the marginal gains philosophy of David Brailsford, head of Ineos Grenadiers cycling team (formerly Team Sky), Saffrett urged fleet decision makers to start looking for small percentage improvements in every area of their operations rather than wait for one knockout policy.

He relabelled the CASE acronym (Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric) as CASED - Culture, Adaptability, Sexy sustainability, Electric and Digital, and challenged businesses to match their sustainability statements with action.

“Does your company have a real commitment to sustainability and have the culture to see it through?” he asked. “Are they willing to sacrifice profit, standardisation, globalisation to get there?”

If electric vehicles cost more, require more support, and undo years of work to establish harmonised international fleet policies, will the corporate resolve remain as strong, asked Saffrett.

The answer has to be yes, he insisted, even if this means companies advance their sustainability objectives at different speeds in different countries, depending on local conditions. As many as 80-85% of fleet vehicles could switch to battery electric models today, he said, although some will need supplementary solutions (such as ICE hire or pool cars) for journeys not achievable by zero emission cars.

“Go electric first in every situation, and then look at what is left over after that and deal with it on a bespoke basis. Everyone can go electric for a portion of their mobility,” he said, adding that this applies beyond company car drivers to all employees, ensuring that everyone has an access point to more sustainable mobility.

“Make sure you offer a range of options on sustainable mobility, and not just BEVs, because there are wins you can make by offering Mobility as a Service solutions to some of your employees to help them get into more sustainable mobility. Look at all the different options available and make sure your offer combines all of those options so you can make small incremental gains,” said Saffrett.

 

 

 

Authored by: Jonathan Manning