1 Oct 18

LeasePlan goes Electric

One year ago LeasePlan became one of the founding fathers of the EV100, a global initiative to speed up the electrification of corporate fleets. After one year on the road to electrify the fleet, it is time to have a look back and to look ahead. 

EV100 is a global initiative lead by The Climate Group, which brings together companies that want to electrify their fleet, because businesses own half of all the vehicles on the road, and hence contribute considerably to climate change. By electrifying these fleets, companies can play a decisive role in climate change mitigation. As such, LeasePlan has set the ambitious target of net zero emissions for the entire fleet by 2030, and for the whole employee fleet by 2021. ‘An ambitious, but achievable goal,’ says Mathijs van der Goot, EV Fleet Consultant at LeasePlan. 

How far is LeasePlan in obtaining the zero emission goals?

Mathijs van der Goot: “The good progress we have made is reflected by the 77% Q2 year-on-year growth in registrations of battery EVs in the managed fleet. To make this initiative practical we have installed charging points at many of our offices.”

What is LeasePlan’s strategy to electrify the corporate fleet, and the leased fleet?

“As part of our broader strategy to achieve net zero emissions from our total fleet by 2030, we have a four-step strategy:

Advocate: Achieving zero emission mobility will require the whole village. That’s why we're working together with governments, NGOs and the private sector to put in place the policies, infrastructure and technology required to make zero emission mobility a reality for everyone, no matter where they live.

Educate: We take a proactive stance on educating all our customers about what’s next in zero emission mobility. For example, our dedicated Consultancy Services provide information and insight into the options, benefits and best practices around zero emission mobility.

Facilitate: We're making it as easy as possible for consumers to go zero emission by offering competitive, full-service packages, including home and workplace charging stations and access to existing public charging infrastructure through charge cards.

Lead: We want to lead by example by transitioning our LeasePlan employee fleet to electric vehicles by 2021. This initiative is helping us understand exactly what is required to make widespread zero emission mobility a realistic option for our customers.”

How is LeasePlan going to speed up the electrification of its leased cars?

“One of the major hurdles to owning an EV is making sure that you have sufficient charging infrastructure. To make it as easy as possible for our customers to make the switch we offer our EV customers personal charge points at home and at work through our partnership with Allego. The charge points can be used for all EVs, enable load-balancing and offer automatic reimbursement. In addition, our EV customers receive a charge card that gives them access to more than 75,000 charging points across Europe. The quicker we improve our infrastructure the easier it will be for our customers to make the switch.”

How can other fleet owners electrify their fleet, where shall they begin?

“It is important to set achievable goals. LeasePlan has set its 2030 goal, but a key step towards it will be to successfully transition our employee fleet by 2021 so we can learn for ourselves what it takes to start electric. We would encourage all fleet owners to do the same and start their progress towards a zero emissions future. In this context, pilots can be a great way to figure what is possible in your organisation. A fast and easy method of introducing EVs in your fleet is to start with the shared vehicles, such as pool cars. In support of this, allowing EVs in your car policy rather than excluding them will enable ‘early adopters’ to move to electric as soon as they are ready. Drivers who select an EV will make a conscious decision to do so, choosing the range, charging option and vehicle that suits them.”

What are the benefits of an electrified corporate fleet?

“First and foremost, this is about preventing climate change. Around half the cars on the road are owned by companies. Therefore, if everyone could follow the example of the EV100 and transition to fully electric fleets, the positive global environmental impact would be huge.   

At a corporate level, the switch from internal combustion engines (ICEs) to EVs can bring other benefits. For example, the popularity of EVs is growing as people are becoming more aware of their environmental benefits, and companies have the opportunity to share in this positivity and strengthen their public image by making the switch as soon as possible. Alongside this, the total cost of ownership for EVs is decreasing as the technology continues to improve, and importantly, drivers are becoming more satisfied with driving EVs, indicating that they prefer them because they accelerate faster, drive silently and have no tail pipe emissions.” 

Is the future for corporate fleets exclusively electric, or will EVs co-exist with other technologies?

“The available technology is constantly changing and improving. The most important thing at this moment in time is to focus on working with the industry to make zero emissions a reality.”

Is the future for corporate fleets exclusively personal cars, or will they – even in corporate fleets – co-exist with other means of transportation, from car/ride-sharing, over (e)bikes, to transport innovations such as wheels and Segways? 

“The market is definitely seeing an increased interest in broader mobility solutions, but it is too early to predict how this will impact corporate fleets.”  

What was LeasePlan’s motivation to become one of the founding fathers of EV100, especially as the only partner from the automotive sector?

“As mentioned earlier, around half the cars on the road today belong to companies and a move towards electric mobility is a vital step in reducing global emissions. For this reason, we’re delighted to be a founding partner of the EV100 initiative and to work with stakeholders from across the industry, as well as some of the world’s largest companies, to speed up the transition to electric mobility.” 

Can LeasePlan inspire the automotive sector by participating in EV100?

“We hope so! By participating in organisations such as the EV100 we want to send a strong signal to all stakeholders – OEMs, regulators, energy companies – that there is real customer demand for zero-emission vehicles and we can’t meet that demand all by ourselves. We need all the stakeholders to get on board and address some of the barriers to mass EV adoption. LeasePlan has already started putting this into practice, with our Netherlands HR department making the transition in 2017. The message to those employees was clear, “if you work at LeasePlan, you drive electric”, and the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. We hope this example can act as a catalyst to others.” 

Image: Some of LeasePlan's Electric Vehicles.

Authored by: Fien Van den steen