2/3 of Fleet Operators Are EV Shopping

Fleet decision-makers are so optimistic about the promise of electric vehicles (EVs) for their fleets in the coming years that nearly two-thirds (65%) are already shopping for EVs. However, underlying operational and infrastructure concerns—including financing for private charging, variable routing patterns, and calculating EV operating costs—remain among the most significant barriers to widespread adoption.

Those are the latest findings from Fleet Advisory HubTM, a platform designed to explore the needs, expectations, concerns and emotions of fleet decision-makers. The leading fleet insights tool was developed in 2019 by Escalent, a top human behavior and analytics firm.

The newest report offers a clear look at the opportunity light and medium/heavy duty fleet and commercial vehicle manufacturers and charging technology companies have in the coming years, as 57% of fleet decision-makers plan to replace their vehicles in the next three years and an overwhelming majority of those (65%) are proactively shopping for EV solutions.

Moreover, while few electrified products are in the market today, the pipeline to meet the coming demand of fleets is plentiful, so competing brands must take an aggressive approach with fleet decision-makers to answer questions, address concerns, and win the favor of this key group coming into the EV market.

“Vehicle manufacturers and charging infrastructure companies alike are looking at what is their best chance yet to spark a wave of electric vehicle purchases for fleet use, marking a critical crossroads in the path toward widespread adoption of the technology,” said Michael Schmall, Automotive & Mobility vice president at Escalent. “The brands that rise to the top will gain an edge by finding solutions to unique problems for fleet applications, including significant operational infrastructure challenges.”

Our latest Fleet Advisory Hub study indicates paying for charging solutions tops their list of fleet decision-maker concerns:

  • 82% of adopters finance their private charging infrastructure and 68% of shoppers expect to
  • 32% of adopters report higher-than-expected private charging infrastructure costs
  • 29% of fleets allow employees to take and store vehicles at home, adding another layer of complexity for implementing a robust charging infrastructure

Manufacturers must also grapple with a significant knowledge and information gap when outlining the benefits of EV applications. More than half (57%) of decision-makers operate fleets with variable routing patterns and other operational considerations that require extensive usage data to implement a viable electrified program.

Critically, 42% of operators understand there are unique EV factors, though they are not familiar enough with them to calculate the total cost of ownership (TCO) of this new application in their fleet operations. According to a recent Fleet Advisory Hub™ study, TCO is a leading factor influencing a fleet decision-makers’ decision to adopt.

To take a leadership position in the EV adoption race among primed and eager fleet decision-makers, product manufacturers and service providers must proactively develop catered solutions that mitigate up-front costs and knowledge burden for shoppers. Regardless of the electric vehicle itself, simply offering an off-the-shelf or standardized infrastructure solution will result in ongoing challenges, frustration, and, in the worst case, defection from the technology or brands.

Fleet Advisory HubTM is one of the largest collections of commercial vehicle and fleet decision-maker insights available on the market today. Currently, nearly 10,000 fleets collectively numbering over 800,000 vehicles are represented.

About Fleet Advisory HubTM

The results reported come from our 2021 report on fleet electrification infrastructure across all types of fleet duty segments, and comprise a subset of commercial and fleet vehicle decision-makers drawn from the Fleet Advisory Hub audience. Participants were recruited from an opt-in online panel of business decision-makers and interviewed online. Escalent will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.

About Escalent

Escalent is a top human behavior and analytics firm specializing in industries facing disruption and business transformation. As catalysts of progress for more than 40 years, we transform data and insight into a profound understanding of what drives human beings. And we help businesses turn those drivers into actions that build brands, enhance customer experiences and inspire product innovation. Visit escalent.co to see how we are helping shape the brands that are reshaping the world.