More than 1 million full-electric vehicles are predicted to be sold in Europe this year, marking the first time that sales of new EVs will break the seven-figure mark in the region.
This comes as the European Union proposes phasing out the sale of new vehicles with internal combustion engines by 2035 and the UK commits to a similar ban by 2030.
The growth of EVs has been paralleled by the growth of infrastructure to support them.
There were 285,796 public EV charging stations in Europe by the end of 2020 compared with 3,201 in 2010, and a huge number of EV drivers charge their vehicles from standard power outlets, so technically this infrastructure could encompass millions of de facto "charging stations" in every home and business.
It also does not consider non-public charging stations that are becoming common in businesses that have EV fleets.
Preparing for an all-EV fleet
If your company has not made the switch yet, then now might be the perfect time to prepare.
Although at present many companies are understandably stretched thin financially, the figures show that businesses are the main driver of in the growth of EVs as they look for ways to save money.
Many countries are offering tax breaks and grants that would significantly reduce the costs of upgrading company cars and small delivery vehicles: France, for example, offers a bonus of 5,000 euros for vehicles costing less than 45,000 euros and 3,000 euros for vehicles costing between 45,000 euros and 60,000 euros.
Grants like this might not be suitable for companies that have fleets of heavy goods vehicles, but more suitable for businesses that have company cars for salespeople or vans for deliveries.
In the case of company cars, the changeover should be simple -- most employees given one can charge them overnight at their homes, perhaps using a home charging station, which many countries currently also subsidize.
For delivery vehicles, more planning is needed: although charging times are always improving, it can still take an hour or more to fully charge an electric van, and you might not have this time to spare.
Overnight charging at a depot is possible, of course, but weight is a factor in EV range and delivery vehicles are likely to be heavy.
There may be times when a vehicle must recharge during their rounds, and this needs to be factored in, especially if they are delivering in rural areas that might not have ready access to charging stations.
Rather than being a one-to-one replacement of your current fleet, there will need to be some planning and adjustments, but the cost savings could be more than enough to justify it.
Building on your cost savings
At a time when many businesses are rebuilding after two difficult years, attention needs to be paid to every part of their finances.
The fuel savings from running an EV fleet are impressive, but they do not stop there.
Even doing something as simple as issuing fuel cards linked to a wide public charging network to drivers to allow them to recharge vehicles without causing unnecessary admin costs or having them worry that their card will not be accepted at the nearest charging station.
EVs are going to have a profound impact on the way businesses operate, and that impact is going to be entirely positive if you prepare well in advance and think holistically about how this change can benefit your company.