Are fossil fuels a dying technology? It seems that more and more you hear about how they emit greenhouse gases and put the planet in peril. The solution? Many companies are starting to consider converting some or all of their fleet to electric vehicles and running on clean power.
If you’re responsible for vans in the large or small fleet of a company that moves people from place to place, electric vehicles may be something for you to consider too. This includes such industries and business categories as hotels and resorts, assisted living facilities, non-emergency medical transport (NEMT) and airport shuttle services, among others, including those that must provide ADA-compliant wheelchair access.
The question isn’t whether you’ll convert to electric vehicles -- but when? And how.
Answering that involves asking yourself, or key others at your company, a few questions of your own. It’s the answers you receive that can get you started in figuring some sort of ballpark timetable for starting the conversion process, or at least knowing when to put the topic on the agenda.
1. What is your company’s stance on the environment?
Most companies today talk about a commitment to a greener future and the important part that they intend to play. But some are more serious about it than others.
What’s your company saying? If your marketing language shows a commitment to a more sustainable environment in terms of the services you provide, the ways you do business, or simply your cultural outlook, you could be vulnerable to negative publicity if your vans burn fossil fuel.
In fact, companies that seemingly embrace sustainability the most could be the most vulnerable to charges of hypocrisy if global activists bring the nature of your fleet to public attention.
On the other hand, if your company is already on the receiving end of criticism for less sustainable practices, conversion from a fossil fuel fleet to electric vehicle fleet might give you a relatively easy win.
2. Are your stakeholders demanding action?
Your company answers to a lot of people. Depending on its size or nature of business, this could include partners, shareholders, investors, clients or customers and employees.
The subject of climate change tends to brings emotions out. Your stakeholders might start to ask tough questions about your company’s commitment to greener action. Consider your clients or customers your most important stakeholders. If your target audience is young -- perhaps under 40 -- they might be especially concerned about your practices and how they impact the environment.
A proven commitment to change can attract employees and customers alike, especially if an all-electric fleet is a competitive advantage within your business category. Even the announcement of your upcoming plans can swiftly change a liability into an asset.
3. Can a conversion be done at minimal cost and inconvenience?
It’s certainly easier if your “fleet” consists of a van or two. But conversion can be a much greater challenge if you own and operate dozens or hundreds of vehicles at multiple locations.
In that case, you’re not going to start with a fleet burning fossil fuel at end of day on a Friday and report back to work on Monday morning with all-electric vans at every point in your company’s footprint. It might take a little patience and a logical transition process in order to minimize disruption to your customer base. Or you may consider a proactive approach of converting some of your fleet in the beginning and rolling out the process over time.
At NorCal Van Conversions, we can work with you to convert a van or several vans at a time from fossil fuels to electric battery. The payback for the cost of a conversion can be in a relatively short time, depending on your fleet’s mileage and how the vans are used.
Find Out More
If you’re responsible for a van fleet, we invite you to learn more about plug-in electric vehicles from this U.S. Department of Energy handbook.
If you’re thinking about the value of converting your own van fleet, large or small, contact us at Nor Cal Van Conversions. We’ll examine your fleet needs, review costs and see how much your business could save in the long run with a full or partial conversion of your van fleet.