ACA Research has partnered with AGL, AfMA and the NSW Government to conduct the largest study ever of fleets locally to find our their thoughts on the electrification of transport in Australia.
According to Mace Hartley, Executive Director at the Australian Fleet Management Association, the report is designed to inform and empower suppliers of products and services to Australian fleets. In his Foreword for the report, Hartley acknowledges that many organisations are already taking steps reduce their fleet emissions even though the motivations and objectives of each entity may vary.
There were 177 respondents to the survey who operate 66,518 fleet vehicles. They came from a mix of local government, state and federal governments, as well as large and small private organisations. Currently only 2% of their vehicles are EV and PHEV, while 5% are hybrid.
The objectives of the research were:
- To understand the level of interest to uptake more EVs
- To understand the make-up of the fleets, and the type of vehicles that could be replaced with EVs
- To better understand how fleets are managed
- To understand plans for EV integration and assessing the impact of COVID-19
- To receive feedback on the challenges and opportunities in the fleet management market in integrating EVs
Interestingly, one third of the respondents had already started their journey of fleet electrification. ACA Research has used the research to develop an ‘EV Maturity Scale’ which categorised the respondents and provides a roadmap for fleets to follow on their journey to zero fleet emissions. They have identified a number of phases in the transition to running EVs in your fleet.
|Stage 1||Pre-consideration||No EV or PHEV and no plans to add any|
|Stage 2||Starting Out||Exploratory or Pilot|
|Stage 3||More mature||Tactical, Expansion, Evaluation|
Overall, 23% of the respondents with are in Stage 1, 49% in Stage 2, and 29% in Stage 3. It wasn’t a surprise to see that 95% of the larger fleets (500+ vehicles) were in Stage 2 and 3, while 35% of the smaller fleets (<100 vehicles) were still in Stage 1.
Disappointingly, 35% of State and Federal Government fleets are still in Stage 1. It’s the local governments (Councils) that are leading the way with 85% of them in Stage 2 and 3. As a result of being further along the maturity scale, Local Governments also had the most infrastructure for charging electric vehicles with 53% saying they already had something in place.
When reading the research, and recent September VFACTS results, we got excited about the EV revolution in the FAN office, until we got to the page that asked the question; How many EVs do you have in your fleet? The average number was seven (7). Not even double digits. The mature EV organisations had an average of 17 but it was the fleets in Stage 1 and 2 that brought the average down.
In the study ACA Research covered some of the other EV challenges such as range anxiety by asking about which areas the vehicles operate (Metro, Regional/Rural, Interstate). The answer was 57% Metro for passenger vehicles and 49% Metro SUVs which suggests there should be no issues with range or battery capacity for most fleets.
Overall the research provides a good picture of the current status and future challenges for fleets to adopt electric vehicles in greater numbers. It appears that the early adopters are blazing a path for others and over the natural fleet replacement and manufacturer product cycles EVs will slowly find their way into our lives.