E-Fleet fires starter’s pistol for e-car fleets / electric cars in fleets already bring economic advantages
Electric mobility is entering the German market at full speed. “There is no other country anywhere in the world with such a wide range of electric automobiles. Our vehicle manufacturers are continually expanding their portfolio by adding new electric models, which shows that they deliver. By the end of this year, German manufacturers will have a total of 16 series models with electric drive on the market,” said Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). He was speaking in Berlin at the opening of the VDA’s three-day event entitled “E-Fleet”, where fleet operators and managers are meeting to gather information about running electric vehicles in fleets.
One aspect showing that Germany is in a particularly good position is the new Electric Vehicle Index (EVI) compiled by McKinsey. The index reflects the development of the market in both supply and demand. Wissmann stated, “Germany is now in second place, only slightly behind the USA, and ahead of Japan and France. In the ranking of countries with the most highly developed range of offers, Germany is in fact obviously the international leader. This clearly demonstrates that our work in the National Platform for Electric Mobility is already bearing fruit. In terms of becoming the world’s top provider, the German automotive industry has succeeded in getting into pole position. In recent years we have made huge strides in this area, which has surprised some of our critics. So today we are marking an important stage of development: electric mobility is ready for the market and can now become firmly established.”
Wissmann pointed out the important role of commercial users as the new vehicles gain a foothold on the market. “During the transition to this new technology, the focus will be on what our customers want. Electric cars should carve out their position as comfortable vehicles that are absolutely suitable for everyday use. We are convinced that it will make a lot of sense to use electric vehicles especially in fleets. This is because in a fleet made up of vehicles with combustion engines alongside electric vehicles, the advantages of each system can be exploited to the full.” Despite the enormous progress, the VDA president said, drivers sometimes still had reservations causing them to hesitate when considering an electric car. “However, fleet managers in particular know that the procurement price is only one link in the chain of overall costs. Seen over their whole useful lifetime, electric vehicles can certainly work out cheaper than conventional passenger cars. If electric vehicles are used a great deal, the higher procurement expenditure can be amortised through the favourable costs of consumption and maintenance. If these vehicles are integrated into the fleet in the best possible way, they can already generate economic advantages,” Wissmann said. In respect of the charging infrastructure, too, commercial fleets often have an advantage. For example, the necessary charging technology can be installed relatively cheaply on a firm’s premises. Electric vehicles not being used at night can easily be re-charged for the following day.
Now it is necessary to work with the policy-makers to elaborate the framework required for establishing e-vehicles on the market. Wissmann emphasised, “It is both right and important that the state, the Länder and the municipalities send out a signal when they replace the vehicles in their fleets. For its part, the automotive industry’s investments of billions demonstrate its determination to pursue the chosen course.” Wissmann also welcomed the intention of Alexander Dobrindt, the Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, to introduce an electric mobility law. “Electric mobility can be made publicly visible through a large number of smart measures, including special parking rights and the use of bus lanes. Another effective way of making electric mobility economical for many companies is a special kind of depreciation, as the National Platform for Electric Mobility has already proposed. This instrument has very clearly proved its worth for a range of purposes in the past,” Wissmann added.
The conference programme can be downloaded from the Internet, at:
Attendance at the congress is free of charge.