Many passenger vehicles have already made the switch to either a hybrid model, where the car runs on both gas and battery power, or, more recently, a totally electric model that runs on battery power alone. But will this trend find footing for fleet trucks as well? Experts say yes – in fact, the small movement toward electric trucks that began over the last few years has gained more and more momentum, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. What does this mean for the future of fleet trucks? Read on to learn more.
Change Across the Board
A switch to electric trucks would not just change one or two components of the fleet industry – it would create a series of developments that affect everything from your operating costs to your drivers’ responsibilities.
For instance, you probably realize that electric trucks cut your fuel consumption down to nothing. Even if you only utilized a few electric fleet vehicles and continued using conventional trucks for the remainder of your fleet, you would still see a significant impact on your fleet’s fuel consumption as a whole.
Time spent on scheduled maintenance would also be reduced in electric vehicles, thanks largely due to the simpler nature of the electric drivetrain. While a learning period would certainly be necessary for techs to familiarize themselves with a new system, the average time spent on maintenance and repairs to the trucks would decrease rapidly. Even maintenance on components that need attention due to wear and tear, like brakes, would require less attention and fewer replacements.
Even your driver retention rate could be affected – studies done by companies utilizing electric fleet vehicles have shown that employees are highly satisfied with the electric model for a variety of reasons, resulting in an increased retention rate for drivers. Consider the costs associated with recruiting, training, and onboarding a new employee, and you will realize why this seemingly insignificant benefit may be one of the biggest assets of electric trucks.
When Will It Happen?
There is no set deadline in mind for electric trucks to become the norm rather than the exception, but more and more companies are exploring the benefits of incorporating electric vehicles into their fleets.
The big names in the trucking industry are also starting to take note of the electric vehicle trend – and they are taking steps to make changes so they aren’t left behind. These companies are conducting studies and trial runs to determine exactly what it would take to begin the conversion to electric fleet vehicles, as well as research into how this change could change the fleet industry as a whole.
Of course, it won’t happen overnight. The concept of electric trucks is still new enough that there is no feasible way to compete with the current diesel model that the majority of companies still use. The bottom line still depends on reliable, consistent service, and no company wants to risk business just for the sake of trying out an electric truck. However, as electric vehicles become more common, many agree that we will see a sweeping change in the fleet industry as the electric trend finds its home in heavy trucks.
More on Dickinson Fleet Services
Headquartered in Indianapolis, Dickinson Fleet Services (DFS) has grown to become one of the largest independent fleet maintenance and management companies in the country. DFS is the leading provider of on-site mobile maintenance and repair services nationwide, offering mobile on-site maintenance and repair services for light, medium and heavy-duty trucks and trailers with over 500 mobile units operating nationwide. DFS services fleet customers with 23 maintenance facilities each offering select services from accident repair, paint, refurbishment and dedicated technician services, combined with an in-house CARES CALL center providing 24/7 repair assistance. DFS has made significant investments in training and technology, including WebWrench® (maintenance tracking and scheduling through proprietary technology) and TRAIT® (real-time reporting and dynamic preventative maintenance inspections processed through a proprietary field service application) and is the only fleet services company in the nation to provide both fleet maintenance and management to its customers nationwide. www.dickinsonfleet.wpengine.com