Written by: Griffiths & Armour on: 15 Feb 2022

The costs, challenges and benefits of operating an electric vehicle fleet

The Costs, Challenges and Benefits of Operating an Electrical Vehicle Fleet | Griffiths & Armour

A few years ago, the primary challenges drivers had when purchasing EVs were cost and range. Government grants help and advances in battery technology mean range is no longer the big issue it once was.

Today the major concern is adequate charging infrastructure. The country is on a roll with EV adoption, and multi-award winning, carbon neutral business, Ground Control are leading the charge with their own EV fleet transition and creating the infrastructure to service this demand.

Following their first EV purchase in 2014, they have established the largest Tesla fleet in Europe, and EVs now represent 75% of their passenger fleet.

“Combined with the lower running costs, operating a Tesla Model 3 costs about the same as a £17,000 Ford Focus. We saw a demand from our client base, so in 2018, we created our own EV infrastructure installation division. Fleet Fix has grown to become one of the leading installers across the UK. We have committed to installing 10,000 charge points by 2025 and actively work with our clients to match solutions to their individual needs. Ground Control’s electric fleet is key to achieving our future carbon reduction targets.  Following our first EV purchase in 2014, we have established the largest Tesla fleet in Europe, and EVs now represent 75% of our passenger fleet”.

– Tom Goodman, Senior Ops Manager, Ground Control.

We caught up with Tom to get the inside track on their journey since 2014, some of the challenges they have faced and what the future of EV’s looks like at Ground Control.

So Tom, Ground Control were early adopters of selecting to switch their car fleet to electric vehicles (EV). What spurred the decision to go electric?

We did it because we simply believe in non-polluting vehicles. Caring for our environment has always sat at the heart of Ground Control. Our fleet transition was a large contributing factor to achieving our net zero target 4 years ahead of plan.

Having now had EV’s since 2014, what have been the realised benefits to Ground Control with going electric?

Aside from the obvious non-polluting carbon emissions of ICE vehicles, we have also found our accident rate has dropped significantly given the fantastic safety features in a Tesla. Plus, the team LOVE driving them.

What was the transitional process and timeline from petrol and diesel and were there any notable issues along the way you can share?

We are approximately 60% into our passenger fleet transition. The biggest obstacle for some of the team has been the inability to charge at home if they don’t have access to a private driveway. Being heavily reliant on the public charging network can sometimes be inconvenient. We recognise there is great momentum behind increased public charging stations, but for our team, it can’t come quick enough.

How have your staff found the transition? Do they all have home charging points and how do you get round ‘range anxiety’ concerns?

Overall, we are really proud of how the Ground Control team have embraced the transition. We would be lying to say we’ve had zero range-anxiety questions, but quite honestly, they disappear quickly. Tesco and other supermarkets offer free charging, so a minor adjustment in journey planning is all it takes, and to top up at every convenient opportunity. And yes, they were VERY smug during the recent fuel shortage.

With charge points and the infrastructure required being a vital component in the Electric Vehicle revolution taking place, you mentioned earlier in our discussion that Ground Control is involved in supporting business via your Fleet Fix solution. Could you tell us more about this?

Fleet Fix provides a simple, seamless process from employee selection to electric vehicle delivery. From the set up of automated home reimbursement for electricity used to charge the company vehicle to providing total visibility through the EV HUB, Fleet Fix is a bespoke system designed and built around the fleet charging market that provides a dedicated portal for clients to monitor and track the entire installation process. Our team also liaise directly with fleet lease providers on behalf of the business. If any businesses wished to know more about Fleet Fix, they can download our brochure to find further information.

What do you think the future holds for EV and will Ground Control be making further advancements in this area?

2022 is going to be another major milestone for Ground Control. We are really excited to make some moves in the commercial vehicle arena and due to take delivery of 35 Commercial EVs in the next 6 months. Focusing initially on individuals with home charging, we will continue to lead from the front and transition at pace alongside the exciting growth of the public charging network.

If you have any questions on this article, please get in touch by contacting Martin Hawken (below) or your usual point of contact at Griffiths & Armour.

Martin Hawken | Griffiths & Armour