Fleets Traffic in Plug-in Electric Vehicles

Savvy consumers snapped up most of the 20,000 initial orders for the new Nissan Leaf electric car and uncounted thousands of orders for the new Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid (or extended-range electric vehicle, if you prefer). But individual consumers aren’t the only ones. Some major commercial fleet managers looking at total cost of ownership are signing up for plug-in electric cars and commercial trucks, convinced that savings in fuel and maintenance costs can more than offset the vehicles’ higher sticker price and help their companies reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Plug-in vehicles from Ford, GM, Nissan, Coda, Smith Electric Vehicles, Odyne, and others will be delivered this year to Frito-Lay, Staples, Hertz Rent-a-Car, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Avis Rent-a-Car, various utilities, and U.S. government fleets, to name a few. The Electrification Coalition published a fantastic report in late 2010 that every fleet manager should read, the “Fleet Electrification Roadmap: Revolutionizing Transportation and Achieving Energy Security.” Argonne National Laboratory’s “GREET Fleet — Carbon and Petroleum Footprint Calculator” lets fleet owners compute the environmental benefits of various vehicles. These are just a few of the resources that can help fleet managers weight the pros and cons of going electric.

Look for a full article about fleets and EVs in Plug In America’s 2011 version of “Charged Up & Ready To Roll: The Definitive Guide To Plug-in Electric Vehicles,” which will be released soon. Plug In America members will receive a free digital copy of this essential resource guide, and print copies will be sold on our website. Not a member yet? Click here to join.

And if your company, university, or local government fleet hasn’t yet plugged into this new era of electrified transportation, point your friendly fleet manager to these helpful resources.

— Sherry Boschert

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