EV fleet transition: What to consider before switching your government fleets
The time for electric vehicles (EVs) is now, yet it’s creating a significant challenge for already overwhelmed fleet managers and their procurement partners. While managing your existing fleet, you and your team must develop and execute a plan for transitioning to an all-electric fleet. Fortunately, the fundamentals of EV purchasing remain mostly the same as those for vehicles that run on fuel.
But as with any new technology, there are additional considerations—installing charging infrastructure, for example, and establishing proper maintenance schedules that align with an all-EV’s new and unfamiliar lifecycle. Even with these issues, following the basics of good procurement practices provides the foundation for your EV fleet transition plan.
One area for accelerating your success is the power of cooperative contracts, which provide competitive pricing and a reduced administrative burden.
Here are ways to structure your transition plan and deploy cooperative contracts to help you transition to an all-EV fleet.
Assessing your current vehicle situation
Before transitioning to EVs, you need to understand your organization’s fleet needs. You will want to build your plan around a full view of the use cases of your drivers, as this will direct you to the vehicles that you will need based on the demand for short- and long-range vehicles.
Look at overall usage patterns, as the specifications of EVs are different from those of fueled vehicles. Then, determine your charging needs so you know what level of investment you will need to make in charging infrastructure. You will also need to keep an eye on your budget, but it’s essential to focus on the total cost of ownership. EVs may offer savings differently than what procurement managers typically expect.
Regarding cost, keep in mind the availability of state and federal EV incentives. These tax benefits may not be available forever, though, so consider that as part of your plan.
Creating an EV transition plan
Your employees are who will make the EV transition successful. Make sure to consider proper training as part of your plan. If you don’t, you risk having the transition hit a wall. Maintenance and repair also need to be part of your plan, as the economics of EVs are unique. Rely on the procurement community’s experience to understand how they differ and how that compares to your standard fleet proposal.
Go into the plan with a commitment to continuous improvement. Establish metrics and monitor your progress. There will be opportunities to learn and improve every day, which will help determine your future upgrade schedule.
Your measurement should not just include the car’s mpg-e. You’ll want to monitor the charging infrastructure to make sure it is performing up to speed. Keeping the charging stations in good working order is crucial, and charging usage will change as your team learns more about EVs. Don’t forget about fleet safety. Build a thorough safety plan based on EV standards, as this may impact your decision on which vendor to select.
Working with vendors to procure EVs
You can always go it alone, but cooperative purchasing will simplify the process and speed your transition to EVs. It will enable you to access market or below-market pricing, as cooperative contracts are based on economies of scale using competitively solicited pricing. You will also gain greater process efficiency, given that cooperative purchasing puts an “off-the-shelf” process into play, reducing the time required for bidding. This system gives you access to pre-qualified vendors.
By its very nature, cooperative purchasing standardizes specifications. With experiences from across the fleet management field, you can be sure that all vehicles meet the exact requirements. One added benefit of standardization is the ability to collaborate with peers to enact the best practices in environmental sustainability.
Cooperative purchasing also benefits from domain expertise by companies like Sourcewell, with proven experience in procurement and existing relationships to bring forth the best possible bidding community. All-in cooperative purchasing reduces the time that you need to research the market and quickens the transition to more environmentally sustainable vehicles.
Team with Sourcewell for your EV fleet transition using cooperative contracts
Get the EV fleet that you need using Sourcewell’s cooperative purchasing program. Streamline the public procurement process by choosing from hundreds of suppliers already on contract.
Sourcewell’s procurement experts competitively solicit and award contracts on behalf of 50,000 participating agencies in North America. You’ll have considerable purchasing power without surrendering local control. The system is based on more than four decades of service to education and government agencies with contract purchasing and technology solutions, along with regional programs and services.
See how easy it is to get the EV fleet you need without the hassle using Sourcewell’s cooperative purchasing program. Streamline the public procurement process by choosing from hundreds of suppliers already on contract. Sourcewell’s procurement experts competitively solicit and award contracts on behalf of 50,000 participating agencies in North America. Sourcewell has been a government-empowering organization since 1978. Check out our contracts here.