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Article 3 (Jul 2022): Fleet managers turn to electric cars

July 28, 2022
Hertz recently inked a deal to buy 65,000 electric vehicles from startup Polestar over five years. The city of Houston, meanwhile, purchased a hundred electrics to replace aging gas autos, and Amazon wants to put 100,000 battery-powered delivery trucks on the road.
Wondering why these cars are so popular with fleets? Let's take a spin.
Up front, adopting electrical vehicles may boost a company's sustainability, which, in turn, could help with branding. However, the benefits of EVs for fleets run far deeper than marketing. Wakefield Research polled 300 fleet managers and found that 44 percent believed that electric vehicles will reduce fuel costs. While charging an electric vehicle isn't free, it's currently cheaper to fill a battery than a gas tank.
EVs are potentially easier to maintain. With combustion engines, you have to worry about not just gasoline, but also oil and spark plugs, both non-issues with electric cars. Pretty much all combustion vehicles need transmission fluid, while many (but not all) electric vehicles skip transmissions altogether, making fluid unnecessary.
Moving parts are also prone to breaking down, and repairs can be costly. If a transmission goes out, you'll have to shell out thousands to replace it. Cracked cylinder heads and rusted exhaust systems, among other things, also cost hefty sums to repair. Ultimately, Wakefield Research reports that 85 percent of current EV owners reported that traditional vehicles are more expensive to maintain.
With fewer moving engine/transmission parts, electric cars can relieve potential headaches. Still, this doesn't mean that EVs provide a free ride. Upfront costs for electric vehicles are typically higher. And while batteries often last hundreds of thousands of miles, they do lose capacity over time and are expensive to replace. Charging times can also stretch on for hours.
Still, all told, electric cars offer a compelling option for fleet managers.

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