Making the switch to an electric vehicle fleet – advice on choosing the right vehicles and charging solutions
There are many reasons why a company might want to introduce greener vehicles into its fleet, including growing environmental awareness, an increasingly complex legal environment and greater numbers of low emission zones1.
However, making the change can sometimes seem tricky, as there are many factors to consider when choosing electric vehicle charging solutions. The decision-making process entails understanding how charging networks work, as well as the rules and standards that govern them. It also involves determining an appropriate size for the intended level of use, estimating the number of charging points needed and the capacity thereof, etc. Receiving tailored support from experts is the key to making a successful switch to electric vehicles. Companies big and small need a partner that understands their needs, is flexible and offers bespoke solutions. This report looks at Qualiconsult, a Paris-based company that has successfully incorporated electric vehicles into its fleet in recent months.
If electric vehicles are attracting more and more people, how do companies that decide to make the move for their fleet go about it? Qualiconsult’s story shows that seeking expert support can prove highly beneficial, particularly when it comes to choosing charging solutions. We spoke to Vincent Leroux – who set the wheels of change in motion within this leading French property audit and assessment company – in the car park in front of the headquarters in Paris, where both company vehicles and employees’ own cars could be seen.
We wanted to reduce our carbon footprint, introduce greener vehicles into our fleet and ensure we would be compliant with the French Mobility Act. Vincent Leroux, Head of procurement and logistics at Qualiconsult
Teaming up with the right partner
Successfully carrying out such a project was no mean feat considering the company has upwards of 260 branches and 2,500 employees worldwide and must comply with the French Mobility Act,2 which has set a 10% hybrid/electric vehicle quota for companies upgrading their fleet. Qualiconsult needed a partner it could rely on, particularly as it had to determine what would be an appropriate size for a charging network available for employee use and help them get to grips with it. Vincent Leroux explains why he decided to entrust Mobilize Power Solutions with the task of installing the charging infrastructure, a decision made after a great deal of thought and consideration:
« As a Renault Group subsidiary, Mobilize Power Solutions boasts unique expertise – in electric vehicles with Renault, as well as in ecosystem management. It provides companies like ours with ready-to-use solutions. Mobilize Power Solutions’s work meant we were able to begin introducing electric vehicles into our fleet. »
Given that six in every 10 cars sold in Europe are company vehicles, with petrol and diesel vehicles accounting for 96% of new company car registrations in 2019,* charging solutions need to be taken up a notch.
Qualiconsult decided to gradually introduce electric vehicles into its fleet.
Taking a gradual approach before going full steam ahead
Qualiconsult decided to gradually introduce electric vehicles into its fleet of almost 2,000 vehicles. After an initial assessment, 25 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles were added to the fleet – a number that has since grown. This practical approach provided an opportunity to analyse drivers’ use of these vehicles.
" We looked at the profile of employees who travel as part of their role and identified those who would benefit the most from an electric vehicle," says Vincent Leroux. “Mobilize Power Solutions fully met our needs, both in terms of infrastructure and employee support, implementing bespoke solutions, access cards, interfaces, etc. "
This gradual transformation also provided an opportunity to raise employee awareness and give some of them the chance to use an electric vehicle when travelling as part of their job.
Benefitting both the company and employees
Meanwhile, Qualiconsult wanted to make the company vehicle charging infrastructure available to employees with their own electric vehicle – a move that would be greatly appreciated by employees, as it would mean they could charge their personal vehicle during working hours, cutting the cost of driving to and from work.
A few months down the line and users have been entirely won over by the charging facilities available at their workplace. They just need to hold their access card against the reader to start charging.
You just need to tap your access card against the reader to start charging. It’s convenient and I’m proud to be playing a part in my company’s environmental transition. Philippe Lombardi, Qualiconsult employee
Workplace charging facilities are a major plus
Rolling out straightforward, robust, and reliable charging solutions
Mobilize Power Solutions helped Qualiconsult determine what its needs were by analysing how the company operates and identifying the number of charging points needed, where they would be put, what capacity they should have, what the economic impact would be, etc. Qualiconsult has access to an overview of the entire charging network, which means it can monitor infrastructure usage rates and charging capacity across France. This invaluable tool optimises fleet management, particularly when employees are travelling between branches.
Qualiconsult has access to an overview of the entire charging network in real time
The plan is for Mobilize Power Solutions to install charging infrastructure at all Qualiconsult branches in the near future. This means that employees travelling from the Paris office to Marseille will be able to charge their vehicle at the Valence branch on the way. A system like this will make a big difference to employees, considering public charging infrastructure – particularly fast-charging facilities along motorways – is still sparse in some areas.
Employees travelling as part of their role can charge their vehicle at other Group branches
Switching to electric company vehicles is key to promoting more widespread use of EVs
Companies may feel that introducing greener vehicles into their fleet is a costly and complex endeavour at first. However, high levels of fleet usage, tax incentives and reliable on-site support must not be overlooked when making long-term decisions. Opting for a gradual roll-out across company sites benefits both companies and employees, as it gives companies the opportunity to develop innovative mobility plans and play an active role in the environmental transition.
By providing companies with electric vehicle charging solutions, Mobilize Power Solutions is supporting the economy’s energy transition and promoting more widespread use of electric vehicles. Nicolas Schottey, CEO of Mobilize Power Solutions
1 A low emission zone (LEZ) is an area where only the cleanest vehicles are allowed unrestricted entry – the aim being to improve local air quality. A total of 230 European cities had LEZs in place in August 2021.
2 The French Mobility Act (loi sur l’orientation des mobilités) aims to fully decarbonise land transport by 2050.
Mobilize is the fourth brand of Renault Group. Mobilize proposes flexible solutions around mobility, energy and data to meet the evolving expectations of consumers, businesses, cities and regions. Built around open ecosystems, Mobilize encourages a sustainable energy transition, in line with Renault Group’s target to reach carbon neutrality and its ambition to develop value from the circular economy.