Opportunities of the shared economy in E-mobility
Digitalization and disruptive technologies are increasingly impacting our work and personal lives. New concepts, services and tools enable cost savings not only in production but also in administration. Experts, for instance, are of the opinion that a company’s vehicle fleet alone offers potential cost reductions of up to 30%. Thanks to the growing popularity of the shared economy and the increasing use of electric vehicles (EV’s), competitive advantages that are possible nowadays will have a positive effect on the long-term success of a company. But how does the shared economy work when it comes to E-mobility? And what needs are to be considered when utilizing an EV in a fleet? Is the current vehicle charging infrastructure adequate if a pool EV is to operate efficiently? These are questions that will be answered in this post.
EV procurement and corporate carsharing
The shared economy is becoming ever more important, especially with regard to fleet management. Cost savings gained through the joint use of vehicles is just one of the benefits, while the shared economy also offers significant advantages when it comes to procurement. For example, sharing vehicles can mean higher discounts and better utilization. However, for the operation of corporate carsharing to run smoothly, it requires new services and tools dedicated to meeting these new needs.
To operate EV fleets efficiently, the first step requires a rethink of existing administration, scheduling and booking systems. In addition, new aspects such as the digital driver’s logbook, vehicle charging concepts and on-demand vehicle scheduling must be incorporated into the strategy in order to ensure efficient and economic use of EV fleets. At the core of the shared economy are new platforms that make it possible to automate complex processes while giving participants the opportunity to call up the status of their fleet 24/7.
Acquisition cost of vehicles is still one of the major cost expenditures in a fleet. Small and medium-sized companies, in particular, are often at a disadvantage since they are unable to negotiate significant discounts during vehicle procurement due to low purchase volume. In contrast, corporate carsharing is set to greatly minimize these issues. The merging of several company fleets leads to larger purchase volumes, which in turn puts the companies in a better position of negotiation – the result is a positive effect on the fleet management of the individual participant.
Enhanced terms for vehicle procurement
In general, vehicle discounts can be divided into fleet discounts and dealer discounts. In the case of fleet discounts, there are the known volume discounts and business packages. Volume discounts are granted by manufacturers when a certain sales volume is achieved within a defined period. Manufacturers’ business packages, on the other hand, are usually aimed at fleets outfitted with certain premium features, which increases the resale value of the vehicles. For small fleets, however, often only standard packages, whose terms are usually far less attractive, are made available. Companies that merge their fleet management with other companies have the advantage of being able to directly contact the manufacturer’s fleet customer manager thanks to the larger sales volumes, which also increases the chance of greater discounts. In addition, better service contracts can also be negotiated with dealers, which in turn can significantly reduce a fleet’s running costs.
Accelerates delivery times through coordinated vehicle procurement
The consolidation of orders through intercompany corporate carsharing not only affects the discounts granted but also the delivery dates. Electric cars in particular, whose delivery times are still comparatively long, can be procured much faster than a company with a single purchase order. By standardizing the packages of options, further advantages can be achieved, which in turn lead to simpler maintenance and a much more homogeneous fleet.
Consulting support through procurement platforms
Environmentally friendly e-mobility is all the rage today, so it is not surprising to find considerable state subsidies on offer. The new WLTP (worldwide harmonized light-duty vehicles test procedure), replacing the NEDC test procedure, is vital for maintaining attractive subsidies. The WLTP not only takes into account different speeds and situations in road traffic but also vehicle weight classes and feature options. The WLTP has a particularly favorable effect on EV’s: in addition to the usual environmental bonus, other subsidies, such as for AVAS (acoustic vehicle alerting system), are also available. In addition, low-cost loans and subsidies are granted for the development of necessary infrastructures, which are significantly higher for larger volumes due to joint vehicle procurement. Good procurement platforms aid the fleet manager in the application for E-mobility subsidies.
Utilization of pool vehicle support
At the heart of any modern fleet management system are high-performance mobility platforms that support corporate carsharing. The aim of the platforms, however, is not only to help companies achieve more favorable conditions in vehicle procurement, but also to simplify fleet management through services and features like thoroughly automated processes, digital driver’s logbook, sophisticated monitoring and smart capacity management, which ensures sufficient vehicle availability even at peak times.
Cloud-based platforms have the advantage that they lay out complex processes transparently and show optimization potential for everyone involved. Employees have the advantage of reserving vehicles online using smartphones or tablets and managing it on a digital logbook. In addition, each vehicle with its real-time location is visible in the system, making tedious manual allocations in fleet management obsolete.
In electromobility, there are also numerous options for charging and energy management that take into account both operating forecasts and energy needs. A carpool concept can therefore function efficiently even at peak hours and delivery maximum cost efficiency.
Optimum charging infrastructure design
The largely inadequate vehicle charging infrastructure remains the Achilles’ heel of E-mobility. Even though the network of charging stations in cities is generally well developed, it is still insufficient in many rural areas. The integration of electric vehicles into commercial fleets will require a sophisticated charging infrastructure and smart energy management. Internal charging infrastructures and the sharing of existing charging stations among companies are the keys to success. All partners involved will benefit from the expansion of the infrastructure: a thorough linking up of existing stations and a uniform design are the prerequisites for successful corporate carsharing. The planning of the charging infrastructure is an essential element that needs to take place before EV’s can be procured. To this end, procurement software and corporate carsharing must work together seamlessly.
Corporate carsharing and E-mobility are the core issues that will determine and impact fleet management in the years to come. Many companies have already demonstrated immense interest in the simple and smart integration of EV’s into their fleets. Lower procurement prices, optimized capacity utilization and flexible deployment options are the main arguments that will ultimately lead to dramatic cost savings. In addition, corporate carsharing via mobility platforms also offers significant benefits to employees. They can reserve vehicles, manage it using the digital driver’s log and make drop-offs, while integrated charge management and intelligent route management ensure vehicles always have sufficient range. Implementing the concept into companies requires finely tuned integrated digital support. Carano, with its cloud solution, are up to the challenge with their portfolio of services and components for successful realization.