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EVs Have a New Ally in Fleets

Insights from our Shell Fleet Solutions team

By Terry Moses on Jun 26, 2024

Skim the news, and you may think EVs have hit a standstill, but EV market share is on the rise.1 Beyond practical barriers the headlines like to tout, EV trajectory is not slowing down, and fleets are uniquely poised to lead the momentum going forward.

While the EV market among light and medium commercial vehicles (LCVs and MCVs, or Class I-VI) is still relatively new, there’s a compelling economic case for electrification among these customers. EVs have found an ally in fleets, which have the power to spur additional EV infrastructure investments from traditional automakers. And with the right tools and infrastructure, fleet operators can become some of the strongest drivers for a more electrified future – all the while benefitting from the lower ownership costs of near-term EV adoption.

EV trajectory is not slowing down, and fleets are uniquely poised to lead the momentum going forward.

Terry Moses

EV Potential

While EVs still have room for growth in today’s market, few sectors offer more opportunity than LCV and MCV fleets. Although electric vehicles comprise of less than 1% of U.S. LCVs in operation,2 Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) expects 70% of global LCV sales to be EVs by 2040.3

EV share among MCVs isn’t expected to reach the same heights in that timespan, but a separate BNEF report projects that roughly a third of the MCV sector will be all-electric by 2040.4 Any way you slice it, electrification among LCV and MCV fleets has a lot of room to grow – and a lot of opportunity to provide real business benefits to fleet owners and operators.

The Case for Fleet Electrification

Although electric LCVs (e-LCVs) and MCVs (e-MCVs) may have the appearance of higher up-front costs than their internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts, regulatory incentives can reduce the cost, helping to make EVs more affordable. Beyond that, total cost of ownership (TCO) can be lower, too. McKinsey estimates that, by 2030, EV fleets can have a 15-25% lower TCO than equivalent ICE fleets.5

With many regulatory bodies incentivizing fleet electrification and related infrastructure, fleet stakeholders should remain steadfast to their sustainability commitments for economic and environmental reasons. On the latter front, the broader backdrop of sustainability should give fleet operators a tangible incentive to electrify. Sixteen percent of US companies have made a formal commitment to decarbonization via a key performance indicator, according to Shell® Fleet Solutions global segmentation data. Sustainable fleets, from operational to delivery vehicles, will play a big role in this.

Operators Leading the Charge

Fleet operators can help operationalize the energy transition, especially if they have the right tools and infrastructure. External solutions providers have a significant role to play; in fact, their support could radically alter a given fleet’s embrace of decarbonization. Through dedicated infrastructure development and services that help operators decarbonize, these providers can help fleets chart an electrification strategy that makes the most fiscal sense.

Take the Shell Fleet Navigator® Card, for instance. As a portal to the Shell Fleet Solutions ecosystem of products and services, the Shell Fleet Navigator® Card can help operators manage the fleets of today and tomorrow. Operators can tap into pathways to decarbonize, facilitate expense reporting and leverage data across both liquid refueling and EV charging. Fleets with the Shell Fleet Navigator® Card will soon be able to pay for EV charging nationwide, including the Shell Recharge network of chargers with its EV DC Fast Charge (DCFC) infrastructure. And for operators looking for a pathway there, Shell’s Accelerate to Zero (A2Z) services can help fleets decarbonize in a customized way that meets their logistical and financial needs.

Decarbonization Is Here to Stay

The imperative to decarbonize transportation, supported by public policy in many U.S. states, has tipped the scales in favor of ongoing investment in EVs, high-capacity batteries, and related infrastructure. Operators who start the process of electrification sooner than later stand to have the strongest positions as the opportunity of electrification continues to progress.

The journey toward decarbonization points toward more EVs in all sectors, not less. But how fast we get there depends on this current moment – and that’s where fleets can lead the way.

With many fleet operators prioritizing TCO and core capabilities, EVs are gaining a healthy foothold in the industry. Stakeholders should feel reassured by this: EV market share is increasing, and e-LCVs and e-MCVs can add some much-needed tailwinds toward the overall imperative to decarbonize. The push to do that is here to stay, and it can provide operational and financial benefits to the fleets ready to start the process.





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