Should I Convert to an All-Electric Fleet?

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I don’t drive a Tesla, but I’ve been thinking about switching my fleet to all electric. Here’s why.

I’m a medium sized Independent Service Provider (ISP) in Tracy, California and run my (mostly urban) routes using 22 Ford & Freightliner steps vans. Each year I spend significant amounts in fuel, preventative maintenance and a whole lot more in insurance, upkeep and emergency repairs. There’s also the added stress of having to having to swap out a truck every 6–8 weeks for scheduled maintenance and dealing with random breakdowns and accidents. When FedEx goes 7 days a week, I’m going to have to buy 2–3 new vehicles because I won’t be able to schedule maintenance on Sundays.

Electric trucks on the other hand have almost no maintenance cost in comparison. They have fewer moving parts (almost the whole vehicle is drive by wire) and less overall wear and tear. They’re good for the environment too, and with extended operating ranges and affordable sticker prices (in large part due to state and federal subsidies), it seems like a no brainer. Here’s the math.

Each electric truck costs about $200,000 (compared to $80,000 for regular ones) to buy brand new. With federal and state (CA) tax incentives, the effective price drops to just under $30,000. I can sell my existing trucks on the second hand market for about the same price, so I effectively pay almost nothing out of pocket to switch my fleet to electric.

For this to happen though, a few things need to fall into place. First, FedEx needs to set up charging infrastructure in my station and arrange for us contractors to purchase electricity at bulk rates. Second, electric truck vendors need to be selected and prices on servicing and maintenance published, so we can do our own cost benefit analysis before making the switch. Third, the effective range of each truck needs to cover my driver’s mileage. Most of my drivers do just under 100 miles every day, and according to this article, FedEx recently purchased 1000 all-electric trucks that can do 150 miles on a single charge.

My last point about the effective range of electric trucks is important. For mass adoption to happen, it means that contractors need to make sure that their routes are organized as efficiently as possible so that their drivers never run out of juice.

We’ve built a route optimization app that reduces mileage by up to 40% and also provide consulting services to help ISPs design their work areas to reduce overlaps and other inefficiencies. Reach out to support@beansroute.ai to get started.

Beans App

Maps built for delivery drivers

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