Charged Up EV Newsletter: March 2018

Charged Up: News about electric vehicles in Kansas City

//// Electric Fleets Offer Significant Opportunity

Electric Fleets Offer Significant Opportunity

For companies exploring new fleet options, electric vehicles offer many of the same advantages individual drivers enjoy: stabilized fuel costs, reduced operating/maintenance costs and quiet operation. An electric/hybrid fleet also helps an organization boost its sustainability profile.

Municipalities, large corporations and small companies worldwide are exploring electrified fleets. Do you work for a company that would benefit? Would you rather patronize businesses that make this commitment?

Transportation generates more than a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. EV adoption is on the upswing — December 2017 was the 27th consecutive month of sales gains — but more than half of the vehicles on our roads belong to companies.

Cities and companies are making progress. New York City’s municipal vehicle fleet is ahead of schedule on its plan to add 2,000 electric vehicles by 2025. IKEA, Unilever, and HP are just a few of the companies that have committed to EV100, a global initiative committed to transitioning organizations to all-electric fleets by 2030.

Automakers are also getting on board. Nearly every manufacturer — from Nissan and Chevrolet to Smart and BMW — is aggressively marketing electrified fleets. Electric truck options are steadily increasing. A century ago, electric trucks were often prized over early internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles for their pulling power and reliability.

Now, eTrucks are resurging for three primary reasons, according to consultant McKinsey & Company.

  • They will soon be on par with diesel and alternative powertrains for total cost of ownership.
  • EV infrastructure and technology is increasingly available and cost-effective.
  • Globally, the regulatory environment is heading towards emission standards that encourage EV adoption.

Regardless of whether a company needs sedans or trucks to support its operations, electric vehicles can make for an efficient, affordable fleet.

  • Lower total cost of ownership. Lower maintenance expenses and fuel costs contribute to a lower cost of ownership over the long haul. Electric cars are up to three times cheaper than a gas-powered car to drive.
  • Easier maintenance. An EV is mechanically simpler than its ICE counterpart, significantly reducing maintenance needs.
  • Safe, quiet driver experience. Driving an electric car is safe and quiet, a benefit for both employees and customers. And nobody misses being around exhaust fumes!  
  • Increased green profile. Companies are listening to a consumer’s desire for increased sustainability. (A Nielson reports showed 66 percent of all consumers — and 73 percent of Millennials — will spend more on a product if it comes from a sustainable brand.) An electrified fleet greatly enhances a company’s sustainable profile.

Transitioning from a gas- to electric-powered fleet is not without its challenges. Fleet managers and sustainability managers within a company often work hand in hand to overcome them. The first step is understanding a company’s transportation needs and what EVs best fulfill them. Staged integration — where electric vehicles represent just a portion of a fleet — is a good first step.

Know a company that might be a suitable candidate for an electrified fleet? Let us know. KCP&L can help — both with infrastructure and with group purchasing opportunities that negotiate better EV pricing from manufacturers.


//// Electric Vehicles in the News

Electric Vehicles in the News

Electric cars are making news across the globe. Catch up with these five headlines:

 

  • Ford is getting onboard the EV train. Following the footsteps of Toyota and Volkswagen, the car maker plans to would offer 16 fully electric vehicles and 24 plug-in hybrids by 2022. Chairman Bill Ford announced the $11 billion investment in electric vehicles at January’s Detroit Auto show.
  • California sets ambitious EV goals. California Governor Jerry Brown wants to see 5 million EVs on the roads by 2030, a target he supported by signing an executive order. The state plans to spend $2.5 billion dollars to increase charging infrastructure and extend its rebate program.
  • Elon Musk sent an electric vehicle into space. (Just in case you’ve been living under a rock and missed the epic Falcon Heavy launch.) The vehicle in question was his personal cherry red Tesla Roadster, last seen floating in orbit. In September 2019, it will complete its first loop around the sun.
  • London’s black cabs are going electric. The new six-seat models offer passengers Wi-Fi and USB charging at no additional cost. As of January 1, all new taxis in the city must be hybrid or completely emission-free, as part of the Mayor’s Taxi and Private Hire Action Plan.
  • Norway cements position as EV champion. In 2017, electric and hybrid vehicles accounted for about 52 percent of all vehicle sales in the country. Norway’s attractive EV policies have made a substantial impact. In addition to subsidies and tax breaks, EV drivers enjoy perks including special parking and exemptions from toll roads.


////  Meet an EV Driver: Cindy Circo

Meet an EV Driver: Cindy Circo

Cindy Circo loves trying new things. And although she works for KCP&L as public affairs manager, driving an electric car was a very new experience. She documented her transition in a series of blogs, offering an interesting perspective of what it feels like when a long-term driver of gas-powered cars joins the electric driving revolution.

Getting Started

“You know how it feels when you unbox your new smartphone? Sliding into the driver’s seat of an electric vehicle feels a little like that. It’s familiar and unfamiliar at the same time, and I feel both excited and a little nervous.” Read the full Getting Started blog here.

What It’s Like

“My electric car starts with the push of a button. One enormous difference I notice immediately is what I hear when turn on the car. Quiet. There is no “turning over” noise I associate with a car starting, and that’s something to get used to. Sometimes I forget I’ve started the car! The dashboard also looks a lot brighter and more vibrant than the ones I’m used to.” Read the full What It’s Like blog here.

Fully Charged

“It’s the first big weather event of the year — schools closed, work let our early. I must admit, I was nervous to drive an electric car in bad weather for the first time. Why was I nervous? Seriously, WHY? It handled great, with no slipping and sliding on icy roads. The only real difference I’m finding is I plug it in at work or home versus going to the gas station. Not going to the gas station is a healthy thing for me. It’s hard to pass up QT long johns. Have you had them? Yum. The weather does make an impact on the range I’m getting, though.” Read the full Fully Charged blog here.

Completely New AND Familiar

“I pull into my destination, but both spots available for charging are filled with EVs. Now, I’d much rather see an electric car in that spot than a gas-powered car. When a gas car blocks an EV charging spot, it’s basically the equivalent of blocking a gas pump. (Not cool.) So, I was happy to see fellow EVs getting a charge. But it still presented a challenge, because I’d rather have a range cushion on a frigid day. That’s where EV etiquette comes in, especially as driving electric becomes more popular. Share the love with fellow EV drivers and move your car when you’ve got the charge you need.” Read the full Completely New AND Familiar blog here.

Interested in being profiled for our next issue? We’d love to hear from you.


//// Resources and EVents

Clean Charge Network Events

Are you a member of the KCP&L Clean Charge Network?

If you are, you earned an invite to a special electric performance by Celtic-rock band The Elders. Network members enjoyed drinks, appetizers and camaraderie — along with an energetic performance from one of Kansas City’s iconic bands in its last year of performing.

Upcoming Clean Charge Network Events
  • Save the date on May 6 for a repeat of our popular and family-friendly EV Day at the Zoo! Details to come.
  • We’re continually adding to our calendar of community events. Have an idea for us? Let us know in the comments.

Want to be sure you don’t miss out on future events? Join the Clean Charge Network today.

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