SO just how does a business with more than 500 diesel-powered vehicles go about transitioning to a plug-in fleet? Clearly this is a major project requiring focus and assistance and one that property and facilities management company Pinnacle Group is currently implementing.
It doesn’t matter how large or small your business is or how many vehicles are in your fleet, the process is pretty much the same – it’s a question of scale. In Pinnacle’s case, they turned to their fleet management provider since 2017, Fleet Alliance, to help them manage the transition.
With more than 100 locations across the country, the Pinnacle Group provides a range of integrated services across a variety of community-facing assets, including multi-tenure housing, schools, open spaces, public buildings and utilities, to both the public and private sectors.
As with any project like this, it starts with a decision to move to a carbon-neutral fleet in order to meet Carbon Net Zero aspirations and road map. To start the process, the Group set up an internal, cross-functional team to work on ‘Project Electrify’ with a vision to transition to an all-electric fleet.
Under the project plan the first tranche of all-electric vehicles, 33 Nissan eNV200 light commercials, are in the process of joining the fleet as the Group looks to change almost 500 LCVs to all-electric from the current diesel-power. A smaller tranche of Citroen e-Berlingos are set to follow, with further orders shortly to be placed for 2022’s electric replacement LCVs.
Going forward, every vehicle due for renewal and every new vehicle to be added to the fleet will be considered for an EV replacement, using internally defined and agreed metrics in line with recommendations from Fleet Alliance. Some specialist equipment may not currently be suitable or capable of making the transition. Pinnacle’s Group Procurement Manager, Sarah Russell, said:
This initial tranche of new Nissan eNV200s is the fruition of the first part of that plan, which also includes setting up charging infrastructure at a number of our locations, with the greatest number at our Tulse Hill depot where five dual charge points are due to be installed in the new year.
Fleet Alliance has played a key role for us in helping identify the most suitable models available and ensuring they are fit for purpose, given the current constraints that are operating in the vehicle supply market.
The Nissan eNV200s are on contract hire, funded through Fleet Alliance’s competitive tendering strategy that employs a panel of preferred contract hire funders to help drive down acquisition costs.
They will be operated on four year/68,000-mile operating cycles and will be provided with full maintenance packages. Drivers will be provided with electric charge cards, while those who park their vehicles at home overnight can also opt for home chargers.
Fleet Alliance has recommended four-year operating cycles, rather than the three years we currently operate our diesel vehicles on, because of the lower maintenance and operating costs of the EVs, which we are happy to follow as this will allow us to fully capture the carbon saving.
Pinnacle Group has been an outsourced client of Glasgow-based Fleet Alliance since late 2017 and benefits from a number of services and solutions.
Having committed to significant development of their own, internally-built asset management systems and dashboards, Pinnacle Group is able to proactively manage its fleet alongside Fleet Alliance in key areas such as daily mileage, vehicle condition, milage management and vehicle servicing, allowing for a holistic approach to fleet management that aligns to the business’ objectives. Fleet Alliance CEO, Andy Bruce, commented:
Pinnacle Group is to be applauded for its decision to transition to an all-electric fleet in a structured, disciplined and well thought through manner.
We will, of course, be there all the way with them to ensure that the transition is a complete success and plays a key role in helping them achieve their zero net carbon ambitions.