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RMI Outlet

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Coming Back Stronger

RMI and Bloomberg Philanthropies report outlining infrastructure policies and investments for cities to promote recovery and build a better future.

Rocky Mountain Institute’s report, Steep Climb Ahead—How Fleet Managers Can Prepare for the Coming Wave of Electrified Vehicles, finds that major fleet managers have begun electrifying their fleets, which will ultimately save them money and reduce their carbon footprints. But in order to electrify their vehicles at scale, they will need to begin serious planning for it now. Organizations with large fleets will need to undertake a fundamental business restructuring in order to execute a successful transition to electric vehicles (EVs).

This report offers the first comprehensive assessment of how major US fleet managers are approaching the electrification of their fleets. It is based on RMI’s survey of 91 fleet managers operating large fleets, as well as 18 in-depth interviews conducted with fleet managers representing a cross-section of fleet types. The report also explores the current landscape of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, and identifies what will be required to scale up EV adoption.

However, the RMI researchers conclude that fleet electrification is not just a task for fleet managers. It requires a cohesive, integrated strategy across an organization, from the C-suite to individual organizational units. Organizations with large fleets will need to undertake a fundamental business restructuring in order to execute a successful transition to EVs, including restructuring their internal business processes including procurement, accounting, long-term capital project planning, fiscal budgeting, and operations.

The RMI researchers find that fleet electrification will be worth the cost and effort. Done right, fleet electrification can result in significant cost savings for all fleet operators and across all vehicle classes. And it can be the primary pathway for organizations of all kinds and sizes to significantly reduce their carbon footprints and use energy more efficiently. Done badly, it can be a series of very costly errors. But avoiding electrification isn’t an option. Thanks to increasingly stringent restrictions on vehicle emissions, as well as the ongoing retooling of the global vehicle manufacturing industry to produce electric vehicles, electrification is coming to all fleets, whether they are ready for it or not.

Contact the authors:

Lynn Daniels ldaniels@rmi.org
Chris Nelder cnelder@rmi.org