Road to a cleaner future

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Switching your company’s vehicle fleet to electric is the smart move.

Switching your company’s vehicle fleet to electric is the smart move.

Advertorial by Custom Fleet

Custom Fleet logo

This content was prepared by Custom Fleet and is being published by NZME as an advertorial.

When the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) wrapped up in Dubai late last year the biggest headlines were reserved for a 34-word statement calling on countries to move away from fossil fuels in energy systems.

For a country like New Zealand, we’re already ahead in this journey as we boast the third- highest rate of renewable energy as a portion of primary supply in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), after Norway and Iceland. As it stands 40 per cent of our energy comes from renewable sources.

Yet while we rely heavily on renewables, such as hydro, geothermal and wind to produce our electricity, 60 per cent of our total primary energy consumption still comes from fossil fuels — with a large portion of it attributed to road transport.

New Zealand’s transition to cleaner vehicles has begun in earnest, yet more needs to be done by vehicle manufacturers and governments if the world sincerely wants to reach its target of net zero by 2050.

One company taking a leading role in New Zealand’s efforts to decarbonise the nation’s road transport is Custom Fleet who according to the chief executive, Christopher Tulloch, has been working tirelessly on their sustainability journey since 2016.

Chris Tulloch Custom Fleet
Chris Tulloch

“We recognised early that our role in fleet management operations has a significant amount of reach and influence and we could assist our customers to focus on their sustainability objectives and then enable them to meet their targets through the service we provide, Tulloch says.

“Put simply, we really think about it in two areas. There's the work we do at Custom Fleet as an organisation, around our own sustainability journey, and then, there's the work we do with our customers to help them achieve their goals.

Custom Fleet’s own journey began back in 2016 with a commitment to electrify 30 per cent of its internal fleet by 2019 and keep moving forward. At present 92 per cent of its Australian internal fleet is all electric and will reach 100 per cent this year.

For customers, the company provides a range of initiatives to help them reduce their emissions with the goal being that they can convert their fleet to electric.

Tulloch says given the range of vehicles large corporate customers operate, going fully electric is not necessarily achievable in the short term so Custom Fleet look for innovative ways to drive their emissions profile down.

“We provide strategic consulting services to help customers understand which vehicles in their fleet potentially lend themselves to an EV option, and then, help them through that journey of conversion.”

The company’s EV program called Arc covers all aspects of EV from vehicle procurement through to providing access to public charging and then having that on a single bill for their customers.

The Arc program assists with depot charging and installation, home charging solutions and ensures all the service touchpoints required to run an EV fleet are covered.

Leonard Tham, Director of Mobility and Strategic Partnerships at Custom Fleet works with customers to help decarbonise their business and assist them on their whole journey.

Leonard Tham Custom Fleet
Leonard Tham

“They want to electrify but they don’t know where to begin and how to transition without impacting their business operations. Our primary goal is to make sure the vehicles in the fleet can perform the job that they have been tasked to do.”

According to Tham the Arc program is delivered through several different functions within the business.

“Our strategic consulting team will analyse a fleet and identify vehicles that can be replaced with an EV. It must also meet other business requirements. For example, if there is any particular cargo or payload they need to carry.

“Using Telematics data, we can get granular about how and when the vehicle is used and ensure that an electric equivalent will be able to perform all the same tasks. This ensures customers have the data and insights to be able to build their transition plan as well as to develop policy or a change management plan.

“The next step is to provide a charging solution whether at the customer’s office or depot or at their home. Through our national network of electrical contractors, we can supply and install a smart charging solution to suit their business needs.

“We also have partnerships with public charge point operators and this enables a company to have full visibility of the energy their vehicles consume, at the office, at home or on the road.”

Tham says there are many advantages in EVs for fleet managers, particularly in terms of the cost to run as there are fewer moving parts so maintenance costs could be lower and there will be significant fuel-saving costs.

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