One of the unknowns for you as a fleet manager might be whether your drivers will buy into the switch to EVs. They may have heard the myths about EVs being less reliable, or they may have read about some of the challenges with public charging and assume that driving an electric vehicle will cause more headaches.

But the switch to electric power will benefit your drivers as much as it benefits you and your company. There are a lot of positives about how EVs operate that may come as a pleasant surprise to your staff. In fact, most drivers report that they prefer driving EVs once they have some experience with them. Give them time, and they may even become your company’s greatest ambassadors as you shift toward a sustainable fleet.

“Our EV drivers are superstars. The customers come out to take selfies with our electric delivery trucks.”

— Daniel Mondor, Metro Supply Chain

Here are some of the benefits your drivers will see once they switch to EVs. It’s helpful to keep these in mind as your drivers ask questions about how their daily routines might change during the transition.

  • Better performance
    EVs provide a better overall experience from behind the wheel. This is thanks to factors like electric motors, which deliver maximum torque instantly with a push of the accelerator pedal and the better handling and lower centre of gravity that comes with mounting the heaviest part of the car — the battery — underneath the chassis.
  • Time saved
    Depending on routes and the nature of their duties, some drivers may save time through not having to stop to refuel part way through the workday. And in B.C. and Quebec and on some Ontario highways, an EV is a free ticket into an HOV lane even when the driver is alone, which means less time spent waiting around in traffic.
  • Reduced exposure to noxious fumes
    Because EVs create zero emissions, drivers are exposed to vehicle exhaust far less often. On top of that, not having to stop at a gas station during the day doesn’t only save time: it reduces exposure to the fumes that come from pumping fuel, too.
  • Lower driver fatigue
    Thanks to factors like the lack of engine vibrations, lower noise levels and less strenuous operation through one-pedal driving, drivers of EVs report feeling less fatigued and less stressed relative to those driving combustion vehicles.

Choose your ambassadors wisely

For your fleet’s EV pilot program to be successful, it’s very important to pick the right drivers. Those who are ready and excited for the change will act as ambassadors who will share their experiences with colleagues positively and help convince others that following the road to electrification is the right direction to go in.

Choose drivers who are open-minded and receptive to the idea of EVs, and who are experienced enough to know their routes blindfolded. This will allow them to pay closer attention to how the vehicle drives, so they can provide feedback that you can turn into tips and tricks to share with other drivers as you expand your EV program. Over time, you’ll be able to develop these experiences into a set of best practices to share with all of your drivers for preserving vehicle range and battery life and reducing overall vehicle maintenance.

Read our experts’ suggestions for onboarding and training drivers in the next topic. (And don’t forget to Save progress.)

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