Are Utility Fleets Ready for Electric Pickups?
The idea of an electric pickup is exciting to utility companies — as is the news that Ford, GM, and Rivian are all set to bring theirs to market by 2022. Electric vehicles aren’t new to fleet managers, however. They’ve been purchasing electric sedans for more than five years. So, what does data show us about current electric vehicle usage?
Utilimarc found that electric sedans in the utility industry are driven 70% less than a gas or hybrid equivalent vehicle. Some users even preferred driving 10-year-old gas vehicles instead of a new electric one. Why? Fleet managers told us it all comes down to range anxiety.
Modern electric sedans see an average of 125 miles per charge, which suggests a problem with user perception rather than limitations of the technology. This raises the question: What range will an electric pickup need to achieve to be successful in the utility space?
Utilimarc leveraged both our telematics and benchmark data to find that half-ton pickups are used 3.5 out of 5 business days and average 12,646 miles annually. That tells us new electric pickups will need to average 69.5 miles of range on a single charge to cover the daily usage patterns for the majority of the utility industry’s half-ton pickups.
For the electric pickup to be successful within the industry, OEMs will have to work hard to deliver a vehicle that meets real range needs, and fleet managers will need to change the culture of their organizations to accept this new technology.