Case study: What’s it like to run an electric fleet?

It’s not always easy being green, especially where business is concerned.

If you’re a business considering an alternatively fuelled fleet, you aren’t alone. In fact, more than half of fleets (56%) are already operating at least one alternative to traditional petrol and diesel models or are planning to do so in the next three years, according to new research from Arval.

We’ve been in touch with a business that’s already taken the plunge and decided to replace its fleet of ageing Volvo V40s with all-electric BMW i3s. Was it a smart move?

BMW i3

Alexander Windows is one of the north west’s biggest supplier of windows, doors and conservatories, and as such has a team of sales people and surveyors travelling all over Manchester all-day, everyday.

The BMW i3 hatchback makes up part of the company’s range of electric and hybrids – which includes the supercar-esque i8 – and is fast becoming a go-to choice as an eco-friendly fleet vehicle.

BMW i3

We asked Lauren Tutton, director of Alexander Windows, about how the BMWs have been received:

“They have a decent range (120 miles), which is very important because our field sales representatives and technical surveyors travel all over, and we don’t want them getting caught out.

“We still have a need for small vans, but the i3 is more than adequate for day-to-day survey appointments.”

Lauren also drives the stunning BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, which boasts an official average fuel consumption rating of 134.5mpg, and CO2 of 49g/km. Ticking plenty of boxes when it comes to a directors’ car.

Like lots of businesses, Alexander Windows’ fleet is part of a wider eco-friendly initiative, and when it comes to windows, going green is far more involved than simply improving a home’s insulation.

“We’ve had a very positive response from everyone to the new fleet. They’re very quiet, have good acceleration and the standard specification of the vehicle is great. The initial scepticism that people expressed about driving an electric car soon disappeared once they began driving them.”

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