Affordable leasing for businesses gets more EVs on the road
Custom Fleet have received EECA co-funding to provide EV leases at prices similar to combustion engine vehicles, breaking down the cost barrier of EVs for New Zealand businesses and making it more accessible for them to trial. The project received co-funding from the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund.
About the journey
Custom Fleet is one of the largest fleet leasing and management companies in New Zealand, managing over 36,000 vehicles nationwide. The company supports a number of customers making the move to environmentally-friendly motoring solutions and has converted 30% of its own fleet to EVs.
Custom Fleet has a wing to wing EV transition product, EV+, to help businesses looking to transition some or all of their fleet to EVs. EV+ has a roadmap outlining options for transition, including a fit for purpose assessment of which vehicles are suitable to transition and which EVs are best fit for purpose for the business, as well as advice on charging infrastructure options.
Michelle Herlihy, Custom Fleet New Zealand Country Leader, found a huge amount of interest in EVs among customers. However, she says the up-front cost continues to be the biggest barrier to businesses making the switch. That’s where Custom Fleet decided to step in.
With the support of EECA co-funding, Custom Fleet can offer its customers the opportunity to lease an EV at prices similar to petrol and diesel-fuelled vehicles, making EVs an affordable option for businesses.
The customer decides which EV is most suitable to meet their business needs. To date, popular models include: the Hyundai Ioniq (220km range), the VW e-Golf (220km range), the Hyundai Kona (400km range), and the Nissan Leaf (240km range). Lease terms range between 12 and 45 months to suit each business.
Custom Fleet have partnered with Schneider Electric to offer charging equipment as part of the monthly lease cost, providing a full EV solution to customers. To help simplify the billing process for charging, Custom Fleet also teamed up with ChargeNET, a public fast charging network, so that access to the network can be consolidated and billed via a single customer invoice.
As hoped, the project is promoting the uptake of EVs in New Zealand. Ten EECA/Custom Fleet funded electric vehicles have hit the road so far, with more orders in the pipeline.
Department of Conservation Fleet Manager, Rex Ambler, says lowering its carbon footprint is a priority for the Department, and opting for electric vehicles “is the right thing to do.”
“The more comparable leasing price to petrol and diesel vehicles made Custom Fleet’s EVs an attractive option and staff are very impressed with the Hyundai Ioniq, as with the other EVs in our fleet. The quality and ease of use has exceeded all expectations.”
Custom Fleet have transitioned seven of their own business fleet to electric too. Still, North Island Sales Leader for Custom Fleet, says the move “wasn’t just about reducing our carbon footprint – we wanted to lead the way for our customers and gain an understanding of what drivers experience so we could be better placed to provide knowledge and advice.” In future, Custom Fleet are looking to transition the entire fleet to electric.
Scope of the project
|Total project cost||$1,800,000|
The project kicked off in September 2019, with the first leased EV delivered in December. As at September 2020, a further nine EVs have been delivered. A total of 20 more EVs will be leased over the coming months.
To date, Custom Fleet’s customers have elected to take EVs from Hyundai Motors NZ, Volkswagen NZ and Nissan NZ. Schneider Electric supply the charging cables.
- Track your fleet’s movements. Information is power – track how many trips your vehicles are doing per day and the average kilometres as this can help you determine which vehicles might suitable for replacement with EVs. This data can also remove some of the range anxiety staff may face, debunking myths about how much driving they’re doing.
- Take the time to educate and train staff. Feedback from organisations who have leased EVs from Custom Fleet has highlighted how important this is for a smooth transition for staff.
- Factor in charging needs. Think about what you will need to have in place to charge your EVs and how this will work in with your operations. Also consider whether your business sites are owned or leased, as this may this affect the installation process.
- For larger businesses, consider pooling your total fleet to create a sharing model. This will help you use your vehicles more efficiently, and might provide an opportunity to get rid of some vehicles or redistribute them to areas that really need them, allowing you to replace them with EVs.
Find out more
Who else could do this?
- Any businesses operating a fleet of vehicles
- City Councils
- Government Departments