Plug-in hybrids enable fleets in Central Europe to set on the path to E-mobility

Plug-in hybrids are an excellent choice to get started on the path towards our electric future. Offering many of the advantages of battery-electric vehicles but without some of the disadvantages, they have much going for them. That’s no different in Central Europe.

At the moment, the uptake of electric cars is low in Central Europe. In Hungary, 0.29% of the national fleet is electric, compared to a whopping 15.83% in Norway. The numbers are growing, though, and will continue to grow over the next few years.

From a financial point of view, electric cars can certainly make sense. They benefit from tax incentives, even though those are often modest in Central Europe. But, as more affordable models are being added to the market, they are brought within reach of more fleets.

BEVs and PHEVs are also an important tool to meeting CO2 emission targets, particularly useful for companies bound by international car policies.

Growing charging networks

Electric cars have lower running costs and charging them with electricity is typically cheaper than filling up with diesel or petrol (unless you only use fast chargers). Central Europe is making great strides towards rolling out a broad charging network. Poland, for instance, doubled its charging infrastructure in only one year’s time – admittedly, from a low base.

Until charging infrastructure gets more widespread, the case for plug-in hybrids is very strong. In the large cities it is usually fine but making trips in other, more rural areas, you find charging facilities are still sparse. In most Central European countries, tax benefits for PHEVs are in place but they do let you run on petrol (some models also on diesel) if you run out of electric juice. When an infrastructure has not matured yet, the flexibility that a combination of an electric engine and internal combustion engine offer, opens the door to E-mobility for everyone!

However, PHEVs should be charged as often as you can to avoid turning them into a more expensive petrol car. It also helps to try and charge at normal chargers as much as possible, because electricity delivered by fast chargers is far more expensive.

Expertise and profiling

Adding PHEVs to the fleet requires specialist knowledge and expertise. Different markets have different tax incentives and charging infrastructure maturity varies widely, too. Importantly, you need to analyze a driver’s needs and habit to ensure the car matches the driver’s travel behavior and needs Based on usage, costs and range, Business Lease looks at the direct and indirect costs and gives customers substantiated advice.

At Business Lease, dedicated teams understand the ins and outs of E-mobility. They know what incentives are available in each market, what vehicles make most sense for what drivers and they can also connect you with partners to install chargers for reduced tariffs.

Find out more on our website or get in touch with one of our International team members for more information:

Knowing your TCO is the first step to controlling fleet costs

TCO or Total Cost of Ownership includes all direct and indirect costs related to operating your corporate fleet. That sounds self-evident, but making sure you don’t forget any hidden costs can be quite a challenge. A challenge that becomes a breeze with the right TCO expertise on board.

What is TCO?

Obviously, Total Cost of Ownership starts with direct costs related to the vehicle. This includes the lease rate, fuel, taxation and all other vehicle costs that may not be included in the lease.

Indirect costs are easier to overlook even though they can also add up. When talking about vehicle fleets, indirect costs are costs related to managing the vehicle. Each company’s corporate processes determine what indirect costs need to be included but ideally, TCO should be as complete as possible.

Not all costs that are included in TCO fall under the remit of the fleet manager. Indeed, some fall under the responsibility of other cost centres. Is it the receptionist’s job to telephone dealerships to set up appointments for servicing and repairs? Maybe that should be part of your TCO as well. In short, TCO is defined by what you can and want to measure as a company.

Why does TCO matter?

All companies want to keep their operating expenses at a reasonable level, particularly in today’s post-coronavirus world. If you want to achieve that, you first need to know how much you are spending. That’s what TCO is about: it tells you how much your vehicle fleet is costing you, giving you more transparency than you would get if you only looked at expenses related directly to the vehicle.

Once you have established your TCO, you can try and find out where you can improve efficiency, modify processes, outsource processes or do other things to get your TCO down.

Doing this couldn’t be easier than with a powerful TCO dashboard like the one Business Lease offers its customers. It gives a clear and complete view on the company’s TCO and lets fleet managers turn the knobs to see immediate results. How does it affect your TCO if you add something or outsource something else? The TCO dashboard shows you instantly.

How do electric cars fit in your TCO?

TCO is quite different for electric cars, in large part because the charging market is less mature than the fuel market for ICE-powered vehicles. Electric cars also require infrastructure like charging stations at home and/or the office, which you do not need for petrol or diesel cars.

Nevertheless, Business Lease has the expertise to analyse if electrifying your fleet is also beneficial for reducing your TCO and to get you ready for an electrified vehicle policy if needed.

How can Business Lease help you keep TCO down?

There’s no hard and fast rule to determine what should be included in TCO. It depends very much on what company and what industry you’re in. Business Lease can help you draw up the tailormade TCO formula that makes most sense for your business case.

Because of our expertise and our focus on efficiency, we guarantee all new clients they will see their TCO go down by turning towards us. We will help you make sure you don’t overlook any hidden costs, like the phone calls the receptionist makes for your fleet.

Do you want to know what Business Lease can do for you? Get in touch with our International team or visit our website.

Make implementation a success

Defining a new strategy, rolling out a tender and signing an international contract with a leasing company is one thing, making sure the contract is successfully implemented in each country is quite another. Here’s how Business Lease helps you make sure your strategy looks good on paper and in real life.

Proper preparation prevents poor performance

Making your implementation a success starts in the pre-tender phase. Business Lease helps you define targets that aren’t only clear and ambitious but also, and above all, realistic. As a family-owned company with an international presence, Business Lease has both the flexibility and the expertise required to take your strategy to the next level.

It is vital to involve all stakeholders in the implementation process to ensure your strategy won’t be a paper tiger. Our experts have the tools and expertise to communicate efficiently and convincingly with all stakeholders.

Better cost efficiency & process efficiency

Managing fleets on a higher, more international level can lead to improved cost efficiency, which can easily be compared between service providers. Adding PHEVs or limiting the number of OEMs on your vehicle list can also lead to a higher cost efficiency as such vehicles often have a lower TCO.

However, this higher cost efficiency can only be attained once the strategy has been implemented. The sooner you implement your international strategy, the sooner your savings start adding up.

Process efficiency is an advantage that is not to be overlooked even though it is much more difficult to benchmark and compare. If your drivers need to take vehicles that require maintenance to a dealership at half an hour’s drive, that entails considerable hidden costs. Even more so if another driver needs to pick them up and drive them to the office.

Imagine the savings you can achieve if your leasing company takes this care out of your hands and has the dealer pick up the vehicle at your office instead. This is another example of how your strategy, once successfully implemented, will help improve your bottom line.

Legacy fleet

Speeding up the implementation of your strategy can also be done through the legacy fleet. You may have an older fleet that used to be managed in-house, which is a labour-intensive job. Business Lease can take that out of your hands and ensure your fleet is maintained in good shape and advise you when it is best to replace vehicles.

Indeed, implementation isn’t only about the new vehicles you add to your fleet. It’s also about integrating your legacy fleets.

Time to turn your to-do list upside down

Never waste a good crisis! In a time when the economy and indeed the world are paralysed by the coronavirus, you shouldn’t sit back and wait for things to go back to normal. If you’re not able to receive or order new vehicles, turn your to-do list upside down! Now is the perfect opportunity to reflect whether your strategy is being implemented correctly – and perhaps to recalibrate it.

It is also in times like these that it is most useful to enter into talks with Business Lease – no strings attached. Let our consultants help you make sure you’ll be better prepared than ever once the coronavirus has been defeated and your business resumes its normal pace.

Do you want to know what Business Lease can do for you? Get in touch with our International team.

5 ways to a successful implementation

1.      Business Lease and the client have one dedicated contact person

2.      Involve Business Lease 6 to 9 months before the tender

3.      Involve stakeholders and get them on board

4.      Know what you want to achieve

5.      Establish an implementation plan with clear targets