Fleet Drivers Not Plugging In Their Volts2
The Volt is a different kind of hybrid, a PHEV that whose battery can be recharged from the power grid. Good for around 38 miles miles solely via electric motor, Chevrolet claims that the cost of recharging the Volt is about $1.70/day. However, fleet owners are discovering that drivers rarely plug in their Volts.
The reason for this? Fleet owners will compensate for the cost of gasoline, but not electricity.
InsideEVs interviewed Jason Edwards of Maters Motors, who has been selling pre-owned Volts that came from fleets. “Listen, fleet vehicles are often mismanaged. The fleet owners have taken advantage of government and state incentives. The operators are often reimbursed for the gas they buy, but not the electricity in their home for plugging in, so they just drive them. I have specialized in these mid-high mileage Volts that with one read of the lifetime mileage indicates the pattern I am looking for”
In fact, there was a Dutch study about the efficiency of plug-in hybrids that showed they were about 80% less efficient than what the manufacturers claimed, the lesson being that if drivers of extended-range plug-ins are reimbursed in fleet use for the gasoline they buy but not for the electricity they use, then the cars won’t be plugged in and charged often.
- Sweepstakes Of The Month: Win a 2023 Corvette Z06 Convertible. Details here.
If I was managing a fleet of Volts, I would have my employess use the chargers more, and reinburse only 50% of the gasoline they consumed.
GM should put their regional staff in plug-ins and make a big deal to fleet buyers about demonstrating how to make this work. It seems simple enough to document an employee’s electric rates with a copy of a bill. Just reimburse employees for the amount of electricity consumed, as reported by OnStar, and ask employees to document how often they charge on the road. Maybe OnStar could even generate automatic reports for fleets so they can reimburse employees for the amount they charge at a certain location (i.e. home).