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By Josh Green, Chief Executive Officer of Inspiration

As industry leaders, you know that the electric vehicle (EV) revolution is underway. Fleet and consumer interest has never been higher as automakers unveil new electric models with growing battery ranges and capabilities every year. For many fleet applications, electric vehicles are already superior to their internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts and the EV advantage will only grow over the coming years. Many commercial fleet lessors and operators are interested in learning about EVs, but don’t know where to start. To serve rapidly evolving customer needs and avoid falling behind competitors, leasing companies need to design their fleet electrification strategy now.

Your customers are probably already asking for EVs. More and more companies are making pledges to cut or eliminate their emissions or are simply intrigued by the economic benefits of electric vehicles. Integrating EVs into your fleet offerings will be critical to serving current customers and attracting new ones.

Every fleet operator wants to save money. Total cost of ownership (TCO) has always been an important metric for the industry, and now, in most applications, EVs clearly win out. Electricity is cheaper than gas per mile driven (especially with today’s skyrocketing fuel costs), and EVs require far less maintenance since their engines have fewer moving parts than gas and diesel. Beyond the occasional tire replacement or brake job, EVs just keep running with very few repairs.

Not only do EVs make economic and environmental sense, but an increasing number of private sector and government mandates will require an eventual transition. California and New York have already set a deadline of 2035 for all new vehicles sold to be zero-emissions, and other states are expected to follow suit. Additionally, many companies in different sectors have committed to transition their fleets to 100 percent EVs over time. Every automotive-related business will be impacted. By starting your EV journey now, you can position your leasing company for long-term success.

To be fair, leasing companies have many valid reasons for sticking to their knitting and continuing to only serve up ICE vehicles to customers. The upfront capital costs of buying EVs can be higher, and many traditional financing sources are not yet comfortable with estimating residual values for electric vehicles with a very limited track record. In addition, the majority of fleet customers considering a transition to electric vehicles will require a comprehensive charging strategy, potentially including the complex installation of costly charging infrastructure. Serving fleet customers in an EV world will likely require new expertise and financing solutions that are quite different from the traditional “metal and money” leasing product offered by most leasing companies.

And that’s exactly why we started Inspiration in late 2020. We are the first fully-integrated EV Solutions Company, providing a comprehensive fleet financing and charging implementation solution to make the transition to EV fleets seamless and efficient. We work with and serve all industry participants, including independent leasing companies, utilities, FMCs, OEMs, and others, and can do as much or as little as our partners need, often via a “white label” offering that supports our partner’s core business and protects their customer relationship, keeping them as the face and brand serving the customer. Successful fleet electrification is a carefully orchestrated dance, requiring the design and integration of many different inputs (vehicle, charger, software, utility connection, and tariff management) into an optimized system. Inspiration makes it easy, providing the vehicles, charging infrastructure, and know-how to strategically swap out ICE vehicles for EVs.

So why add the capability to support the EV transition to your business now, when mandate deadlines are still more than a decade away and EVs seem relatively expensive? It’s simple: many of your customers could benefit with EVs right now, and they’re losing money every day by waiting. Offering transition planning and EV solutions now will ensure that your leasing solutions remain competitive as EVs are increasingly adopted. If you want your company to stand out from the pack and be seen as a long-term partner to your customers, the time is now.

If you would like to learn more about Inspiration, visit our website. We’d love to hear from you. I look forward to partnering with you to offer comprehensive EV solutions to your customers.

Josh Green is the founder and CEO of Inspiration, the world’s first integrated EV solutions company helping fleets and industry participants across North America to accelerate the EV transition.

As published in the NVLA March 25, 2022 issue of Leasewire