The construction industry in Ireland is at the forefront of discussions about sustainability, with many companies in the sector laying down ambitious strategies to embed sustainability into their business models and operations.
Analysis in 2021 indicated that overall, the built environment and the construction sector is responsible for 37 per cent of Ireland’s emissions. These are businesses who by their very nature need to be mobile and who depend heavily on vehicles for transport of materials and people.
It will not come as a surprise to most of us that the SEAI reports that transport is the largest source of energy related CO2 emissions in Ireland.
While some businesses believe that there is a real challenge in a transition to electric vehicles in terms of vehicle suitability, the combination of government policy, volatility in the operating costs of conventional vehicles, and simply wanting to do more to build and operate a more sustainable business, means that many businesses are now engaging seriously with electric vehicle/ EV options.
Leasing rather than purchasing provides a welcome cash flow solution and allows businesses to effectively manage risk associated with selecting the right vehicles, maintaining them and resale values in the future while the EV technology continues to develop.
Government policy is targeting close to one million electric vehicles on the road by 2030. There may be a lot of commentary about whether this is a realistic ambition, but it is clear that we are on the cusp of considerable change.
Recent industry statistics show a large increase in the registration of new electric vehicles for 2022 year to date, albeit off a low base. There are multiple factors contributing to this change, including uncertainty around fuel costs and a growing awareness among buyers of the benefits of electric vehicles from the perspectives of total life cost and sustainability.
In our experience, the planning phase is critical for a business considering the transition and will smooth the way towards a partial or phased transition. We provide expert advice on electric vehicles, and we help businesses to develop a plan for the transition to electric vehicles with a budget that suits their business.
We review existing fleet and driver needs, analyse current fleet carbon emissions, analyse driving habits and identify vehicles which are suitable for specific drivers and business requirements. We can provide the installation of EV chargers at workplaces and at staff homes.
We monitor fleet performance and provide MI reporting and analysis so that the business can see the impact of their actions in terms of the reduction of carbon emissions.
Research that we have undertaken tells us that there is still a lot of confusion and some concerns about electric vehicles among businesses and consumers alike. Planning for transition to electric provides an ideal opportunity to address those concerns.
At NiftiBusiness, we are passionate about the transition to electric vehicles and doing what we can to make this as straightforward as possible. Our own staff fleet is 90 per cent electric. Our HQ has been retrofitted with solar panels supplying up to 50 per cent of our electricity needs including our onsite EV chargers.
We know that electric vehicles can work for business and make a lot of sense. They may not yet suit every business need or every driver, but with some advance planning, electric vehicles can make a meaningful contribution to the reduction by any business of its carbon emissions.