A new car leasing company in Melbourne is taking the plunge into electric vehicles, which have previously been overlooked by the industry because of a lack of resale data.
Though it has been shown that running an electric vehicle fleet now costs less than a petrol and diesel fleet, Shane Priest, director of EV Lease and a leasing industry veteran says the problem for many leasing companies is that they can’t guarantee the value of the vehicle after its lease life.
But with EV Lease, Priest is looking to change that, by taking a punt on the fact he knows EVs have less wear and tear, and will likely have a greater resale value at the end of their lease life than petrol cars.
EV Lease, which is headquartered in Mitcham, Victoria was founded by Priest to make electric vehicles more accessible to fleets, and perhaps eventually, private drivers.
The company currently has 3 electric vehicles and one plug-in hybrid available: the Hyundai Ioniq Electric Elite, the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus, the Hyundai Kona Electric and a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
“The four models we’ve chosen are an eclectic bunch,” says Priest, adding there is method in his madness.
“In our opinion the only cars that stand the test of fleet application are the Ioniq and Kona. The Mitsubishi is old technology but it’s a great package for what they are,” he says.
The Tesla is there because, well, Tesla.
All leases, which run for a two-year term with 15,000 kilometres per annum, include servicing, maintenance and tyres, annual registration, and insurance. Like any decent lease agreement, a replacement vehicle will be provided when the vehicle is under insurance repair.
To prove the viability of these electric models for fleets, EV Lease is in the final stages of firming up a trial with local governments.
Priest says another problem with getting EVs into fleets is because, “the EV argument is still being had in the office of the manager of sustainability. We need to take that argument out of there are put it in hands of asset and finance managers.”
By making EVs available for local government trials, EV Lease can get feedback on what it took to get drivers to use them, how they found and used charging stations, do the lease vehicles return back to base at night, or are they returned home.
By understanding these things, EV Lease can help start to defuse the conflict between environment and finance stakeholders in its discussions with business.
Ultimately though, Priest believes that by enabling staff to drive electric fleets, resistance to EVs will be broken down.
“Once you go electric you’ll never go back,” he says. “They’re quick, they’re quiet, they are just better to drive.”
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.