Electric Vehicles – Purolator has electric karma

Right now, a company-owned Chevy Volt and an employee’s personal EV plug into the charging station at head office. The 250 strong personal vehicle corporate fleet boasts 84 hybrids, and all new vehicles going forward will be either hybrids or plug-in electrics.

Meanwhile, 19 per cent of Purolator’s delivery fleet are hybrids. “Our goal is to be full electric in the downtown cores,” says Viola. “Our trucks do 10 to 12 stops an hour, so anything you can do to electrify that movement as much as you can makes sense.”
Electric vehicles create big fuel savings for Purolator and slash maintenance costs. But the biggest reason to make the switch? “Customers want you to be green today,” says Viola.
This kind of change requires effort, but employee commitment at all levels helped Viola overcome initial hiccups. Going green has also proved a powerful recruiting tool: drivers and technicians want to work for future-thinking companies.
Viola’s advice for fleet managers seeking the electric advantage? Analyze your driving cycle. Electric vehicles are great for making downtown deliveries in stop-and-go traffic, but range may be an issue for longer hauls. Invest in training your drivers and in-house technicians. If you outsource your maintenance, you’ll want qualified mechanics nearby. Create a back-up plan to deal with overnight power outages so that you have drivable vehicles come morning.
Above all, don’t be afraid to take a chance. “What we’re doing today with fuel, it just can’t continue,” says Viola. “We need to do something differently.”