4 Key advantages of the green fleet with the new smart #1
In addition to all the positive effects on climate, environment, earth and society, the company fleet conversion from combustion vehicles to a pure electric fleet also brings monetary incentives with it that cannot be dismissed. Furthermore, the conversion to a green fleet has a benefit for company sustainability goals as well as a positive effect on reception and image in the context of public perception.
The new smart #1: a green and sustainable update for your fleet
At this point in time, fleet managers are still relatively reticent about their belief in moving to an all-electric company fleet: 87 % of all newly registered company vehicles1 in Europe are still combustion engine vehicles. Although, in a direct comparison of the total cost of ownership between combustion engines, HEV and BEV vehicles, considering current tax breaks and subsidies, pure-electric vehicles win among large and medium-sized company cars2, in EU average.
One of the most crucial pain points for fleet managers currently is the public charging infrastructure and the costs that the company would face if it were to set up its own infrastructure. But, with its holistic solutions around smart #1, smart proves that many of these uncertainties can be cleared.
1. Less wearing parts, less maintenance
First, let's look at one of the most tiresome issues with vehicles: their maintenance and wearing parts. Here, pure electric vehicles benefit from the fact that they objectively have fewer wearing parts than a comparable vehicle with a combustion engine. What about regular oil changes? – a thing of the past. Gear wear? – where there is no gear, there is no wear. Replacing spark plugs? – the only jumping spark in the new smart #1 is the igniting spark of the future.
Of course, there are also components in electric vehicles that require regular maintenance, such as the battery and other electronic components whose safety must be checked at active intervals. However, a period of one to two years is usually sufficient for this to ensure safety and guarantee.
smart #1 also comes with a choice of models tailored to different needs. Accompanying the limited Launch Edition, which was presented at the world premiere beginning of 2022, the smart #1 is also available in the variants Pro+, Premium and BRABUS. In addition to the features of the Pro+ line, the Premium line has an extensive range of driver assistance systems, a 360-degree surround camera, intelligent voice assistance, LED lights, an electric tailgate, a Beats sound system, a head-up Display (HUD), CyberSparks+ LED matrix headlights and an automatic parking assistant.
In terms of wearing parts and maintenance, it does not matter whether it’s the smart #1 Premium, Launch Edition or BRABUS, since these variants come with the same battery technology and charging requirements.
2. Administrative expenses
Besides maintenance and repairs, registering a vehicle, taxes and insurance are also necessary, however not the most exciting parts of buying a new car. An electric vehicle is not fundamentally excluded from this fact, but there is still reason to celebrate when one considers how much can be saved simply by switching to a green fleet.
In general, it appears that the comprehensive insurance cover for an electric vehicle such as the smart #1 is cheaper compared to a car with an internal combustion engine. Even though the insurance market for pure e-fleets is still in its early stages, insurers will positively consider the following points in their assessment, among others:
Lower maintenance costs and more positive impact of software updates: Electric vehicles like smart #1 are less complex than their diesel and petrol cousins from a mechanical perspective. This may mean fewer breakdowns and reduced costs for day-to-day maintenance. Additionally, #1 has an architecture designed for over-the-air software updates. This enables stress-free updates of not only operating systems but can also benefit functionalities like driving range or charging times.
Higher retained value: Electric cars are expected to retain a higher value over time compared to diesel and petrol vehicles. This in turn can have a positive impact on the value of the fleet if they remain in the fleet for longer.
A quite similar picture emerges for taxes. There are various models for reduced taxes for the use of electric vehicles across Europe. As a result, fleet management can benefit twice - in terms of cost savings, but also in terms of emissions savings as a corporate entity.
The Perks of Running an Electric Fleet
3. Acquisition costs vs. operating costs
The next most relevant item in this context is of course the acquisition costs, where electric cars – at least at first glance – do less well, in comparison with combustion engines. But only at first glance. Once you look at current EU and country-specific funding, the picture changes vitally.
In Germany, for example, politics attract additional tax advantages. Anyone who buys a BEV like the smart #1 for professional and private use only must pay tax of 0.5 per cent of the gross list price per month instead of one per cent in the case of a combustion car.
An additional value when determining the costs for a vehicle is its operating costs. This is where pure BEVs show their true value. Following an exemplary calculation from the year 2021, a consumer portal calculated that petrol customers paid around 90 per cent more for fuel than e-car drivers for electricity. The calculation was based on more than 11,000 driven kilometres, an underlying consumption of around 7.8 litres (or 20.7 kWh) per 100 kilometres and the prices for petrol and electricity at that time. For comparison, the energy consumption of the smart #1 Premium is 16.7 kWh per 100 kilometres according to WLTP.
4. Cut carbon and talk about it
Nowadays, reducing CO2 emissions is far more than the talk of ecological fringe groups, and is deeply rooted in all corporate strategies and values. The fact that the company fleet and the transportation of employees play a decisive role by that is a fact that requires no additional explanation. It also seems self-evident that a green fleet can have an exclusively positive effect here – and that's exactly how it is!
Fleet managers play an active role in supporting the sustainability goals of their company by deciding in favour of the mobility of the future, for CO2-reduced mobility and for a pure electric company fleet like with all-new smart #1.
Head of Public Relations and Communications smart Europe GmbH