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Electric Vehicles, Rental Connect, Rental Management System

The Complexities of Electric Vehicles in Your Rental Fleet

February 22, 2024

close up of electric vehicle charging port with charger inserted

For a time, we appeared to be entering a new age of electric vehicle prominence. Sales exploded as more people invested in this trendy and eco-friendly new technology. Government investment followed, and recent federal and state legislation has increased the availability of electric charging stations and tax breaks for those who buy electric cars. In some cases, the biggest automakers said that they were shifting away from the construction of traditional internal combustion and towards electric vehicles.

Of course, that was then. The current situation is very, very different.

According to the latest figures, the sales of electric vehicles seem to have plateaued and slowed. That is not to say that electric vehicle sales have died, but it does imply that there are real challenges in this market. For many businesses – including rental fleet operators – there is a sudden glut on the market of expensive cars that lack the infrastructure to be driven. The current situation thus begs two important questions: Why is there such a decline? And what can be done to manage it?

Why There Is A Decline

No single factor is responsible for the decline of electric vehicles. Instead, the causes are multi-faceted and require an in-depth look.

Lack of Charging Infrastructure

Imagine a world where you didn’t know if you would have easy access to a gas station. In many areas, that is what electric vehicle owners are contending with. Charging a car requires specialized equipment that isn’t always available, thus limiting the ability of electric cars to drive from point A to point B. It is also relatively expensive to install the charging equipment in your home.

For car rentals, this creates major challenges. After all, if you drive a gas vehicle, you probably won’t want to rent an electric one that you would be challenged to recharge easily.

Expensive Repairs

Repairs for traditional cars are comparably easy. As a rental fleet manager, you already have the vendors you work with and usually know what it takes to repair your cars.

The same cannot be said for electric vehicles. The highly complex and rare parts needed for electric cars – combined with the specialized labor needed to make these repairs – have increased the price of repairs enormously. As this has become more apparent, many individuals are moving away from electric cars and sticking with traditional ICE models.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk – largely viewed as the face of the electric car industry, thanks to his ownership of Tesla – is a controversial figure. His recent acquisition of Twitter and adherence to a free-speech doctrine have increased the public’s negative perception. According to at least one poll, Musk’s advocacy and political beliefs may harm the public’s perception and sales of electric vehicles, at least in the short term.

How This Impacts Rental Business Models

None of this is to say that electric cars are disappearing. However, these are factors that your rental business needs to be ready to address. Fortunately, with an investment in the right technology, you can continue positioning your business to manage electric vehicles.

Maintenance Solutions

As a rental fleet manager, you are constantly challenged to stay ahead of your fleet’s maintenance needs. This is even more apparent with electric vehicles, considering just how expensive repairs for these cars can be. Fortunately, tools offered by Zubie can help you track preventative maintenance. Furthermore, they can also alert you to potential problems with your vehicle, alerting you if any percolating maintenance issues, like battery and tire health need to be addressed.

Zubie’s technology allows for transmitting real-time data, ensuring you know about maintenance problems as early as possible. This maintenance solution will enable you to stay ahead of the curve and get your car the assistance it needs.

Track the Value

Electric vehicles, on average, are more expensive than regular cars. This financial reality can throw the entire value of your fleet for a loop, as the traditional methods you use to track the value of your vehicles may not apply to electric cars.

This reality makes it all the more important to have a valuation system that uses modern technology to generate highly accurate value estimates for your vehicles. At Zubie, we use a valuation system hooked in with the specifics of a car, including condition, miles driven, age, and more. Our system uses this information to generate an accurate estimate of the present-day value of your vehicles. As such, you never have to guess how much your car is worth, and these reports can enable you to make sound long-term financial decisions.

Comprehensive Inventory Management

There may be times when you have a customer who absolutely needs or wants an electric vehicle. Alternatively, there may be moments when a customer wanted an electric vehicle, but upon realizing their location lacked the appropriate infrastructure, their plans changed. Regardless of the reasoning, adding electric cars to your fleet requires you to have an inventory management system that can adjust for these new inventory realities.

Zubie’s Inventory Management System ensures that you have all of these features. It comes with a number of modules that enable granular and fleet-wide data, including:

This means that you can easily rent out and return electric vehicles just as easily as your ICE vehicles.

Partner With Zubie

If you have an electric vehicle inventory, you face a unique but by no means insurmountable challenge. Fortunately, an investment in the right tools can help you mitigate these challenges and position your business for long-term success. At Zubie, we’re here to help and have the tools to help you succeed.

Want to learn more? Contact us today for a no-obligation introduction to our services and learn more about how we can help you grow your rental business.

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