GoWithFlow Sees Sustainable Mobility Primed for Increased Adoption in 2021
CleanTech Startup CEO Maps Out Opportunities for Transition to Electric Vehicles in Master Class at This Week’s Web Summit
MATOSINHOS, Portugal — Dec. 2, 2020 — Corporate sustainable mobility programs are ripe for expansion in 2021 as companies worldwide look to cut costs and meet carbon-reduction goals, according to Jane Hoffer, CEO of GoWithFlow, who spoke at Web Summit today. GoWithFlow, recently named the top CleanTech Startup in Portugal, has created the first end-to-end sustainable mobility management solution to help companies save money while reducing fossil fuel-based air pollution.
“Transportation is extremely complex, even in the simplest companies, and the expense of moving people and goods has a direct impact on gross margins and net profits,” Hoffer said as part of her Web Summit master class on Sustainable Mobility: Changing the Way We Move. “If you could find a way to save money in transportation and lower greenhouse-gas emissions, you’d do it.”
Last year in the United States alone, the transport of goods cost more than $1 trillion. Everyone along the entire value chain — from the raw material suppliers to the makers, to the service and delivery providers, and ultimately to the consumer or user of the good or service — bears the burden of this expense. Movement of people, too, impacts cost, whether it’s sales-related or intra-office. And commuting has impacts beyond the employee’s wallet. Commute times and expense are often cited as reasons workers change jobs, so recruiting and retention are other costs of transportation.
The opportunity to reduce costs in this scenario through public transportation, active transportation such as e-bikes or scooters, or shared services such as carpooling and car sharing is substantial. And when companies can also reduce carbon emissions through fleet electrification or sustainable mobility management practices, it’s a double-win.
“With all of that opportunity for change, what’s the problem with going electric? Why not just transition your fleets of vehicles to EVs or hybrids?” Hoffer asks. “There are some pretty big assumptions about reasons NOT to implement electric.”
First, electric vehicles are perceived as being more expensive than traditional vehicles. But according to Hoffer, there are more than 4,500 electric vehicles being managed in the GoWithFlow network today. Over the past 12 months, operators have seen an average cost savings of more than 225 euros per vehicle. While the difference in lease costs may favor traditional vehicles initially, fuel and maintenance costs are significantly lower. A recent study by UK insurer Direct Line calculated the average running costs of EVs compared to gas- or diesel-powered vehicles and found that annually, an EV cost about 1,742 pounds or about $2,250. That’s 21 percent less than the average cost of an old-fashioned car, which was almost $2,900.
The second myth is that EVs just aren’t realistic. One argument against EVs is that the battery capacity and mileage range of EVs don’t make them viable for business usage. But, Hoffer says, consider this: The average range of an EV is about 150 miles per charge and increasing with each model year. Based on Flow’s analysis of its customers’ fleets, more than 90% of corporate vehicles have controlled routes that are typically less than 95 miles a day — well within the target range of an EV. Another component of this “myth” is that there aren’t enough charging stations.
“The simple truth is that for most corporate fleets, people drive their vehicles home at the end of the day or they’re parked at the company parking lot for the night, making at-home charging or a well-planned corporate-charging solution more than adequate to meet their power needs,” Hoffer says.
The third myth is about privacy concerns for the people driving the vehicles. The value of having telematics — the devices that monitor the vehicle, its location, battery status, availability — is in the data. But, Hoffer points out, it isn’t the data of the individual. It’s the data of the vehicle itself, e.g., mobility patterns, capacity, demand. And the technology allows companies to work with their software and telematics teams to define specific business practices about what data is collected, what it will be used for, and who can see that data.
“With a strategic plan to transition your fleet makeup based on corporate needs, a charging approach that optimizes home and office chargers, and an attitude to look at all modes of travel — from public transit to ride sharing, scooters and bike programs — to re-make commuter habits, the change can be profound,” Hoffer says. “When companies embrace the value and the power of a sustainable mobility program, they will reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and air pollution, save money and create better environments for their employees, customers and the planet.”
Flow is a software and services company that has delivered the first comprehensive Sustainable Mobility Management (SMM) solution to businesses and cities that are de-carbonizing their mobility footprint. Flow’s solution is based on the SMM Platform, a technology foundation that coordinates mobility telematics to provide real-time insights into how transportation assets like vehicles, scooters and charging stations are being used. With Flow SMM, decision-makers can manage five critical systems: Mobility Planning, Energy Management, Fleet Management, Mobility Services and Transaction Management. Flow’s majority shareholder is Galp, one of Europe’s energy companies leading the transition into renewable energy and sustainable fuels. For more information, come gowithflow.io.