Hybrids – Vehicles, Battery & Hydraulic Technology

ADP Converts North American Sales Fleet to Hybrid Electric

May 2017, Automotive Fleet - Feature

by Eric Gandarilla - Also by this author

Ford Fusion Hybrids account for 78% of ADP’s North American sales fleet. These vehicles achieve about 44 mpg in the city and 41 on highways. Photo courtesy of arvind govindaraj via creative commons
Ford Fusion Hybrids account for 78% of ADP’s North American sales fleet. These vehicles achieve about 44 mpg in the city and 41 on highways. Photo courtesy of arvind govindaraj via creative commons

Driven by a global goal of cutting carbon dioxide emissions, ADP set out to replace its fleet with more fuel-efficient, less-polluting, environmentally friendly vehicles.

The company, which provides businesses with human capital management and payroll solutions, began by converting its six-cylinder vehicles with four-cylinder vehicles. Those four-cylinder vehicles were then replaced by vehicles with four-cylinder engines that had environmental assists like Ford’s EcoBoost or GM’s eAssist.

When hybrid technology became financially viable from an operational cost perspective, the fleet department made the decision to convert its entire North American sales fleet with hybrid-electric vehicles, and by September of this year, the conversion to purely hybrid electric will be complete.

“Global Fleet put a mandate in several years ago to have a goal of no more than an average of 140 grams per kilometer emissions for any country … driven by the CO2 regulations and taxations in Europe,” said Michael Bieger, senior director, Global Procurement. “I made the decision that if ADP’s fleet program was to be a truly global program, the 140 grams per kilometer goal must apply for the U.S. as well.”

At the time that this decision was made — about four years ago in 2013 — ADP’s North American fleet was running at an excess of 250 grams of CO2 per km. By achieving the 140 gram per km threshold, ADP would be nearly cutting its North American sales fleet CO2 emissions by half.

Since ADP began replacing its fleet with more environmentally friendly cars, the company has saved almost 4,000 tons of CO2, said Bieger. The fleet’s mpg average has also gone from 24.3 mpg to 36 mpg. Later this spring, when 350 of its gasoline vehicles are replaced with hybrid electrics, the company expects its fleet-wide average mpg to rise to, or exceed, 39 mpg.

As it stands, ADP’s North American sales fleet is composed of 1,078 vehicles. When the 350 above-mentioned vehicles are replaced with hybrid-electric models later this spring, 99.2% or 1,069, of ADP’s vehicles will be hybrid electric. Of those vehicles, 2% will be Toyota Camrys, 5% will be Hyundai Sonatas, 15% will be Chevrolet Malibus, and 78% will be Ford Fusions.

There will then be only nine remaining gasoline vehicles in its North American sales fleet. Those remaining vehicles, however, are slated for replacement in September of this year. Once they are replaced, the conversion to a fully hybrid-electric fleet will be complete.

The Next Step

Looking toward the future, Bieger sees electric vehicles as the next step in cutting emissions and improving fleet-wide fuel efficiency. When ADP first began converting its vehicles to greener models, the global fleet emissions mandate stood at 140 grams per km; that mandate has now tightened to 110 grams of CO2 per km. Regulations in the U.S. don’t have the same requirements for emissions as elsewhere across the globe; however, it is a goal that Bieger still wants to reach.

The challenges to introducing electric vehicles, Bieger noted, will come from the economic feasibility of fielding electric vehicles, and finding sales territories in the U.S. whose daily work parameters can support electric vehicles. Territories can’t be too large because they have to accommodate for the range available to electric vehicles. And, they also have to support the infrastructure that electric vehicles require.

“Certainly we’re not there, but it’s a goal. The next step in the U.S. is to begin looking at the interesting electric vehicles coming to market. Chevy Bolt first comes to mind,” said Bieger. “But do those sales people have a territory that would support an electric vehicle? It’s one of the options that we’re looking at."

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