Driving Transactions
Tuesday, July 23, 2024

You asked for it and we listened. In this column, we ask operators of all sizes and from all walks of the industry a question about their business and report their answers so you can assess how your own company compares to your peers. If you would like to participate, please email Rob Smentek at rob@chauffeurdriven.com for next issue’s question.

TOPIC: With electric vehicles getting attention in our industry, what EVs—if any—do you see as a potential good fit for your fleet and why?

Benchmark and Best Practices Since we specialize in out-of-town transfers and the availability of charging stations outside of our market area is currently questionable, it makes no sense for us to contemplate an EV right now. Additionally, there hasn’t been a lot of demand for them, and a recent survey of our clientele revealed that it wasn’t worth hastily thinking about buying an EV. For the time being, we’ll wait and watch.
Kirk Bagger, Corporate Travel Manager/CEO
Captains Car Service in Parma, Ohio

Benchmark and Best Practices Let’s be real and really think outside the box here. Our industry puts 300+ miles per day on a vehicle most days. It will take years to get an electric vehicle that would potentially work in a commercial capacity. On top of that, the costs of EVs and electricity will absolutely diminish profit margins across the board. I just don’t see electrification happening anytime soon in our industry.
Gary Buffo, President
Pure Luxury Transportation in Petaluma, Calif.

Benchmark and Best Practices As far as the retail consumers are concerned, transition to EVs is really taking hold here in Florida. Local businesses are embracing the trend; charging stations are being installed in parking lots and in public spaces. The continued development of infrastructure is critical for us. Keeping our vehicles charged throughout the day is most important. Today we are following the performance of the Genesis G80, Tesla Model S, and the Lucid Air.
Theresa Callahan, Chief Administrative Officer
Jax Black Car in Jacksonville, Fla.

Benchmark and Best Practices We currently do not have any EVs in our fleet. However, potential for future use is promising as the EV range is extended and charging time decreases.
Douglas Compton, Director of Operations
Reston Limousine in Sterling, Va.

Benchmark and Best Practices We have entered into the EV market with a Tesla Model Y and so far it’s been a great move. Clients enjoy it and praise us for it. We are looking to add additional EV units into our fleet.
Lenin Fraga, Founder
American Transportation in Miami, Fla.

Benchmark and Best Practices We’d possibly be interested in minibuses for local shuttle contracts if we can get supplemental investment from our ESG-sensitive clients. Otherwise, the distances we travel are too great to get a proper ROI on electric units.
Dan Goff, General Manager
A Goff Limo in Ruckersville, Va.

Benchmark and Best Practices I will not be looking to buy any battery vehicles. It’s not that I don’t find them interesting and novel; I just don’t think that they are logistically reliable for our industry. Range and infrastructure are not there, and costs, raw materials, and many more reasons. Florida is not currently forcing this on its residents.
Thomas Halsnik, Owner
Walsh Chauffeured Transportation in Tampa, Fla.

Benchmark and Best Practices “Sustainability” is at the forefront of the conversation in every industry, and in our industry in particular the sustainability conversation leads us straight to EVs. In 2016 Motev started with 11 Teslas, and we remain committed to the EV space and to the evolution of the vehicles that occupy it. We recently updated our fleet with 15 new Teslas (X, S, and Y). They are perfect for our fleet because clients love them, in the electric space they are considered flashy but functional, and the infrastructure for charging in our primary markets is extensive. We’ve decided to diversify a little and we’ve ordered two all-electric Volvo S90s. I like them because Volvo is synonymous with safety. Adding the electric Volvo to our fleet will allow people the opportunity to make that transition in a vehicle they are familiar with and already trust. We are looking forward to the all-electric Escalade in 2024, and we’ve had several conversations with Faraday Future. This is an exciting time in the auto industry; there are a lot of functional, affordable luxury options for EVs.
Tiffany Hinton, Chief Administrative Officer
Motev in Los Angeles, Calif.

Benchmark and Best Practices The Netherlands has targeted that by 2030 all vehicles will be non-emission vehicles. For taxi and limousine services, that initiative will take place in 2027, and on top of that Amsterdam will have that change even earlier, in 2025. We have recently started to renew our fleet and purchased the Mercedes EQS, which was the first EV option that would meet our industry standard and it has a decent range.

We are looking to replace our minivans once the Mercedes EQV comes with a battery package with more range than that it currently has.
Dennis Jansen, Managing Director
Dutch Business Limousine in the Netherlands

Benchmark and Best Practices Converting to EVs is inevitable. They require less maintenance and have fewer operational expenses besides fuel cost savings. But regarding the larger vehicles, we are not there yet. The charging infrastructure stations and fast-charging technology needs to be improved. Currently, I don’t see any practical use for EV buses except for corporate employees and university campus shuttles.
Stefan Kisiov, Managing Partner
K&G Coach Line in Park Ridge, Ill.

Benchmark and Best Practices FlixBus is committed to sustainability, and we believe EVs (large and small) are a critical part of the path forward. We’ve successfully piloted electric motorcoaches on several routes across the US and Canada, and we are working to move out of the pilot phase and to launch the US’ first full-time electric intercity bus route in the coming months.
Jeffrey Lane, Head of Business Development
FlixBus in Los Angeles, Calif.

Benchmark and Best Practices The one EV that would be of interest to us would be a passenger van because they normally commute shorter distances. This way, we could easily do our runs without having to recharge.
Patrick Matthyssens, Co-Owner/CEO
Time Advantage in Boonsboro, Md.

Benchmark and Best Practices We do not anticipate adding EVs anytime soon. I have serious concerns about their true impact on the environment; as of today there are very ugly ramifications. Our power grid isn’t able to support the electricity we use currently, so I feel it’s irresponsible to add to it right now. If other environmental solutions happen that make real sense, we would absolutely re-consider.
Tracy Salinger, President
Unique Limousine in Harrisburg, Pa.

Benchmark and Best Practices We currently have no plans to buy any EVs in the next year. We understand that we will probably have to purchase at least one electric sedan unit by 2024. We are just waiting for all the bugs to be worked out before making the move. At the moment, there are no good options for van to shuttle buses to large buses.
Jess Sandhu, Director of Operations
A&A Limousine & Bus Service in Kenmore, Wash.

Benchmark and Best Practices I haven’t made the jump to EVs; however, I have enjoyed two hybrid vehicles for courier work and errands. Owning hybrids has been enjoyable and definitely opened me up to EVs, so it will be a simple transition. Tesla is the easy answer, but I’m interested in the Volvo and Ford-Lincoln EVs coming out.
Quentin Shackelford, Owner
AllClassLimo.com in Wichita, Kan.

We’ve loved hearing your answers to our benchmarking questions—but we always welcome suggestions for future topics, too!
Send an email to rob@chauffeurdriven.com you just might see your query answered in our next e-News.