Will Autonomous Electric Cars Impact Small Business Auto Fleets?

autonomous small business auto fleet

Six benefits on how autonomous electric cars will benefit small business auto fleets.


Autonomous electric cars are coming and they will be transform how business auto fleets are managed. Autonomous electric cars will deliver a quantum leap in cost reduction. A further cost disruption will flow from “mobility as a services providers” like Uber or Lyft that will deliver a competitive alternative to buying or leasing automobiles.

Not unlike how smart phones have impacted telecommunications, your business fleet is on a technology threshold that holds the promise of dramatically lowering costs while also increasing capital productivity.

Smart cars are coming to your business fleet

Autonomous and electric technologies dominated the recent North American International Auto Show. Ford provides an example of how intensely the auto industry is focused on these technologies. Ford announced plans to invest $4.5 billion to launch 13 electric car models by 2020.

 Last Fall Ford invited me to their new engineering and research center in Silicon Valley that is focused on advancing smart and connected vehicles. And recently Ford entered into a joint development effort with Google to build an autonomous vehicle.

This type of commitment to autonomous and electric technologies, and the auto industry’s world class ability to covert technologies into mass produced products, will transform the composition and management of business auto fleets.

The economies of autonomous electric cars

Autonomous electric cars are poised to reshape the economics of business auto fleets even with $1.50 per gallon gasoline prices.

Here’s six benefits on how autonomous electric cars will benefit small business auto fleets:

1.  Reduced labor, insurance and litigation risks.

The driver is the riskiest part of an Industrial Age “dumb” automobile. Evidence continues to grow that autonomous automobiles will be safer than human driven cars.   Reduced accidents will be the first tier of cost benefit for autonomous vehicles.

Reduced liability will be the second tier of cost savings. Imagine the potential law suits from an accident caused by human failure when a company could have been using an autonomous vehicle. If this sounds far fetched then consult your legal counsel.

2.  Reduced fuel costs.

Electric vehicles have a cost equivalent of 75 cents per gallon! Autonomous electric car deliver additional fuel costs savings from accelerating and braking more smoothly than human driven cars. The financial bottom line is that autonomous electric cars will have lower fuel costs.

3.  Increased electric range.

Technology solutions to range anxiety are now entering economies of scale. The Chevy Bolt is a breakthrough car offering a 200 miles range between charges with a less than $30,000 price point after tax incentives. It is the first of many vehicles planned by the auto industry that will be both price competitive and offer a safe margin of battery storage for daily driving.

Recharging station costs and availability are also gaining economies of scale, most especially along the West Coast and the Northeast Corridor. As these combined technology solutions gain mass scale the issue of electric driving range will be resolved for most urban and high traffic corridor driving.

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About the author

Bill Roth

Bill Roth is the Founder of Earth 2017. Roth is a nationally-recognized business coach that has successfully enabled hundreds of business owners to win new customers, grow product revenues and cut costs. His most recent book, The Secret Green Sauce, profiles best practices in pricing, marketing and branding that win millennial generation customers and their moms! Roth has served as the Green Business Coach for Entrepreneur.com and coach for the U.S Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Green Builds Business program. Roth’s has held numerous executive leadership roles in the development of clean technology projects including the launch of thefirst hydrogen-fueled Prius. Follow him on Twitter