Equans, a vast fleet of impervious to electricity

With a fleet of 16,000 vehicles in France, Equans has embarked on a large-scale electrification process with the support of ALD. The first wave will concern company cars, followed by utility vehicles. Fleet manager Icham Bardi explains the main directions of this project.

Hichem Bardi, Fleet Director of Equans France and Guillaume Maureau, Deputy Managing Director of ALD Automotive France.

Examples of companies electrifying all or part of their fleet are increasing. Ekvans decided to join the movement. In 2021, the multi-technical services giant with a global turnover of 17 billion euros, including 5 billion in France, has started the process of electrifying its car fleet on a large scale. The initiative started in France, where the company has 16,000 vehicles.

Hichem Bardi Equans France is the head of this major project as fleet director. The first step will be to electrify 4,000 company cars. “The move was driven by general management who decided to remove all diesel, petrol, hybrid and plug-in hybrid engines from our car policy to move directly to electric company cars.“, Hichem Bardi emphasizes. The project was implemented in close cooperation between procurement, human resources and fleet management.

5 year LLD contracts

As a preamble, Bouygues Group has clearly calculated and studied the subject in depth. The aim was that the price of the fleet should not increase on this occasion. “Electrical Trace Confirmed”Very competitive TCO compared to thermal equivalents“, so the five categories of the car policy consist almost exclusively of electric models. One way to reduce the note is to extend the lease agreements, for some it will extend to 5 years.

Equans France then chose to expand its catalog to include as many brands as possible (Renault, MG Motor, Skoda, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Kia, Volvo, Tesla, etc.) in order to offer vehicles that meet the most needs. In addition to TCO, one of the selection criteria is a range of more than 400 km.

In addition, the company has included an E85-powered model in each category. “We thought of heavy riders and people who have trouble recharging at home“, justifies the director of the fleet. These are Ford cars, the only manufacturer that has a complete E85 series (Puma, Kuga, Focus). A transition technology before the arrival of electric models with very long autonomy. E85 was also. Already tested plug-in hybrid was preferred and it was a disaster because the workers did not charge the battery.

Vehicle testing with ALD

Equans France’s ambition is to completely renew and electrify its company car fleet within 4 years, i.e. by 2027 at the latest. Obviously, this change is not neutral for employees. Some do not see any inconvenience, while others are still reluctant. Therefore, the company intends to show pedagogy.

On the occasion of the formalization of its transition to all-electricity, Equans France carried out its first traction operation on November 16, 2022 at the ALD Mobility Center in Nanterre (92). Equans, France’s only long-term rental company, brought together most of the models available in the new car policy for around a hundred invited employees to test drive them.

According to Hichem Bardi, “Calling others in France, today’s goal is to present all the vehicles of the car policy so that employees understand that we are referring to very well-equipped models that meet their needs.“. He rightly continues to remember “Not everyone has had the opportunity to try an electric car and discover the joy of driving“. The day was also a way to raise the awareness of the participants about the charging problem”The power of war“, says the director of the fleet.

3000 terminals at 600 sites

Regarding charging, Equans France plans to deploy a minimum of 3,000 22 kW terminals in 600 sites. The company will also support employees in equipping their homes by recommending installers without taking over the terminal itself. Only consumed electricity will be refunded.

To complete its system, Equans France offers employees company bicycles to replace their company cars. A service that comes with a 60-day short-term car rental option for holidays or weekends. ALD is also on the move with the ALD Bike and ALD Switch offerings. Mobility loan and sustainable mobility package are studied. These different mobility solutions will allow you to reduce the size of the fleet.

Sophisticated electrification for LCVs

Then there is the electrification of utility vehicles, which make up 25% of the fleet, and light commercial vehicles, which make up half of the fleet. Service cars will start operating in 2023, and in 2028 they will be fully electric. E85 will once again be offered as an option. For LCVs, the issue is more complicated, as Equans France has not yet found models that can meet its needs from an autonomy point of view.

We have crews who fly long distances with a lot of equipment on board“, explains Hichem Bardi. Therefore, the fleet director is waiting for models with greater autonomy, at the same time he mentions the possibility of deploying hydrogen models. In this direction, tests will soon be carried out with Hyvia signed Renault Master Van H2-Tech.

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