The French Blood Foundation (EFS) began electrifying its fleet with Zoe in 2016 to carry out trials and then integrate them into its catalog. The Hauts-de-France/Normandy region then served as a laboratory before generalizing the electric car. “Then we took the Kangoo ZE before the 2021 push. One of our goals is to meet the 50% VFE quota during renewals. Some regions overcome this phase, others, especially the late starters, struggle a little more,” explains Romuald Prudens, Hauts-de-France/Normandy region logistics manager and EFS national mobility referent.
Nationally, the EFS fleet includes 63 electric vehicles, 25 plug-in hybrids and 33 simple hybrids out of approximately 1,000 vehicles. Electrification is carried out during the renewal and over time. For company cars, whether in the Hauts-de-France/Normandy region or elsewhere, EFS is compliant: all these cars are electric or PHEV.
But delivery times make the process difficult: “When it comes to orders, we are on the cusp of a 50% renewal in clean cars, comments Romuald Prudens. But vehicles like plug-in hybrids are experiencing delivery delays, and we may not reach that 50% quota this year. Especially since the models ordered in 2022 are likely to be received next year,” the manager continues at the head of 135 vehicles, including 19 electric models and three PHEVs.
EFS has also invested mainly in charging with Green’Up sockets or 7.4 kW terminals, which is sufficient because the cars are not driven at night. “We have also taken some 21kW terminals for fast charging. But you need to diagnose in advance to install the terminals in the right places and reduce the installation costs”, adds Romuald Prudens.
However, vehicle autonomy for EFS remains an obstacle for certain journeys, as the regions covered are vast. Which required adaptations. “For the services between Arras and Lille, we had to switch to two Kangoo ZEs instead of thermals. The first vehicle brings the blood products to the sites in Lille and the second vehicle remains plugged in as it leaves for Arras with the packages. It then leaves for Lille with the blood products, and the final return is in the first vehicle that has meanwhile regained its autonomy. Thus, each of the two Kangoos travels about 130 km per day,” explains Romuald Prudens.
… and the independence of the car
For city cars in the pool, for example, the e-208 is mainly used for meetings or training, on the other hand, with some exceptions, autonomy is enough. This is the case for certain journeys of more than 250 km, for example between the site near Rouen and the site in Lille. “Then we’re forced to stick with combustion or switch to a plug-in hybrid. This is one of the reasons why we ordered thirteen PHEVs,” notes the manager.
For all its vehicles under 3.5 tonnes, EFS has switched to long-term leasing, which is more cost-effective due to the high traffic law. “We need to update the cars fairly regularly. Although the TCO in 2016 is not favorable, the gap is closing. It also depends on the residual values applied by the lessor and the types of vehicles. For example, the electric e-Expert (8-9 seats) is interesting because the thermal has a fine of between 4000 and 4700 euros. However, not all sites could be electrified with this type of vehicle, due to autonomy among other things in mountainous areas,” explains Romuald Prudens.
The French Blood Foundation supports its fleet of drivers
The last point this manager made: they should escort the drivers. That is why the most knowledgeable people on his team are trained during the first use of the electric vehicle. “It is necessary to explain how to save energy. It is also necessary to show pedagogy, but it is difficult to change reflexes. So, when the journey can be done on national roads or highways, at higher speeds and therefore faster despite the greater distance, drivers always prefer the highway. But when you drive at a speed of 130 km/h, you lose autonomy faster, “recalls Romuald Prudence. This emphasizes the need for support to overcome fears: “Drivers reduce their travel possibilities, because they always want to return with a good residual autonomy. But your trip is only 15 km you can finish anywhere,” adds this manager.