Electric vehicles are quickly becoming the norm around the world, including in the construction industry. Though the technology is still very new, and infrastructure to support electric vehicles is lacking, the push by certain segments of society to get people to turn away from fossil fuels is as aggressive as ever.
Soon, strict regulations will make it very difficult for the average contractor to keep using diesel powered machines. Companies are being forced to adhere to demands from environmental social governance agendas, also known as ESG. Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing refers to a set of standards for a company’s behavior used by socially conscious investors to screen potential investments.
A major factor in determining potential investments is how environmentally conscious a company is to safeguard the environment, including corporate policies addressing climate change. Although larger corporations, at the moment, are being scrutinized, it won't be long until smaller construction companies will be fighting to stay relevant in this new culture driven by the perceived threat of climate change.
For this reason, contractors need to start considering if, and how, they want to start the gradual change to EV machines.
At the moment, only mini excavators seem to be a good fit to be powered by electric. Thought larger EV machines are starting to hit the market, options remain scarce. Couple that with the lack of EV recharging capabilities and the limited amount of technical support to maintain these machines, and you have a raw market and a skeptical consumer not ready to switch to EV machines.
That skepticism isn't going to stop the environmentalist sector of society to stop pushing their agenda, meaning, the average contractor better learn to play the environmentally conscious game. It is becoming apparent that if a contractor wants to raise capital, have a chance to bid on contracts, or even be able to stay in business, they will have to start transitioning to EV machines sooner than later.
States like New York and California have already introduced laws to phase out gas powered vehicles within the next 30 years. The Federal Government is offering incentives to companies, such as tax breaks, to start the switch to EVs.
If you're considering an EV machine, educate yourself on how they could either benefit or potentially hinder an operation. Ask your dealer about EV options, and whether or not they think your company could benefit from adding EV machines to your fleet.
Be aware of what it will take to maintain a machine, from charging stations to technical support.
Also keep up on the ever-changing ESG criteria, as you don't want to get caught off guard.