GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — While the pinch at the pump is squeezing just about everyone, try running a business that relies on driving.
A local courier service is making several changes, including trying out an electric vehicle to cut their costs.
“We’ve had this vehicle about three weeks and we’ve only filled that nine-gallon tank once,” Professional Courier Service President Doug Kessler said.
The Chevy Volt EV cost Professional Courier Services $55,000. It’s already paying off.
The vehicle can run 60 miles on a charge and a generator help boost electric levels.
“So what that does is it provides a total of 225 total miles on this. While utilizing a nine-gallon tank, which requires premium fuel,” Kessler said.
The company’s current fleet of mostly cross-over vehicles cost between $12,000 and $15,000 a month to fuel up.
Some of that cost is passed down to customers.
PCS’s fuel surcharges to customers have doubled since Jan. 1 and that still doesn’t cover the entire increase in fuel costs for the company.
Kessler said the Volt is helping control those costs.
“Of course, there’s still some expense with charging but with only having a nine-gallon tank and the electric generator on board to power the electric motor in the vehicle, it really provides a net savings for not only our company but for our customers as well,“ Kessler said.
The Volt is just one of the company’s 15 delivery vehicles.
The rest of the fleet is gas powered.
With no end in sight to rising fuel prices, the company has taken other steps to save on gas. Those same steps — like the simple act of slowing down — may help you save fuel and money.
“We train our drivers the tips and tricks to conserve fuel. It’s a constant reminder for them to be careful accelerating. Be careful deaccelerating,” Kessler said.
Don’t let that feature that shuts down the engine while idling annoy you.
“If you are fortunate enough to have a vehicle that has an auto stop-start feature, when you get stuck at a stop sign or a stop light, utilize the feature,” Kessler said.
When it comes to finding the most efficient route from point A to point B with several stops along the way, courier and other delivery services wrote the book.
PCS uses software specific to their industry to plot daily courses.
It was always a time saver. Now it’s a fuel saver.
“I would advise the average consumer that maybe doesn’t have that type of software to just take their daily commute into google maps, apple maps and just make sure they’re taking the most efficient route,” Kessler said.
PCS is also in expansion mode and electric vehicles are expected to be play a big role in the company’s future.