Helpings SMEs save money and the environment by going electric
With nearly a third of greenhouse gas emissions emitted by the vehicles we use, the transportation sector generates the largest share of GHGs. While many SMEs want to reduce their carbon footprint, relatively few have ‘gone electric’. Together with the Rabobank team, we set out to find out why, and develop a solution that was equally compelling from a financial and environmental perspective.
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The team carried out 50 customers and experts interviews to learn more about possible drivers and blockers along with extensive market discovery.
Research showed that many SMEs want to reduce their carbon footprint provided that it has a positive or at least neutral impact on their business. Many others were unaware of the extent to which their businesses could benefit financially by using electric vehicles.
The team has identified two distinct target customer segments. The first segment encompasses small companies operating with 1 to 2 vans, emphasising their commitment to sustainability as a pivotal value for both their business and clients. The second segment consists of medium-sized companies employing 3 to 6 vans, driven by the necessity to transition to electric vehicles in order to ensure the viability of their business in the coming years.
We then designed a prototyped solution that would help SMEs to find the right vehicle and give them a complete financial picture. This outlined the benefits, such as the reduction on insurance premiums in comparison with fossil fuel powered vehicles, and an outline on the lease offer.
Throughout the ideation phase of the project we managed to help the customers from start to finish in their leasing journey, this included:
Helping customers with digital tools in the orientation phase of their journey
Offering a transparent overview of all available assets in one place
Helping customers with financial calculation and offer financing in minutes through Rabo Lease
The team conducted extensive testing of various prototypes to determine the most advantageous solution for clients. Currently, SMEs are proactively testing the different prototype and being involved in the ongoing development of the proposition.
The results of experiments indicated exceptionally strong desirability for the Rabo Electric proposition. A successful business email campaign that attracted over 12,000 visitors across two campaigns. An early prototype also emerging as the highest engagement proposition within RaboBank with an impressive 54% CTR, followed only by core banking products.
On the other side of the validation is the supply side, which demonstrated remarkable engagement, with dealers and manufacturers actively expressing interest in joining our platform. Notably, the feedback on Electric Vans reveals that 56% of respondents, totaling 170 participants, have found a suitable van that aligns with their requirements.
Following the launch phase, we developed a comprehensive roadmap to steer the future direction of Rabo Electric, while consistently enhancing the services based on valuable user feedback. These enhancements included the integration of novel features like test drive bookings and an elevated user experience.
Additionally, a singular lease offer was presented. This strategic positioning enabled us to establish the client as a pivotal force in electric car, van, and construction vehicle leasing for SMEs. Our inaugural pilot initiative contributed revenue of over €2.5 million, solely from electric van leasing; demonstrating the potential for the proposition to scale and justify increased marketing investment.
Rabo Electric was successfully validated and transferred from the innovation lab into the core business. The final proposition centres around enabling SMEs across the Netherlands to find the right electric vehicle EV for their business goals. We helped them compare electric and fossil fuel models and calculate the total financial picture at the touch of a button, for instance by comparing an electric van with a diesel van. We also started to connect SMEs with other Rabobank clients; to book test drives with reliable suppliers.