EV Case Study: Gilead Sciences



Every fleet has overcome the diverse challenges when itcomes to transitioning to EVs.

Photo: AF


Every fleet manager’s story differs when transitioning to electric vehicles. While they come from different industries or use different vehicles, there is always information to be learned from sharing stories.

SuYvonne Bell, senior manager of U.S. fleet operations at Gilead Sciences, a research-based biopharmaceutical company, shared her stories and early lessons learned in the company’s electrification journey.

Gilead’s Progress Toward Electrification

Bell’s fleet consists of over 1,000 units and 1,600 drivers nationwide.

The company is committed to electrifying its global fleet by 2030. It is a member of EV100, a global initiative bringing together forward-looking companies committed to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles.

In November 2023, Gilead Sciences launched its EV Pilot Program, placing approximately 10% of field-based employees in pure electric vehicles.

The journey started with input from sales leadership and then the fleet governance committee, comprised of key stakeholders in legal, HR, and other departments.

The company chose one model, the Volvo XC40 Recharge, for the pilot. A single vehicle model was chosen to gain enough apples-to-apples data for better vehicle and driver performance and duty cycle analyses.

The drivers were also already familiar with the brand, with the Volvo XC60 already on the selector.

“The XC40 Recharge was a bonus not only at the (sales) rep level but also at the manager level,” Bell said. “They consider it a premium option. So that was a win/win.”

Another motivator was Volvo’s partnership with Tesla to use its charging network, which opens greater access to public charging.


Gilead Sciences chose a single model, the Volvo XC40 Recharge, for its EV pilot. Using only one model will allow Gilead to gain enough apples-to-apples data for better vehicle and driver performance and duty cycle analyses.  -  Photo: Gilead Sciences

Gilead Sciences chose a single model, the Volvo XC40 Recharge, for its EV pilot. Using only one model will allow Gilead to gain enough apples-to-apples data for better vehicle and driver performance and duty cycle analyses.

Photo: Gilead Sciences


Challenges and Solutions for Sustainability

During Gilead Sciences’ electrification journey, unexpected challenges arose, including:

  • Diverse landscapes nationwide.
  • Varying regulations.
  • Rebates.
  • Utility costs.
  • Infrastructure.

Bell addressed these challenges by conducting a driver survey prioritizing home ownership, public charger access, and minimal long-trip frequency.

“The goal was to ensure that each driver’s unique circumstances were considered, offering a tailored approach to electrification,” she said.

Some drivers initially opted out because of range issues, so Bell went to the next set of potential drivers to arrive at the 80 for the pilot.

To help mitigate utility costs, Gilead Sciences worked with its fleet vendor to establish a reimbursement system based on vehicle type, range, usage, and a formula to calculate the average monthly range. Drivers now receive $125 per month toward utility costs.

Overcoming Electrification Barriers

The program also encouraged driver participation by providing Level 2 home chargers and installations.

Pilot drivers were given a stipend of $2,300 to install a home charger, using either a company-provided solution or through a provider they chose. Most installations came in under $2,300.

Bell’s fleet vendor offers access to EVGo and ChargePoint chargers. However, she wanted to expand access to Electrify America’s Level 3 DC fast charger network, which provides a full charge in 45 minutes to an hour.

Bell stressed that flexibility is important in any fleet journey.

“We provide home chargers to 80 drivers and offer benefits to those willing to participate in the EV Pilot Program to help overcome our barriers.”



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