Common Mistakes Made When Adding EVs to Fleets

Electrifying your fleet can be a beneficial decision both in terms of the cost savings your business can experience as well as the environmental impact – or lack thereof that comes with EVs. While you may be thinking of incorporating EVs in your fleet, it’s important to do your research to ensure you’re fully aware of how best to get the most out of your investment. Below are a few of the common mistakes fleets make when adding EVs to their business so you can learn from the mistakes of others.

Picking the Wrong
Model of EV

Once left with minimal choice in the EV market, the options
have grown significantly over the last few years and will continue to grow
going forward. With so much choice, it’s more important than ever to research
each EV option available to ensure you choose the right model for your needs to
optimize the benefits and savings that can come along with incorporating EVs in
your fleet. Some important factors to consider when researching EVs for your
fleet are: comfort of drivers and passengers, vehicle range required, charging
options, and the cost versus benefits.

A commonly overlooked factor to consider when choosing an EV
is the “real world” driving conditions the vehicles will face in your fleet.
While the manufacturer will have stated ranges for city and highway driving,
environmental conditions such as steep topography or drastic temperatures will
impact your range and usage. For example, an EV running at high speeds with the
air conditioner or heat going can see over 20% reduction in range.

Not Taking Advantage
of Available Incentives

Since many levels of government have been keen to offer
incentive programs such as tax credits for purchasing EVs since EVs hit the
market, it literally pays to be in the know on what is available to you if you
are looking to purchase or lease an EV. If you’re in the market for an EV, be
sure to research potential incentives at the city, state/province and federal
levels to maximize potential benefits. It’s also worth noting that incentives
are not only seen during the purchase process, and often continue long after
the new car smell wears off.

These further incentives which you may have access to,
include: HOV lane access with single passengers in an EV, grants to install
charging stations, discounts on charging plug-ins from utility providers,
package deals on solar panel installation, and waived sales tax and emissions
inspections. The incentives listed are not meant to be an exhaustive list of
guaranteed incentives as incentives change regularly; you are encouraged to
thoroughly research any possible incentives prior to purchasing an EV.

Getting Zapped for
Poor Charge Management

The idea of an EV is great, but unless you’re smart about
how you use and charge that EV you won’t see the true potential savings and EV
can offer. To begin, it’s important to understand the three systems of
charging.

The first system of charging is uncontrolled charging. Uncontrolled charging consists of starting
to charge the battery as soon as you plug the vehicle in. This method ignores
peak demand and limits your potential savings.

The second system of charging is scheduled charging. This method sees EV owners setting a charging schedule
according to utility pricing to delay the start of charging until the rates are
lowered in the day. This method of charging can save over 20% if done
optimally.

The final system of charging is smart charging. The smartest of the charging systems, this method
delays and reduces charging depending on the demand at the moment. Fleet
operators using this charging method may save over 60% off charging costs
compared to the uncontrolled charging method.

While having the right charging system in place is important
the charging stations used are equally important. There are various types and
levels of EV charging stations so it’s important for anyone considering an EV
to research the options available to find the best fit for their prospective EV
models and their charging needs.

Driving Blind Without
Tapping into Performance Data

EVs have the potential to save fleets a great deal of money,
but only if they are used optimally. While simply running an EV may result in
cost savings, tapping into the performance data of your EVs through telematics
can assist you in getting the most from your investment. EV telematics offers
real-time answers to any questions that arise during electric vehicle use. This
can include daily reports, individual trip details, charging support, and
driver feedback. You will get the most efficient usage of your EV by
understanding every aspect of your EVs performance – EV telematics provides
this important insight.

Missing Your PR
Opportunity

Replacing gas or diesel run fleet vehicles with EVs offers
more than just a money-saving proposition for fleet owners; it’s also an
environmental benefit to your community. EVs reduce local emissions and noise
levels, and this positive community change offers the opportunity to connect with
your community on a deeper level, however many fleets with EVs aren’t taking
advantage of this. Using this PR moment could be something as simple as adding
a “100% zero emissions” sticker on a pure EV vehicle, or adding the information
to your website or newsletter.

While the idea to go electric may sound like a good idea,
and often is for most fleets, there is research that should be done prior to
electrifying your fleet to ensure you get the most out of your investment. If
you’re beginning the research process of finding the right EVs for your fleet,
consider visiting the Geotab Marketplace and taking advantage of the EV
Suitability solution.

If you’ve already gone electric and are looking
to tap into the gold mine of information your vehicle holds, contact GPS to GO
for your EV telematics needs.