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.