How Does Electric Vehicle Fleet Management Differ from Gas or Diesel-Powered Vehicle Fleet Management?
While there are many similarities between managing electric fleet vehicles and gas or diesel-powered fleet vehicles, there are some new types of data for fleet managers to use to their advantage that are unique to electric vehicles. Some of the new types of data electric vehicles offer fleet managers include status of charge (SOC), charging session details and details on electric kilometers or miles versus gasoline kilometers or miles for plug-in hybrid EVs.
Though some might think adding EVs to a fleet means adding a new system to monitor them will also be required, this is far from the truth! With GPS to GO and the Geotab devices and platform we so proudly stand behind and offer to our clients, fleet managers can monitor EVs and conventional vehicles all together under one platform! This means you can enjoy the same easy-to-use devices and platforms and expand your fleet management with the following benefits of choosing GPS to GO and Geotab for your EVs.
Optimize Electric Range by Measuring Efficiency
Whether adding one, a few, dozens, or hundreds of electric vehicles to a fleet it’s a big business decision and can be a significant investment which is why you should get the most out of each and every EV in your fleet. That is why to optimize the electric range of any EVs in your fleet you should be monitoring and measuring the efficiency of each vehicle. The information gathered from your EVs by the Geotab devices and platform allow you to compare the efficiencies of each EV and adjust operational behaviour to increase efficiency. Through the correction of aggressive acceleration and/or braking, the electric range of an EV can be increased drastically, lowering the amount of time vehicles have to spend charging. For plug-in hybrids, a blended MPGe is reported in addition to the electric kWh/mile and conventional MPG. Being able to capture this fuel efficiency is key to understanding how your plug-in hybrids are being driven. Are they being driven as electric vehicles or as conventional vehicles?
Complete Reporting on Charging Activities
Fleets with EVs reporting on charging activities through information from charging station providers and electricity bills are currently only using a partial solution, however by using the Geotab devices and platform fleet managers can account for each kWh charged for each individual vehicle, much like they would with the amount of fuel used per vehicle for conventional gas or diesel-powered fleet vehicles. The Geotab platform offers records from charging sessions which include the location of the charging session, the length of the charging session, the kW rate of the charging session, the starting Status of Charge, the end Status of Charge, and the time of the charging session. This allows fleet managers to take the guesswork out of determining their fleet charging costs and better manage EV assets.
In addition to knowing the electricity usage by asset, tracking the location of each charge will help understand how the vehicles charging are contributing to overall building load. With a record of charging events (by vehicle and at what kW rate), fleet managers can start to optimize charging to help lessen the building load during peak time.
A record of charging by asset shows you charging patterns for different vehicles and lets you measure plug-in compliance — another charging optimization strategy. Using telematics data, you can understand when vehicles are charging and ensure that they are charging every day to maximize the electric range available to the driver. Plug-in compliance is one of the largest issues facing fleets, and can be obscured if charging is not recorded on a by-asset basis.
Optimizing Fleet Operations with Real-Time Information
With Geotab, there’s no waiting for information on your fleets status or performance, you get the details that matter most to your business in real-time. Using the live SOC of your fleet EVs along with the powerful MyGeotab rules engine, you can optimize your fleet’s plug-in compliance and charging. This can be done by setting charging rules based on SOC. For example, if you have vehicles that have consistent routes and uses, you are able to create a rule that those vehicles charge when below the SOC required to complete their route the next day. This helps minimize vehicle downtime due to charging. The real-time SOC information also helps when the unexpected happens, but showing which vehicles have the appropriate level of charge to complete the task needed.
Another way Geotab takes the guesswork and hassle out of fleet management is through further use of the MyGeotab rules engine and alert notifications, so even on the busiest of days; nothing gets forgotten or delayed if it’s important for your fleet’s success. Real-time SOC reporting indicates the vehicles in need of charging to ensure it will have enough charge for its next journey. When a vehicle returns back to a home base another Geotab alert can be sent out, using the SOC reading on arrival as reference, to ensure the vehicle gets plugged in and is charged sufficiently for the next user.
Diagnostics for All Fleet Vehicles on One Platform Diagnostic codes are critical for monitoring a vehicle’s health. Although EVs have longer maintenance cycles, thereby reducing the general maintenance costs for the fleet, it is still important to monitor overall vehicle health and leverage warranty repairs where applicable. Geotab’s electric vehicle monitoring platform will present the EV diagnostics alongside your conventional vehicles diagnostic codes, providing an easy solution for applying a traditional fleet management responsibility to your electric fleet.
If you’re ready to experience the benefits of choosing GPS to GO for your EV fleet vehicles, contact us today to get started!