Centrica: Developing a successful charging solution for EV fleets
Providing Centrica Business with the tools to nurture long-term customer relationships.
When Centrica Business began the process of electrifying its fleet of 14,000 vehicles – the third largest commercial fleet in the UK – the distributed energy and power company faced a number of challenges. At the same time, the company also planned to launch Centrica Electric Vehicle Services (CEVS) to help other businesses tackle the challenges of transitioning to the EV future. Centrica Business knew that it needed a scalable, intelligent and easy-to-use EV charging software to manage both of these tasks, which is why it chose to work with Driivz.
All EV fleets need to be primed and ready to overcome general EV obstacles such as the availability of chargers, cost of charging, ability to prioritise which cars are charged first and whether drivers can charge at home. By integrating the Driivz platform into CEVS, drivers of Centrica Business’ own fleet and those of its customers gain access to a self-service portal which addresses and answers all of their EV charging needs. They can manage their own accounts, set up payment plans and identify, reserve and be directed to the next available Centrica charge point.
More specifically for Centrica Business, their charging solution needs to address the requirements of both back-to-home – drivers charging at home – and back-to-depot fleets. Drivers in back-to-home fleets need their charging costs to be reimbursed in their salaries, while back-to-depot fleets need to ensure that all EVs have a place to charge, that there will always be enough energy to charge the entire fleet and that charging takes place at the most economic time of the day.
The Driivz platform makes it easy for Centrica Business to compensate drivers for home charging thanks to its billing system, which streamlines billing operations, maximises billed transactions, increases profitability and reduces costs. Centrica Business has also linked up its Hive Active Heating smart product with its CEVS offering to ensure that these fleets are being managed in the smartest, most efficient way possible.
Meanwhile, for back-to-depot fleets, Driivz’s advanced energy management tools make sure that EVs are charging at the right time of day and in the right priority order. The Driivz platform actively monitors the capacity of energy sources and the activity of every charging station at each depot, responds to incoming vehicles in real-time and allocates energy consumption. These advanced automated management tools result in a reduction in total cost of ownership for Centrica Business.
CEVS has been running since the beginning of 2019, with fleet drivers from Centrica Business and its customers being able to charge at home, at work and on the road easily thanks to Driivz’s all-encompassing EV charging solution. The next steps for the project are to analyse and use data to futureproof against potential issues with energy supply and demand as customer demand grows. Centrica Business is also aiming to allow its customers to integrate their EV chargers with existing energy infrastructure to generate, store and manage their own power, plus access local energy management services.
“The combination of Driivz’s platform with our software and products gives us much greater functionality than before.”
Jonathan Tudor, Director of Technology and Innovation Strategy for Centrica Innovations
Driivz is providing the tools so that Centrica Business can expand its CEVS operations. The company announced in summer 2019 that it was partnering up with automotive giant Ford to deliver a dedicated home charging installation service and EV tariffs from British Gas and Bord Gáis Energy that will allow Ford customers across the UK and Ireland to benefit from lower energy prices for overnight charging. This partnership will mean that drivers of Ford EVs will feel the benefit of the Driivz platform too.