What is Electric Vehicle Fleet Management?
The objective of Electric vehicle fleet management is overseeing the charging needs of fleet drivers and electric vehicles as well as ensuring the EV charging infrastructure is optimized to fulfill those needs.
Increasing pressure from governments and a zero-emissions corporate agenda are driving commercial fleets to accelerate their adoption of electric vehicles.
However, the journey to fleet electrification is complex and challenging, with countless decisions to make, from the vehicles and charging infrastructure used to operations and onboarding
of personnel and drivers.
EV fleet management considers the big issues of fleet electrification and electric vehicle charging requirements. The volume of vehicles and distances traveled must be analyzed to determine the number of depot and/or “on the road” charge points required and the distance between them – whether owned and operated by the fleet owner, public charge points, or home-based charge points for lighter vehicles. This directly addresses the issue of range anxiety, ensuring fleet drivers have access to charge points when and where they need them, whether on the road or at the depot, so they can complete their missions.
What should EV fleet operators care about?
EV charging infrastructure planning is critical to fleet electrification success.
All fleets, regardless of size and purpose, share common challenges that while they may vary in intensity, introduce the need for charging automation and management.
These challenges and others must be addressed so EV fleet managers can focus on their work rather than worry about vehicle charging.
The common element that serves as a solution for all types of fleets is a centralized platform for EV fleet charging and energy management.
Ideally, an EV fleet management solution will provide EV fleet operators a unified insights-driven view that will help them manage and optimize their EV fleet utilization and drivers’ satisfaction.
In addition, EV fleet managers and EV fleet facility mangers would consider focusing on these factors:
- EV charging infrastructure operational excellence – Ensuring chargers’ reliability, stability, and availability, 24/7.
- Self-service tools – EV fleet drivers need an easy way to make charging reservations – either at the depot or away, which is best delivered via a self-service app. Simultaneously, fleet managers need self-service tools to monitor and manage EV charging for the entire fleet.
- Energy optimization – There is an immense amount of energy needed to charge several vehicles simultaneously, especially larger ones, and energy availability can be a huge
concern. Smart charging ensures that power is smartly provided to individual charge points and vehicles, while smart energy management balances power between the overall charging site – the depot – and the grid. Energy planning and management is especially critical for fleet depots, allowing drivers to charge and go on-demand.
- EV Roaming – Longer-haul vehicles need to be able to charge anywhere, and eRoaming will allow them to charge at any site with a seamless experience.
- Fleet monitoring – While traditional metrics still hold when managing an EV fleet – fleet utilization, average vehicle speed, etc. – EV fleet management has additional data to consider – charging behavior, charging station health, state of charge, energy consumption and charging session data – such as time and location. Real-time analytics support fleet managers in their business decision making processes.
- Financial management – EV fleet management systems must consider not only the charging operations, but the financial issues as well. E.g.: EV fleet drivers charging at home need to be reimbursed for power usage. Roaming clearing for vehicles charging “away” needs to be addressed as well.
To summarize, As EV fleets and charging infrastructure continue to grow rapidly, fleet managers and facility managers can have the peace of mind that their vehicles will be charged when needed, with satisfied drivers. And that they are managing their operations optimally, now and tomorrow, and helping heal the world by realizing the vision of an emissions-free transportation future.