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EV And Connected Vehicle Data Can Optimize Electric Fleet Operations

Category:GPS fleet tracker

smarketingDecember 13, 2022

Global car sales have dropped significantly since 2019 due to economic uncertainties and the supply chain crisis. However, one sector is growing consistently - electric vehicles (EVs). One study conducted by Meticulous Research claims that the EV market will continue to grow at a CAGR of 33.6%, citing a noteworthy shift to electronic automobiles in both Light Commercial Vehicles and Heavy Commercial Vehicles. Fleet electrification, augmented by a GPS fleet tracker, has a crucial role in driving the market of electric vehicles.

According to McKinsey, this growth in fleet electrification is the result of incentives, such as restrictive carbon emission regulations, subsidies from the government to reduce the EV purchase price, more investments in charging infrastructure, etc. Apart from these, other projects will make EVs occupy 10% to 15% of all fleet vehicles running on the roads of the USA by 2030.

Then again, the same obstacles impeding EV consumer adoption prevent fleet operators from ensuring reliability and operating optimally. In many cases, fleets have to work under efficiency and time-related constraints.

Route Optimization to Decrease EV Range

One of the most significant barriers preventing EV adoption is the distance they can cover after one recharge cycle. “Range anxiety" is the term used by experts to describe the problem. It is concerning for fleet operators as their vehicles remain on the road constantly, moving from one place to another to deliver goods and services. Fleet vehicles rack up higher daily mileage than the average consumer car. An unscheduled stop will inevitably lead to expensive delays, as it takes almost 20 to 30 minutes to charge a vehicle. Such situations are unacceptable to fleet managers.

Fortunately, a connected vehicle solution can provide relevant data to fleet operators that they can use to plan the daily routes of their vehicles while considering static factors, such as the distance and order of stops, and dynamic aspects, such as road hazards, traffic conditions, and inclement weather. When it comes to EVs, connected vehicle systems can use EV intelligence to gather info from historical data and predict battery “dead zones" dynamically along the route. Once this data is available, an intelligent routing algorithm can offer battery-charging recommendations considering factors, such as availability & charge point types along the route and wait times when the vehicle should be close to the recommended charge point, etc. It optimizes the cost and time per charge, apart from the routes. These factors also have mission-critical roles in choosing the appropriate charging partners or deciding to launch a self-owned-and-operated charge point network. Fleet managers should be able to alert drivers and alter the route to a new optimum to handle unexpected delays that deplete the battery quickly.

The Charging Infrastructure

Another matter of concern is the availability of charging points. One report from Exro states that the public charging infrastructure is the most profound challenge blocking consumers from adopting EVs, primarily emphasizing on charging point accessibility.

Things are much more problematic for fleets because they have to complete deliveries reliably and punctually. Therefore, fleet managers should consider supplementing their onsite charging infrastructure with extra charging options. They have several ways to do so, including depot roaming via partner sites, setting up dedicated sites along the road network, and entering into dedicated agreements with the charging point operators.

The issue of charging is complicated, and it has questions that need answering for every deal or site, around-site design, the perfect mix of charging equipment, which charging provider to work with, power grid sufficiency, etc.

EV intelligence and EV data can answer most of these questions. The former, with a destination/origin matrix of the fleet’s routes, can pinpoint relevant low-battery zones and correlate them with the grid. It can also point to optimal locations to set up charging sites. The latter, on the other hand, informs fleet operators about how they utilize fleet vehicles, the distance covered, routes, and charging characteristics. When put together, these data points can help fleets create a strategy to roll out electric vehicles while maximizing ROI.

Replacement for Fuel Cards

If business owners electrify the vehicles used by employees, they have to answer the question of charging reimbursements. Conventionally, ICEs utilized fuel cards. As a result, the company had the bills handed to it. Charging EVs comes with an entirely new set of challenges. Charge cards will be partially effective, but even then, they limit the driver to specific charging providers, and this situation contributes to range anxiety.

There is also the matter of calculating the cost of charging the vehicle at an employee’s house. This point requires as much consideration as everything else. By utilizing EV data, companies can determine how much they must compensate an employee for at-home charging. Fuel cards are losing relevance with every passing day, especially with a GPS fleet tracker empowered by connected car technology that makes charge reimbursement transparent to employees.

EVs and Telematics - A Game-Changing Combination for Fleet Operations

More and more people are embracing electric vehicles - a move spearheaded by fleet electrification. Fleets can start enjoying cost benefits immediately after replacing ICEs with EVs in the form of government incentives, such as tax rebates and subsidies on the purchase price. After buying the vehicles, fleets can keep reaping operational cost advantages by using EV data to optimize routing, assess suitability, manage EV charge reimbursements, plan battery-charging infrastructure, and more.

Now, what role does a telematics brand like Vyncs have to play here? Creating a sustainable fleet strategy is not going to be child’s play, especially if the business owner has mandates to handle. However, it is achievable with an appropriate plan in place. If you can pull it off, the results will be highly rewarding.

It is precisely where we can help you. We are committed not only to help our fleet customers run their businesses, but also encourage and aid them in the sustainability journey by unearthing insights from real-world data to reduce carbon emissions and expenses without affecting operational efficiency.

Vyncs is a full-service connected car solution that aims to join the EV revolution. We utilize 4G wireless networks to transmit your vehicle’s data to your account, accessible through your computer or Android/iOS smartphone.