Electric fleet management and traditional fleet management - have many similarities, but also a few differences. While you will want to continue monitoring traditional fleet metrics such as utilization, there are brand new metrics to monitor with EVs, such as SOC, charging session details and for plug-in hybrids electric miles versus gasoline miles.
Geotab provides a platform where you can monitor your EVs and conventional vehicles together. There are four distinct benefits to having everything under one roof:
1. Optimizing electric range through fuel efficiency measurement.
2. Reporting on charging activities.
3. Using real-time information to make decisions about your fleet.
4. EV Diagnostics.
Optimizing electric range through fuel efficiency measurement
The Geotab platform can help in many ways to optimize the range of your electric fleet. The first way is through reporting of kilowatt-hours per mile (kWh per mile), or alternatively, the fuel efficiency of your EVs. This allows you to compare the efficiencies of each vehicle, and help adjust operational behaviour to increase this efficiency. Safe driving practices, such as smooth braking and smooth acceleration can help increase the electric range of the vehicle. The larger the range of the vehicle, the less time that vehicle has to spend charging.
This kWh per mile reporting makes it easy to measure fuel consumption by the electric vehicles as well. The Geotab platform reports this not only as kWh/mile, but also a MPGe. For your 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?
Reporting on charging activities
One of the biggest challenges fleet managers face with electric vehicles is reporting on charging activities. Currently, there is a mix of way that fleets can do this through charging station providers and electricity bills. However, this is only a partial solution.
For a true equivalency to conventional assets you need to be able to account for each kWh charged for each vehicle, same as you would with the number of gallons of gasoline or diesel. The Geotab platform reports this for each vehicle as a record from a charging session, along with the location of that charging session, the length of charging session, the kw rate of the charging session, the starting SOC, the end of SOC, and the time of the session. This allows a fleet to be able to fully allocate the costs of charging per vehicle, instead of per facility as with an electric bill.
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), you 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.
Using real-time information to make decisions about your fleet
The third benefit of having an all-in one telematics solution for your electric and conventional vehicles is the ability to leverage real-time information on your electric vehicles to help optimize your fleet’s operating abilities. Geotab reports the live SOC of a vehicle, which can be partnered with the powerful MyGeotab rules engine to aid with plug-in compliance and charging optimization.
Using the rules engine and real-time SOC, you are able to ensure plug-in compliance based on SOC. If the vehicles have a consistent route and use, you can set a rule to ensure it is charging when it is below the SOC required to complete their route the next day. This can help minimize vehicle downtime due to charging.
The live SOC also gives an indication of the range available on the vehicle, so an operation is able to react in real-time to developing situations and respond with a vehicle that has an appropriate level of charge.
The SOC also supports fleet pool management by giving an indication of vehicles that need to be charged. This ensures that a vehicle has enough charge when it is booked for a journey. Similar to the application of the rules engine above, if the vehicle is returned to a home base, using the SOC reading, a Geotab alert can be sent out to ensure the vehicle is plugged in and charging for the next user. This helps ensure that the EVs in a shared fleet pool application will have a high utilization.
Diagnostic codes are key 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 new electric fleet.
Advanced EV adoption
Once you have your electric fleet up and running, new challenges will reveal themselves. For example, how do you manage your EV fleet’s charging so that you are minimizing your fleet expenses? Geotab can help with this through a charging station-agnostic, SOC-based smart-charging product. As your EV fleet grows, you will want to maximize the use of your charging infrastructure while minimizing the expense of your electricity bill.
A non SOC-based smart-charging solution charges the vehicles that are plugged in first, which are not always the vehicles that need the longest amount of time to charge. This runs the risk that your drivers will not have enough energy in their vehicles to complete their journey the next day. By implementing a smart-charging solution that is based on the vehicle SOC, you can prioritize charging and avoid delay or downtime, by ensuring that the vehicles needing to be charged the longest to reach their target SOC are charged first.
As electrification continues to become a priority to save fleets on fuel costs, and reduce carbon emissions, it is key to have a telematics platform that can provide all the necessary tooling to monitor your conventional vehicles and your electric vehicles. By having all your information in one place, you are empowering your fleet managers to optimize the fleet usage, and ensure that you are getting the maximum return on investment from your electric fleet.
Geotab offers this platform to help you, and your fleet continue adapting to the changing fleet world, and make the transition from conventional to electric smoother than ever before.
For more information on EV fleet management, please contact us email@example.com
EV Diagnostics — Vehicle system information and fault codes which can be collected via telematics and used to monitor the health of an EV as part of a vehicle maintenance program.
EVSA — An electric vehicle suitability assessment (EVSA) is a customized Geotab report for fleet and sustainability managers providing a multi-year procurement plan for EVs including ROI and a forecast of emissions reduction.
kWh per mile — The kilowatt-hours per mile (kWh per mile) represents how much electricity an EV uses in one mile driven, indicating its fuel efficiency.
Maximum Range — The total number of miles an EV can be driven before it needs to stop and recharge.
MPGe — Miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent (MPGe) is a metric used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to compare the fuel economy of EVs and other alternative fuel vehicles with gas-powered vehicles.
MyGeotab Rules Engine — A feature of the Geotab telematics platform that allows users to set fleet management rules for drivers such as for maximum speed limit, idling time, or EV charging, then monitor compliance in MyGeotab.
Plug-in Hybrid — A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) has a two-part drive system, including an electric drive and a small internal combustion engine running on fuel. The two main other types of EVs are hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV).
Range Anxiety — An EV driver’s fear of running out of electricity before the end of a trip.
State of Charge (SOC) — The amount of battery power left in an EV, as measured in percentage.
Vehicle Dwell — Where a fleet vehicle resides when it is not in use.
Zero-Emissions — A global movement towards sustainability based on EVs generating lower or zero greenhouse gas emissions and use of other clean, sustainable technology.