7 Reasons Why Telematics is Key to an Electric Fleet
If you have already started to make the switch to an electric fleet, then you will know just how valuable vehicle-side data can be. To begin, it helps the fleet manager identify the vehicles that are the best candidates for replacement based on fuel efficiency, revealing those that are the least efficient within their duty cycles and vehicle classes.
Vehicle-side data then helps the fleet manager to right size the electric vehicle (EV) replacement to the duty cycle that it’s intended for, without the risk of impacting performance. This data enables you to plan your EV acquisitions and ensure that each purchase will generate the fastest savings and greatest environmental efficiencies.
As you build your fleet of electric vehicles, a telematics system that is fully compatible with all vehicle types including EVs will provide you with invaluable vehicle-side data to ensure that the fleet is optimally managed.
Telematics software enables the fleet manager to manage the entire fleet as it evolves towards electric, reducing fleet operating costs, increasing vehicle and driver efficiency, improving driver safety and maximizing EV utilization and effectiveness.
1. Increasing the Usage of Electric Pool Vehicles
Many businesses and municipalities lease or purchase electric vehicles to create a carpool for employees to use for meetings, site visits, and other business travel. This can represent an incredibly cost-effective way to reduce their carbon footprint, emissions, and operating costs. However, to get the most out of this pool of EVs and to deliver the fastest ROI on investment, the vehicles must be optimally utilized.
Telematics software can work together with time scheduling software to ensure that pool EVs are used at this optimum level, ensuring that the higher costs of purchase can be paid off faster through lower mileage costs.
2. Identifying Suitable Charging Locations
A limited charging infrastructure can directly affect EV fleet efficiency and ROI. The placement of these charging points is also important to ensure that operations can be optimized to allow for the mileage range of your EVs.
GPS data from telematics software can help to inform this decision, by showing usage patterns and highlighting where vehicles in the fleet regularly congregate and remain stationary for prolonged periods of time. This data provides an important indicator when planning where to locate the additional charging infrastructure, so as to extend the range of your plug-in vehicles.
3. Providing Easy Access to Complete Charging Data
Without telematics, it can be challenging, costly and time-consuming to track electric vehicle charging data across your whole fleet.
Vehicle-side data makes it fast and easy to calculate charging costs, enables you to reimburse your employees for home-charging and safeguards you against any fraudulent use of your charging infrastructure.
4. Optimizing the Health of Your Vehicles
A telematics system compatible with EVs will provide the fleet manager with comprehensive information to help you monitor and optimize the health of your vehicles.
Those systems that are equipped with onboard diagnostics (OBD) and enhanced vehicle signals will be able to keep a record of all diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) reported by the vehicle. Alerts can be automatically issued when new DTCs are generated, providing the fleet manager with complete visibility of the up-to-date issues for each vehicle in the fleet.
Armed with this information, you can optimize your preventative maintenance program, getting vehicles into service when early problem signs originate, rather than having to wait to carry out more expensive maintenance when larger faults are finally noticed by your drivers or operations team.
5. Increasing the Efficiency of EVs
Telematics software tracks driver behaviors such as heavy braking, harsh acceleration and corning. These driving styles are all causes of lower EV efficiency, which in turn result in a reduced mileage range for your vehicles.
Fleet managers can use the reports that the telematics software generates to provide drivers with training specific to the development needs that will help them to improve the efficiency of the vehicles.
6. Improving Vehicle and Driver Safety
As well as reducing the efficiency of your electric vehicles, harsh braking, acceleration and corning are also driver behaviors that have been linked to increased accident rates.
The telematics software provides the fleet manager with driver by driver reports that can be used to inform eco-driver and continuous improvement training for your personnel. Investing the time in working with drivers to reduce their incidents of aggressive driving will pay back greatly in reduced accident costs and associated insurance premiums.
7. Increasing Route Productivity
With real-time GPS tracking across all your fleet, your dispatch team will be able to keep a real-time track on each and every driver location. When a new job comes on after the shift has been dispatched, it can be easily allocated to the closest driver at that time, improving job success rates. It also enables dispatch to provide customers with live updates on arrival time, improving customer service performance and making for happier customers.
With GPS systems in the vehicle cabs, your drivers will never get lost again. Reducing the time that drivers spend getting lost notably decreases route times and increases productivity. When these efficiencies are summed over the entire fleet, dispatch will find that they are able to complete significantly more jobs within the same shift time.
FleetCarma’s Fleet Management Software
Our Fleet Management Software provides full compatibility with EVs, while also supporting gas, diesel, and hybrid vehicles. This means that you can manage the entire fleet as it evolves towards electric, reducing operating costs, increasing vehicle and driver efficiency and safety, and maximizing EV utilization, all on just one management platform.
For EVs, the FleetCarma’s software is unique in providing data on all charging events, including charging power, charger energy, charger loss, and starting & ending state-of-charge, so that you can tell the difference between operational issues that are reducing performance, and a fading battery.
And, with reports on idle fraction, fuel consumption, eco-driving score, CO2 emissions, electricity consumption, battery health, electric fraction (for PHEVs) and more, you’ll find making your fleet leaner and greener easier than ever before.