Electric mobility has arrived in commercial fleets, and has become indispensable. However, the integration of electric vehicles in the fleet can be a challenging matter for fleet management, as there are a number of points to consider in electric vehicle operation. A fleet management system that is linked to the charging management of electric vehicles offers enormous optimization potential. It simplifies the complexity of fleet electrification and supports cost-effective as well as resource-efficient operational mobility.
Webfleet and IO-Dynamics show why fleet and charging management must go hand in hand for successful electric fleet operation.
New challenges in electric fleet operation
With a telematics system, fleet managers have their entire fleet of commercial vehicles such as cars, vans, trucks, and buses at a glance to ensure the smoothest possible operation and reduce administrative effort and costs. Fleet managers have an overview of the vehicles and their readiness for use at all times. But drivers, administrative staff and other employees involved in fleet operation also benefit from a fleet management system.
If electric vehicles are to be integrated into the fleet, new challenges arise for fleet managers. For example, it must be considered that electric vehicles have a lead time and are not ready for use in every moment. Time periods for recharging electric vehicles must be planned into fleet operation, and orders must also be coordinated based on range and charging capacity. Another challenge that comes with electric mobility in the fleet is the additional electricity required to charge the vehicles. To illustrate, an electric vehicle draws as much electricity from the grid when charging as a single-family home. Charging an electric fleet therefore generates large energy requirements that must be covered to prevent the company's site from being overloaded with grid power and thus incurring high electricity costs.
Intelligent charging of electric vehicles in the fleet
Range and vehicle availability play a central role in electric mobility. Intelligent charging management simplifies the complexity of electric fleet operation. It creates a link between vehicles, charging stations, energy suppliers and fleet stakeholders. Vehicle charging operations are automatically controlled and coordinated by a charging management system, making charging processes much more efficient. Due to limited electricity access, it is essential to operate multiple electric cars at one location in a smooth and cost-efficient manner.
Transparency through vehicle data
But intelligent charging management only works well if it knows about the vehicles' deployment needs. A fleet management solution based on telematics that provides access to relevant vehicle data is therefore key to successful electric vehicle operation.
By combining fleet and charging management, more targeted decisions can be made about how and when vehicles are charged. Linked to route planning, for example, vehicle bookings can be made intuitively. Depending on battery health, required charge level and available range are displayed. All collected data of the vehicles, such as availability, usage, and health of the vehicles, can be viewed transparently. Real-time charging status notifications are provided automatically. By intelligently controlling the charging processes, fleet management knows exactly which vehicles are available for a given trip.
A combined fleet and charging management system makes the operation of electric vehicles efficient, transparent and cost-effective. On the one hand, fleet management has an overview of the vehicles and charging infrastructure at all times; on the other hand, all charging processes are controlled automatically and adapted to the capacity limits of the power grid. The electric vehicle fleet is managed reliably, and the electric vehicles are charged optimally as well as according to demand.
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