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Evidenced by the 2020 Bloomberg New Energy Finance Ltd. (NEF) report, which estimates thirty percent of fleets will be electric by the year 2040, the shift to electric energy is happening quickly. In fact, Commercial Fleet counted 180 electric Light Goods Vehicle (LGV) registrations in the UK during the first quarter of 2020, with another 659 licensed amidst the first lockdown.
As the logistics industry moves swiftly towards energy reduction and alternative energy sources, the technology behind fleet management software used to manage electric vehicle fleets is also advancing rapidly.
Did you know that electric vehicles were first used in the 1830s? Due to fuel shortages caused by WW1, they became a viable alternative to gasoline-powered cars.
While electric fleets are proven to save brands on fuel, time, and maintenance, electric fleets still need telematics and stand to benefit from products like HERE Fleet Telematics and HERE EV Charge Points.
Let's take a closer look at how fleet telematics can help enhance the already sound benefits of switching to an electric fleet.
“Electric vehicles are the right step forward for society: EVs have a smaller carbon footprint than traditional vehicles; they go a long way in easing pollution levels in inner-city areas, and are a far better option than gas and diesel trucks..." – Deepak Patnaik, Product Marketing Manager, HERE Technologies
Over the past decade, one of the major concerns about using EVs has been the relationship between battery charge and trip duration, aka “range anxiety". Running out of battery power occurs for a variety of reasons including new EV drivers accustomed to traveling up to 300kms on a single tank of gas, now forgetting to charge up, as well as the previously limited range of electric batteries.
The fear of running out of power in an electric vehicle before reaching a charging point is still a major barrier to entry for many prospective electric vehicle drivers.
Since 2008 there have been tremendous advances in EV battery technology; driving distance on a single charge has increased and batteries themselves are now smaller, lighter, and less expensive. Also worth noting are the numerous and worldwide government mandates and subsidies which aim to lower vehicle emissions by encouraging fleet operators to switch to EVs.
And there's another advantage: new EV management software, like HERE EV Charge Points and HERE EV Routing, brings increased visibility to battery charging resources and trip planning. The software uses location intelligence to help drivers plan efficient routes based on a variety of factors:
locating the “right" EV charging facility
opening hours, price, and available charger type
brand, number of connectors, and subscription
For logistic managers considering the shift to EVs, there's another benefit to add to the pros and cons list: electric fleets can also be managed, and will greatly benefit from, real-time data, GPS, and other telematics systems that can help streamline fleet operations.
When EV management software includes solutions like HERE Fleet Telematics, managers can plan routes according to important variables including available charging options, fuel levels (for hybrids and gas vehicles), delivery schedules, and/or customer ETAs.
Having the ability to guarantee that drivers are charging or refueling vehicles at the right time can help shrink operational costs. Also, with fleet telematics, managers can gain access to business analytics via historical data to see which vehicles are top-performers or where to make improvements. This level of visibility is also useful when scheduling maintenance and can influence drivers to optimize fleet usage.
“...Will I reach my destination with the amount of charge left? What if I were to turn on the air-conditioning? Where is the closest compatible charging station that offers fast charging?... The aim is to eliminate range anxiety." – Deepak Patnaik, Product Marketing Manager, HERE Technologies
Like any other fleet, an electric fleet can be the most important set of assets for a logistics company, organization, or city. And that means taking necessary measures and implementing technologies to ensure that vehicles are performing at their best.