As we draw closer to the 2035 ICE ban, more and more organisations are beginning to adopt electric vehicle (EV) fleets in favour of those that use petrol and diesel. However, despite the obvious benefits of transitioning to a green fleet, select fleet managers will be wondering how they can maximise the efficiency of these new vehicles.
After all, one of the fundamentals of fleet management is in optimising a vehicle fleet in order to make it run more efficiently. Up until today, this implied a heavy focus on reducing overall fuel consumption. Considering that EVs do not consume fuel, many fleet managers will be wondering whether the same principles can still be applied.
To answer this question and help fleet managers with their task, we’ve put together this guide of efficiency tips for EV fleets.
Encourage smooth driving
Efficiency with EVs primarily concerns extending the vehicle’s battery range as much as possible. Data shows that smoother and more gentle driving habits increase the range of an EV substantially. In fact, the Department of Energy says that driving 10 mph slower than usual uses around 15% less energy. Similarly, avoiding harsh braking will support the additional range you get from a regenerative braking system. Such driving behaviour also improves safety while reducing component wear and tear, resulting in better longevity for your EVs.
Plan energy-efficient routes
Optimised route planning is nothing new within fleet management. Although, when planning routes for EV fleets, fleet managers will now have to take into account energy efficiency. For example, the use of A-roads and motorways is a lot more efficient than using urban roads and rural B-roads. EV energy consumption increases greatly in these latter low-speed areas, and so only using them when absolutely necessary will decrease how often your fleet drivers have to detour in order to charge their EV.
Take care of your EV battery
The health of an EV battery directly affects the vehicle’s range, making it integral that it is treated properly if it is to remain at a condition which produces maximum efficiency. Fleet managers can prolong the life of an EV battery by charging it regularly, while keeping its state of charge (SoC) between 10-80% and only charging to 100% when longer distances need covering. Try to avoid letting your battery run out and only use rapid chargers infrequently to reduce battery degradation over time.
Turn off additional features
Additional features in an EV, such as the heating, radio, and climate control, draw power from the vehicle's battery. These features should be turned off when possible to conserve vehicle range and thereby maximise energy efficiency. Instead, encourage your drivers to opt for external options like heated steering wheels alongside preconditioning in respective weather.
Perform EV maintenance
Like with any vehicle, EVs run most efficiently when they are well-maintained, regular maintenance and servicing works to achieve this. If your tyres are in a good condition, then this impacts how efficiently the EV carries out journeys. Likewise, at some point a battery replacement may be necessary to uphold a vehicle’s range length.
Make use of data
As is the case with all vehicle fleets, fleet data is key to making your EVs more efficient. Specifically, fleet management hardware and software can provide fleet managers with actionable insights into fleet vehicles’ charge capacities and how far a vehicle travels every shift. Moreover, data offers a more comprehensive overview of the infrastructure that powers an electric fleet, allowing fleet managers to make informed decisions when choosing EV charging stations. For installing charging stations specifically, there are important metrics to be taken into consideration including the capacity of your grid connection. Therefore, it’s best to be aware of data like this even before you switch.
Implement an EV fleet management solution
Putting these tips into practice is difficult, especially if your business or company has only just transitioned to EVs. It’s for this reason why we at MICHELIN Connected Fleet have developed EV fleet management solutions to help with all that’s involved in the process of making your EV fleet more efficient.
Our solutions offer a streamlined path towards efficiency, and come with our consultative approach to fleet management. If you’re interested in how we can assist your sustainable electric fleet, then be sure to make an enquiry into our services today.
Written by MICHELIN Connected Fleet
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