Operating challenges of electric corporate fleets and how to solve them - Part 2

May 01, 2024 · 7 min read · blog

As we continue our discussion about the electrification of corporate fleets, it's clear that the transition from traditional to electric vehicles is more than just a trend—it's a strategic move in today's environmentally-conscious business world. In Part 1, we discussed the compelling reasons behind fleet electrification and introduced the Volteum Electric Fleet Planner, a tool that simplifies the initial transition. However, the journey doesn't end with the acquisition of new electric vehicles.

The real challenge begins when these EVs are deployed for daily operations. From range management to charging logistics, fleet managers must now navigate a new set of operational intricacies to ensure that the electrification project translates into long-term success. In this second part, we summarize the challenges of operating an EV fleet and how the Volteum Electric Fleet Operations tool can assist in achieving seamless EV fleet management.

Common operational challenges for electric corporate fleets

Operating a fleet of electric vehicles presents a unique set of challenges that require strategic management and innovative solutions. Fleet managers often encounter the following obstacles:

  • Range anxiety: concerns about a vehicle's ability to cover the required distance on a single charge can lead to range anxiety. This is particularly present in cases where daily routes are unpredictable or extend beyond the typical range of an EV.
  • Charging logistics: developing an efficient charging infrastructure is critical. Managers must consider the placement of charging stations, the time required to charge vehicles between routes, and the impact of charging times on fleet availability.
  • Route planning: electric vehicles require a different approach to route planning. Managers must account for factors such as the availability of charging points along the route, the energy consumption patterns of EVs, and the need to optimize routes to prevent range depletion.
  • Energy management: efficient energy management is crucial to maximize the performance of EVs. It involves monitoring energy use, understanding the impact of weather and terrain on consumption, and scheduling vehicle use to align with energy demands and charging availability.

By acknowledging and addressing these challenges, fleet managers can ensure that their electric fleets operate with maximum efficiency and reliability - and most importantly, they don’t need to do it all by themselves.

Introducing the Volteum Electric Fleet Operations

Volteum's Electric Fleet Operations has been developed to elevate the management and performance of corporate electric fleets. Our platform maximizes efficiency, ensures operational reliability, and streamlines fleet management processes. The main benefits of the Electric Fleet Operations tool include:

  • Efficient task management and range confidence:
    • Enhances operational confidence with precise range predictions to increase job completion rates.
    • Ensures smart routing for optimal EV usage, boosting the accuracy of range estimates.
    • Meets daily operational demands efficiently, facilitating a smooth workflow.
  • Seamless integration of mixed fleets:
    • Enables effective management of mixed fleets, combining electric and conventional vehicles, optimizing both efficiency and environmental impact.
    • Offers route optimization tailored for EVs and internal combustion engine vehicles.
    • Leverages the strengths of EVs in suitable environments while balancing the fleet composition to meet both current and future operational needs.
  • Sustainability and compliance reporting:
    • Directly supports the realization of corporate sustainability goals through improved EV fleet management and utilization.
    • Helps to substantially lower the fleet's carbon emissions, contributing to a cleaner environment.

The Electric Fleet Operations tool not only simplifies EV fleet management — it's also a powerful solution to achieve sustainability standards and ESG goals. Now, just as we did in Part 1, let’s see an imaginary scenario of how our solution can help a company operate its EV fleet through a tangible and practical example.

A tangible example: Operating a utility company's corporate fleet

Following the electrification of their corporate fleet, Power & Water Utilities Corp. leveraged the Electric Fleet Operations tool to optimize their daily operations. Here's how the tool's features were put into practice:

  1. EV range simulation: utilizing EV range simulation, we provided Power & Water Utilities Corp. with precise range estimates for their electric vehicles. This feature took into account specific route conditions such as elevation changes, traffic patterns, and weather, ensuring that the company had accurate predictions for each vehicle, thus eliminating range anxiety.
  2. Route optimization: our route optimization feature organized daily tasks in the most efficient sequence, maximizing EV usage. By planning routes that fit within the EVs' optimal range, we ensured that technicians could complete their scheduled jobs without the worry of running out of power.
  3. Charging schedule optimization: we developed a tailored charging schedule for the company's EVs, considering their individual usage patterns and the availability of the charging infrastructure. This optimization allowed for the fleet to operate effectively, with each vehicle being charged and ready for its next task without unnecessary downtime.
  4. Mixed fleet planning: recognizing that Power & Water Utilities Corp. would operate a mixed fleet during the transition period, our tool managed both EVs and conventional vehicles seamlessly. It optimized routes by considering the unique capabilities of each vehicle type, ensuring that every job was assigned to the most suitable and efficient vehicle.
  5. Live monitoring: with our live monitoring feature, fleet managers could track their fleet's state of charge in real-time, schedule charging sessions, and prioritize vehicles in need of charging. The integrated dashboard provided a comprehensive view of the fleet's status, and the system's ability to adjust to real-time issues allowed for manual intervention when necessary.

By integrating the Electric Fleet Operations tool, Power & Water Utilities Corp. not only optimized its fleet's performance but also upheld its commitment to sustainability. The tool's advanced features allowed for a harmonious blend of efficiency, reliability, and environmental responsibility, ensuring that the company's services remained uninterrupted and eco-friendly.

Conclusion: Electrifying corporate fleets with comprehensive solutions

The journey to electrifying a corporate fleet is a complex but rewarding project that extends far beyond the initial switch to EVs. As we have explored in this two-part series, the strategic approach to fleet electrification and management is an ongoing process that demands both the right tools and a forward-thinking mindset.

The Volteum Electric Fleet Planner and Operations tools together provide a comprehensive solution that addresses the full spectrum of electrification challenges - from the initial analysis and planning phase to the daily operational demands of an active electric fleet. As more companies start their fleet electrification journey, the role of intelligent electrification solutions becomes more and more critical, and for those ready to take the next step toward a sustainable and efficient future, our team is here to assist. Reach out to us, and let's electrify your fleet together.

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