15 Oct 20

Madrid uses telematics to prove EV fleet’s green success

Connected telematics data has given the city of Madrid essential emissions information to support the uptake of electric vehicles.

The Spanish capital is the lead partner in a major four-year pan-European green transport programme that comes to an end next month. Called Civitas Eccentric, the project started in September 2016 in Madrid, Stockholm, Munich, Turku (Finland) and Ruse (Bulgaria). Its aim was to demonstrate and test innovative sustainable mobility solutions, including the electrification of transport.

250 EVs

Enrique Garcia, from the Department of Climate Change at Madrid City Council, said the municipal fleet had acquired more than 250 electric cars, vans and motorbikes, and installed more than 100 fast chargers at 38 charging stations, but it needed empirical proof of the environmental benefits of running the zero emission vehicles. As a result, the council decided to install a Geotab telematics system in 19 Renault Zoe cars operated by the city’s waste management service for site inspections.

By tracking the vehicles between August 2019 and January 2020, the fleet department was able to measure CO2 savings, reductions in NOx and particulate emissions, total energy consumption, kilometres driven, and calculate a total cost of ownership.

Weather impacts batteries

The results revealed that the energy consumption of the batteries has a close relationship with external temperatures, rising sharply between summer, when the average consumption was 13.06kWh per 100km, and winter when the figure rose to 20.34kWh per 100km due primarily to heating in the cars. For some fleets the 56% difference in range of a single battery charge could be significant enough to require different charging solutions and alternative route planning between summer and winter.

The connected data also highlighted how the typical time of day to recharge the cars was between 11am and 1pm, a midday peak due to the fleet’s logistics.

“This kind of information allows you to address your charging strategy and link it with the level of price of your grid suppliers. It’s very important information,” said Garcia.

Calculating CO2 savings

The telematics data also revealed that during the four-month trial the EV fleet saved 4.3 tonnes of CO2 emissions, a reduction of 61% compared to running internal combustion engine versions of the same cars. The result provides compelling evidence of the opportunity for EVs to help businesses shrink the size of their carbon footprints.

For Garcia, the richness of the data gathered from the connected vehicles has gone well beyond the system’s original objectives.

“At the beginning we just wanted to work on key environmental indicators, but the solution provided by Geotab has allowed our fleet managers to do an analysis focusing on logistical aspects of their fleets,” he said.

“We have been able to know, for example, the level of use of each vehicle, identifying which are over used or under used. This is our first experience of managing a fleet using a professional telematics solution and we have realised that these kind of solutions offer a huge potential for our fleet mangers. We are now considering extending it to our whole electric fleet.”

Photo: Renault

Authored by: Jonathan Manning