7 Feb 23

Fleet managers say telematics 'almost essential' for EV adoption

Connected technology is vital for planning charging and calculating mileage reimbursement, say UK fleet operators.

The nationwide organisation representing UK fleet managers has declared telematics to be “almost essential” for any fleet looking to introduce electric vans and work cars.

The Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP) said connected vehicle technology holds the solution to two key challenges: firstly, when, where and for how long these EVs are charged; and, secondly, calculating accurate reimbursement rates for business miles.

AFP members include several major fleets with more than 1,000 EVs, providing the association with robust data and insights into the operation of battery-powered vehicles.


Stewart Lightbody, vice chair of the AFP, said: “A key message we are receiving from these members is that in the majority of job-need cases, telematics is proving almost essential to a smooth electrification process. It’s a key element in ensuring that the best option is employed at the best time in terms of convenience and range with the aim of minimising charging downtime.”

He cited the example of many electric van operators now timing the recharging of their vehicles to coincide with drivers’ breaks, to minimise downtime and maximise employee productivity.

Clever charging

Telematics is also allowing fleet decision makers to monitor charging behaviour, ensuring that drivers are only rapid charging batteries to 80% capacity and not wasting time trickle charging from 80% to 100% capacity.

“This is seen as the most productive balance of work availability against charging time,” he said.

Minimising charging costs

Other fleets are paying closer attention to charging costs, rather than vehicle uptime, and trying to minimise ultra-rapid motorway charging, while maximising home charging.

“Low operating costs are an essential part of their electrification objectives,” said Lightbody.

Finding charge points

Connected vehicle technology is also helping fleets to plan routes in areas where public charging infrastructure is limited.

“In all of these instances, the use of telematics makes planning and monitoring much easier, showing the location and type of chargers in relation to the vehicle route and allowing charging strategies to be implemented effectively,” said Lightbody.

And from a company car or van driver’s perspective, the precise tracking of business journeys by telematics systems makes it much easier for employers to calculate the actual cost of electricity used, so mileage reimbursement is fair.

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Authored by: Jonathan Manning