2 Nov 20

How telematics can smooth the path to electric commercial vehicles

Detailed insight into vehicle performance and routes help fleets to identify which vehicles should transition to battery power first and maximise TCO reduction.

There’s been much talk this year about what electric vehicles (EVs) could mean for commerical mobility. However, certain barriers still exist that prevent some companies from adopting them. In particular, the availability of suitable EVs, the cost of purchasing EVs and the existing fleet mindset all come into play.

In its recent eBook Prepare to Plug In, Webfleet Solutions, Europe’s number one telematics provider, explains how telematics can help overcome some of these core challenges. 

By helping fleets to identify which of their existing vehicles could be switched with an EV, what would be a fit-for-purpose replacement and how much they could reduce both their environmental impact and their running costs by doing so, telematics can smooth the path to EV adoption. 

This is now an urgent issue. With cities such as Amsterdam, Hamburg, London and Paris promising to restrict vehicles with internal combustion engines from as early as 2025, fleets need to start acting now to maintain access to these urban areas.

Here’s where a telematics system can help. It creates insight into current fleet performance, including fuel consumption, driver behaviour, previous trips and mileage

Paul Verheijen, VP Product Management of Webfleet Solutions, said: “Analysing this data will help customers to understand better whether an EV is a suitable choice for replacing an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle in their fleet.”

While EVs do come with higher purchasing costs than ICE vehicles, they also offer lower running costs. Telematics can play a key role in maximising those cost savings once an EV is in your fleet. 

For example, WEBFLEET provides real-time insight into the charge levels of EVs. Fleet managers can measure this against the travel distance required on an upcoming job and decide whether it’s worth charging the batteries at a peak rate or whether they can wait to avoid these higher costs. Fleet managers can also check an EV’s remaining charge when planning its next sequence of deliveries and collections.

The non-stop working day and unpredictable routes of commercial vehicles mean they are more likely to depend upon public chargers than home-charged electric cars. To make life easier for drivers, Webfleet Solutions’ PRO Driver Terminal displays the locations of suitable charge points for drivers on its map. 

Finally, in the early phase of this transition to EVs, with fleets running a mix of electric and combustion engine vehicles, telematics provides a rich source of information for fleets to conduct side-by-side comparisons. Do EVs actually have lower running costs? How much CO2 do they save? Are ICEs better for some routes and EVs better for others?

“Telematics can be a main driver of e-mobility in commercial fleets, helping companies to add electric vehicles and manage their running costs,” said Verheijen.

To start your journey to electric commercial vehicles, visit webfleet.com