Plug-in electric vehicles are here

Should you consider EV technology?

Fleets that want reliable cost forecasts for EVs are analyzing real-world duty cycles of current vehicles rather than using the estimated fuel economy ratings from the EPA. These generic ratings relate to very specific drive cycles that rarely translate into real-world driving circumstances and usage patterns, and the “mileage may vary” problem is a particular issue when considering EVs.

EV Capabilities

Range anxiety refers to the concerns of EV drivers that worry about completing a round trip without getting stranded with a drained battery. It is a term that only applies to electric vehicles relying 100 percent on grid power.

In recent case studies of fleets in Toronto, Ontario, range anxiety has been successfully mitigated with proper planning and driver training. However these successes began with fleet managers assessing their vehicles’ duty cycles and range requirements to determine which EV, if any, would be appropriate for them - and in what particular application.

Similarly, charge capabilities and infrastructure have been another concern of potential EV buyers, yet these have also been addressable by fleets wanting to go electric. The deployment of standard charging technologies have allowed fleets to better assess whether their “charging windows” will be sufficient for each EV option on the market - and which one of these EVs makes the most sense for them.

Despite the initial concerns regarding EVs, fleets have become a vital gateway for their adoption.

With the right tools and pre-purchase analysis to integrate them cost effectively, fleets will have opportunities to realize operational efficiencies offered by these vehicles.

Eric Mallia is the strategic business development manager at FleetCarma, a company headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario. FleetCarma helps fleet managers make vehicle purchase decisions by data logging fleet duty cycles and modeling these data in computerized vehicle simulations. The models reliably forecast range and charge capabilities of electric vehicles and the total cost of ownership for each year of the vehicle’s service life. FleetCarma is a division of CrossChasm Technologies, a consulting company specializing in hybrid and electric powertrains.

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