For managers of electric fleet vehicles, the goal is clear: to oversee a complete transition of their fleet to electric by the year 2035.
With many fleet managers now finding themselves undertaking a new role, we have a great opportunity to share our combined knowledge to streamline adoption and make sure those facilitating the EV switch are fully equipped for the move to electric.
With this in mind, we spoke to our customers currently undergoing their EV fleet transitions to gain insight into what issues they’ve encountered so far, and how our software worked to solve them.
One of the biggest challenges facing fleet managers is how to manage disruption of their fleet. In the context of your EV transition, disruption can come in the form of having to use multiple different systems for different chargers, multiple billing systems across varying vehicle types, and more.
Good back-end software, however, is built to tackle these problems so that you don’t have to. Working from a single-point CPMS (charge point management system), managers can monitor vehicle usage and receive billing information from a single remote location. From here, you can subdivide different vehicle groups to see how individual sections of your fleet are performing. You’re also able to easily remove or assign staff and vehicles with access to thousands of charging stations across the UK and Europe, while benefiting from one set of driver receipts, making your day-to-day easier as an EV fleet manager.
And if problems do arise across your network, our software solutions include support from a dedicated Account Manager, and access to our in-house 24/7 helpline manned by EV experts to resolve both your or your driver's EV problems. We covered some of their most FAQs in a recent blog which you can read here.
Recouping Time and Costs
The initial costs of setting up an EV charging network can be a big investment. It can also be time-consuming, meaning that once your chargers are in the ground and your vehicles set up, fleet management will look to focus on maximising their investment, and limiting the amount of admin needed to run the network. Again, EV charging software has you covered for this.
While we’ve already touched on how using a single-point CPMS will save time for fleet managers, there are also several ways in which software can help recoup already reduced (compared to ICE vehicles) costs. Using our extensive usage reports, for example, clients have reported being able to spot charging patterns among their drivers such as daytime, peak-tariff charging. This enabled them to switch drivers on to cheaper nighttime charging, which can see a reduction in price per kWh by as much as 300%.
We expanded on this potential for savings on off-peak charging in a recent article here.
Ensuring Charge Point Reliability
Making sure vehicle charge points are up and working is a big priority for fleet managers. While it’s just charge points opened up to public charging that are affected by updated Government regulations, keeping in line with the 99% uptime requirement outlined by these gives you the option to open them up to public use, and is best practice for creating a robust charging network.
Our software offers real-time charger data, including alerts when chargers go dark. Beyond this, we go a step further to make sure your network functions reliably, providing the options for remote maintenance through single-click resets, as well as specific malfunction error messages so that your maintenance team can resolve any issues in a single trip.
As usage grows, four charger sites can quickly need to become eight, and so on as your fleet transition progresses. To accommodate this, fleet managers need to make sure they’re not locked into using proprietary software that comes pre-installed on their chosen hardware. Not checking this before charger installation can lead to having a network of chargers stuck on management software that doesn’t suit your needs, with no option to switch to better, more convenient providers as the market advances.
At Clenergy, our commitment to The Open Chargepoint Protocol (OCPP) means that our software will work across any OCPP-compliant chargers, and means that should you feel the need to install different hardware, you won’t have to go through the hassle of changing software systems or juggling multiple different management systems. This kind of flexibility is essential to building a charging network that can grow with your transition aims; something we cover in more depth in this article.
Grid Load Balancing
With the switch to EVs bringing a relatively nascent industry into the focus of most fleet managers, it’s easy to see how specific operational details such as this can go unconsidered until problems arise. But, in reality, fleet managers need to think about national grid limitations when setting up their charge point networks. If usage exceeds the national grid maximum limit, managers are liable to cause shortages, leading to massive disruption and likely needing costly grid upgrades to resolve.
Clenergy EV software mitigates this risk, with our built-in load management system sharing usage across sockets. This means that instead of spiking over the grid limit, your maximum grid output is spread across the number of sockets you’re using to charge, taking another challenge away for fleet managers and partners.
A Collaborative Approach
As software providers, our role for fleet managers is to make your job easier. As the UK undergoes its electric transition, we believe that collaboration will remain vitally important to ensuring the delivery of a charging network that works for everyone. And that starts with providing EV transitioners with the knowledge and support needed to make informed decisions on their EV charging. This collaborative approach is at the heart of what we do, and it’s why we’ve been trusted to provide the back-office support for businesses such as Scania UK, almost two-thirds (64 percent) of Welsh Local Authorities, the NHS, Fire Brigades, Colleges, Police Forces and more.
To learn more about the solutions our software offers you in your EV fleet transition, fill in your details via the contact form below to get started with a low-commitment consultation from a member of our team.