What many do not know about EVs and EV range loss is that weather effects efficiency in terms of both miles per kwh and charging time. Every vehicle system on an EV requires power and drains the battery, so the more you use your A/C, heater, stereo, defrosters, cell phone charger, what most of us consider essentials, the faster the charge decreases. Add extreme weather reducing efficiency and your range can be considerably reduced.
According to Consumer Reports, “Cold temperatures can reduce an unplugged EV’s range by about 20 percent, according to testing by the Norwegian Automobile Federation, and recharging is slower. Running the cabin heater, seat heaters, defroster, and other accessories that combat the cold weather inside the car all sap range. For cold temperatures, what we have found is that 20° F and colder is when the range really drops.”
Add to that, potential failure at the charging station can leave a driver (or OMG a family with children on the way to Grandma’s for Christmas) stuck out in the cold, literally. Out of Spec Reviews recently posted this video review of a variety of chargers in extreme cold weather. This video is a real eye opener!
Other Environmental Conditions That Cause EV Range Loss
Hot weather has its EV range loss challenges as well. EV Solutions Blog states, “Extreme weather conditions have a significant impact on driving range, according to research conducted by AAA. In temperatures of 95 degrees Fahrenheit and the air conditioning on (a must for most in 95-degree heat), driving range decreases 17%.”
They suggest extending range in hot weather by:
Limiting use of features like air conditioning and smart stereos.
Maintaining a consistent speed to minimize accelerating and braking, and avoid high speeds.
Using energy-saving settings whenever possible.
Limiting weight in the car. (Leave the family and pets at home?)
Hurricane season creates challenges on the east coast, fire season on the west coast, and tornado season on the great plains. Any of these events can cause widespread power outages, as can earthquakes that can come anytime with no warning in many areas of the US. With no power, there is no EV charging, and infrastructure may take days or longer to restore.
Do Your Homework
Electric vehicles certainly have their place, but the more research we do, the more we realize that a suitability study for potential fleet conversion needs to factor in far more that how current vehicles are used, how far they go, and what they can potentially be replaced with based on EVs currently available. EV range loss due to climate, available charging infrastructure, and local environmental factors must also be considered when evaluating the suitability of EVs for your fleet.
Start the New Year by Setting Fleet Goals to Improve 3 Things
Submitted by Kim Thoman
Setting fleet goals is the best way to start off the new year. So, Happy New Year to all our fleet owners and managers! Whether your goals are sales, service or office oriented, it is important to set yourself up for success in 2022. In today’s blog, we will focus on 3 top goals that are trending in fleet management and how can we help you achieve these goals.
1. Adoption of EV
With an increase in tighter emissions regulations, electric vehicle (EV) sales skyrocketed in 2021. This being said, it is only a matter of time before more fleets begin using electric cars and trucks, in fact many already have started the adoption process. Fleetistics can help you evaluate your fleet for EV suitability.
If you are setting fleet goals for EV adoption, there are two major concerns for fleet management:
Cost of phasing out gasoline vehicles and the price of EVs.
The biggest concern is the cost involved with switching to EV. Most experts forecast that EVs will be competitively priced with gasoline vehicles in the next few years. Although there will still be an upfront cost in charging infrastructure, the amount of money saved on fuel will eventually make up for it. According to AAA, in January of 2021, national fuel prices averaged $3.03 per gallon for gas and $3.59 for diesel. Meanwhile, the national average of electricity was just $0.14 kWh. These kinds of savings add up very quickly.
The definition of range anxiety is “worry on the part of a person driving an electric car that the battery will run out of power before the destination, or a suitable charging point is reached”. This is a very valid worry however the mileage an EV can drive in a given period of time is also increasing with new technology. In your MyFleetistics accounts under the Resources menu, there is a link a map of charging stations in your area.
There are many apps available for drivers to have available to find the nearest charging stations and based on the miles per day they drive are very suited for EVs. We have tools in place, such as our EV Suitability Assessment (EVSA) that are free in conjunction with our telematics software solutions that can analyze your fleet in the environment they drive in daily. We take a look the types of EVs a company is looking to purchase, and based on their current activity the tool will recommend which vehicles would be candidates and which may not be at this time.
2. Adoption of Digital Key Technology
Some of you may be setting fleet goals to implement a better way to control and manage access to your vehicles. There have been many requests over the last few years, as the variety of applications for telematics has expanded. High on that request list is remote vehicle access and management solutions. Especially with the ongoing COVID pandemic, our customers need more advanced ways to control and manage keys. This is especially true in the public car sharing sector as well as corporate and government motor pooling.
The good news is that this technology is available and can easily be added to some telematics platforms making the adoption seamless.
3. Improved Performance Monitoring with DashCams
If you are not setting fleet goals to implement DashCams, you may want to reconsider. Dash-cams are not a new technology in the fleet space, but there have been a lot of enhanced features developed over the last year.
Paying full attention behind the wheel is critical for drivers, from the moment a vehicle is started. Normally good drivers can become dangerous “distracted drivers” if they use a phone, eat, drink or smoke, even in a parking lot. Distracted driving cameras use artificial intelligence (AI) to detect this behavior and have some built in algorithms to fuse out anomalies.
DashCams can help companies combat risky driving. They work with rules that are already in place using speed and accelerometer data to improve driving behavior. We always tell our clients that our goal is for “every driver comes home safely every night”.
Fleetistics offers the most affordable dashcam on the market at just $19.95 for in/out cameras.
Pilot to Understand the Return Your on Investment
Setting fleet goals is only step one. Understanding how to best implement technology to achieve those goals requires careful planning. Fleetistics offers a pilot program we call our Solution Evaluation Process. It allows our customers to “try before they buy” and get unique implementation and training throughout the process.
We take the time to understand what every client that participates operation looks like and what their top goals to achieve success. In some cases we assist with setting these goals. We then run a pilot phase to get before and after data to analyze and show proof of worth and the value this technology can bring to your fleet. The goal for us is that the client is getting the maximized savings based on their needs, training and everything else they need to set them up for success by the end of the process.
Thanks to the Carbon Disclosure Project, an international, non-profit organization that helps companies and cities disclose their environmental impact, many government agencies in cities nationwide are switching to an electric vehicle fleet. These agencies have made it one of their top priorities to convert to a 100-percent electric fleet in a certain time frame.
Many cities, such as Tampa, have adopted an initiative to switch to an electric vehicle fleet in the hopes to become the leaders of minimizing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing their carbon footprints.
It is important to Understand the Value Electric Vehicles, especially compared to ICE, or Internal Combustion Engine, vehicles, if and when your agency moves forward to convert your electric vehicle fleet.
It is also up to these government agencies to obtain a fleet analysis. That way the agency can oversee management of the electric vehicle fleet.
An Assessment Suited For You
An EV Suitability Assessment, is an accurate, data-driven and, most importantly, personalized EV recommendation tool that takes the guesswork out of electrifying your fleet.
Instead of guessing, an EVSA will suggest vehicles to be replaced by range-capable EVs, estimate the cost of savings and give a layout the reduction of emissions. The EVSA does this by using telematics data from existing fleet vehicles, identifies vehicles with a range-capable EV replacement and then determines vehicles that are cost effective to replace with range-capable EVs.
Most likely, there will be questions already posed when switching to an electric fleet, such as:
Will an EV meet my drivers’ range requirements?
Will the battery still perform in extreme-weather conditions?
Which model of vehicle is best for each vehicle class I have?
Return on investment
What will the impact of EVs be on my fleet’s operational budget?
How much will my fleet’s carbon emissions be reduced?
Ultimately, many of these questions can be answered with an EV Suitability Assessment.
This simple tool and analysis can save time and money for your agency and is highly recommended before moving forward with a conversion to an all-electric vehicle fleet. Our EV Expert, Kim Thoman, can help you obtain a
Contact Fleetistics today for your personalized EV Suitability Assessment today!
Learn how you can maximize government telematics data in our exclusive Smart Fleet = Smart Government webinar on November 4, 2020 at 2:00 PM EST.
Smarter Fleets = Value
Finding increasing value in the data you are collecting is a tough job, especially in today’s uncertain economic climate. As health, EMS, and public safety spending increase and tax revenues decrease, Government fleet managers are being asked to do more with less, and without sacrificing safety and compliance. Telematics is an amazing tool to analyze your operations, pinpoint strengths and weaknesses, all while ensuring that safety and compliance are maintained at the highest levels.
Smarter Fleets = Insight
Learn more about tracking compliance and levels of service for your Public Works fleet, strategies that will help blaze a path forward to your electrification goals and how telematics goes beyond its traditional use as a fleet management tool to optimize smart transportation and Vision Zero initiatives.
Learn how to manage mixed fleets and assets including Public Works to:
Track compliance and levels of service
Monitor material usage
Maintain core services citizens depend on
Build an electrification strategy tailored to your specific fleet’s needs:
See how an EV Suitability Assessment can blaze a path forward to your future electric fleet
Identify crucial EV specific data collection and use
Hear how data can be transformed into actionable smart city insights to:
Understand local transportation patterns, traffic safety and road conditions
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Justify investments in digital infrastructure
Presented by Chris Jackson, AVP, Government Business Development, Public Works and Smart Cities at GEOTAB
Meet the Presenter
Having begun his career in the Government industry over 20 years ago with the 407 Express Toll Route; Chris has always been involved in telematics by leading several successful intelligent transportation system projects, which involved early adoption stages of telematics at the turn of the century. He transitioned quickly from being within a Government agency using telematics, to being part of the telematics vendor community working with Government groups across North America in successful implementations of their telematics needs; ranging from small municipalities, to large City, Provincial, and State agencies.
Electric Vehicles (EVs) have come to stay. There is no doubt that alternative fuel vehicles are steadily on the rise. That also certainly is the case with Electric Vehicles. However, with the decrease in fuel costs in the US as of late, are the benefits worth the cost? Regardless of what vehicle is purchased the total cost of ownership is the major factor. In this blog, Kim Thoman, Fleetistics’ EV Expert, provides a comparison between Gasoline Vehicles (ICE for Internal Combustion Engine) vs Electric Vehicles (EV) and provides information to assist you in making an informed decision on what vehicle is right for your organization.
First, there are many factors involved in cost of ownership. These are the primary considerations.
purchase/lease price of the vehicle
cost to insure
fuel – gas or electricity
Battery replacement or disposal
It’s no secret that ICE vehicles are less expensive then EVs off the lot. Furthermore, you must take into consideration the many incentives offered by government agencies on EV vehicle purchases and even utility companies offering rebates on charging stations. The incentives vary by state and the commitment to EV ideology. In contrast, insurance is a factor regardless of the vehicle type. This will have to be a discussion you have with your carrier.
Cost to Power Comparisons – Electric Vehicles vs Internal Combustion Engines
Next to consider is the costs to fuel/power EVs vs. ICE vehicles. Based on a study at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, the average MPG for gasoline per gallon in 2016 was 25.3. The average cost per gallon was $2.35. Using 15,000 miles as the average amount driven annually the cost for fuel for the year equates to be about $1,400.00 annually.
Likewise we look at EVs in respect to annual electricity consumed. The average cost of electricity in the US in 2016 was $0.12 per kWh. Using a baseline of 15,000 miles per year, after normalizing calculations, it costs about $540.00 per year to charge the vehicle. Finally, consider the cost of electricity throughout the US varies significantly more than gasoline. Even so, the cost over time is much more stable. The Department of Energy states charging an electric car costs about half as much as fueling an ICE vehicle. When it comes to the cost to power EV vs. ICE vehicles, EV wins hands down.
Cost to Maintain EV vs ICE
We have covered purchase price and power comparisons so let’s focus on the maintenance side. ICE vehicles require replacing parts that go bad over time. Electric motors only have one moving part while an engine in a traditional vehicle contains dozens. The ongoing maintenance with an ICE vehicle such as oil, fan belts, head gaskets, cylinder heads, spark plugs, etc. are not required to be maintained in an EV.
EVs also use regenerative braking technology that extends the life of brakes on electric cars. Needless to say, there is some necessary upkeep required with an EV such as replacing windshields, wipers, suspensions and tire rotations. Overall the cost to maintain an EV over the lifetime of the vehicle is much lower.
There are additional considerations with an EV such as charging requirements. A home charger that can provide 30 miles of range an hour costs about $600.00 but again there are rebates available. Working together as a whole to reduce transportation costs would allow utilities to allow parked EVs to deliver power to the grid and provide owners with a monetary return. This allows owners to make money from their vehicles and boost the grid’s reliability and resilience.
Another benefit from this is power onto the grid would allow more flexibility during peak demand times for less cost. The bottom line is balancing the supply and demand of electricity with EVs could result in avoiding costly upgrades.
Of course, we can’t forget about range anxiety. Range anxiety is the feeling of drivers not wanting to be stranded without access to charging facilities. This is huge in the commercial sector as typically vehicles are driving much more than 15,000 a year and many over long distances. This doesn’t mean that some vehicles can’t be transitioned into EVs or even a Plug-In Hybrid vehicle (PHEV).
On the surface, EVs appear to be more carbon-friendly, but are they really? The electricity being generated is typically being created by coal-burning power plants in the US. The raw materials, such as Cobalt, used to make the battery cells are mined from places like the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Many countries do not practice eco-friendly mining and put nature and people at risk. Battery materials are then shipped around the world on diesel-powered ships. After a battery bank is exhausted in a vehicle, it has to be disposed of properly or yet another environmental hazard is created. So when trying to do the right thing, you have to be committed to the reasons for wanting to invest in EVs.
If you want to save money, you will likely do that. If you want to save the environment, that does not seem likely in the current energy environment. By investing in EV, you are generating demand that will ultimately drive down costs in various aspects of the supply chain and may eventually lead to a carbon reduction.
Your Bottom Line
The overall assessment based on rolling cost per mile, taking into account the cost of ownership, EVs are shown to be less expensive than ICE vehicles. However, EVs are not for everyone, both in the private and commercial space. Analysis can be done based on driving behavior, rolling cost per mile, location etc. to determine whether an EV could be a right fit. Contact us today for your personalized EV fleet analysis.