Is an Electric Vehicle Fleet Smart?

Flipping the Electric Switch

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.

Electric Vehicle

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.

Electric-powered Questions

Most likely, there will be questions already posed when switching to an electric fleet, such as:

Performance requirements

  • Will an EV meet my drivers’ range requirements?
  • Will the battery still perform in extreme-weather conditions?

Vehicle selection

  • 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?

Environmental impact

  • 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!

Vehicle & Asset Telematics

Electronic Forms

Mobile Viewing


Vehicle & Asset Telematics

Electronic Forms

Mobile Viewing


Smart Fleet = Smart Government Webinar

Smart Fleet = Smart Government

Smart Fleet = Smart Government Webinar

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

Chris Jackson

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.

Understanding the Value of Electric Vehicles

To EV or not to EV?

Electric Vehicles 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 (EV). 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
  • maintenance
  • 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 Gasoline

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

EV Saves Money

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.

Range Anxiety

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).

Environmental Impact

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

Electric Vehicle Charger 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.

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Tablets & Data

Battery Power – More, Better, Faster

Battery power is always in the back of our minds.

rechargeable cordless drill In the Telematics industry, our clients communicate throughout the workday on smartphones. Also, many run apps on phones or tablets. We use portable devices to manage work orders, complete electronic forms, report issues, receive locations and update routes. Similarly other apps capture signatures, record work completed, and document damaged freight. Furthermore, field technicians use an array of battery-powered tools to get their work done. As a result, if we run out of battery power it all comes to a screeching halt.

More EV’s = More Battery Power

Now add to this the increased use of Electric Vehicles. Seems like we are becoming more and more dependent upon battery power. That raises another big concern. As the rate we are consuming battery power increases, there is a very real risk of a battery disposal crisis in our future. Is all this battery use going to be sustainable?

Improving Battery Technology

Improving battery technology is high on the list of hot tech issues to address. Environmentally friendly batteries that charge faster and last longer will head off the potential crisis. So what is being done about it? Here are some of the encouraging projects I found.

Saft Research Director Patrick Bernard recently shared 3 new technologies being considered.


These batteries use different active materials to increase both energy and power. They will have very long life cycles, typically charging/discharging thousands of cycles.


This battery has a different type of internal structure. It uses sulfur in the positive electrode and lithium in the negative electrode. As it discharges, chemical changes occur inside the battery. The reverse occurs during the charging cycle.


Solid-state batteries use a solid compound rather than liquid electrolyte. This will make the batteries safer. The solid electrolytes are not flammable. This technology promises higher voltages, and batteries that are denser, lighter, and last longer on the shelf. These may become the future battery of choice for Electric vehicles.

Electric Car Lithium Battery Pack And Power Connections Other Technologies Being Researched

Gold Nanowire Batteries are under development at UC Irvine. Researchers claim they can be recharged over 200,000 times with no material deterioration. Ultimately, this may result in a battery that lasts “forever.

Extreme Fast Charging or XFC charges batteries faster by charging them at higher temperatures. Using this method they say a 10-minute charge will add 200 miles of range on an EV battery.

Wireless Charging

Another research team reports initial success with an antenna that collects AC power from WiFi in the air and converts it to DC. It is being developed for use with battery powered medical devices. Instead of future surgeries to replace a batteries, the battery charges pretty much all the time.

Yet another startup is developing semiconductors made from organic materials. They are talking about 60-second cell phone charging and 5 minute EV charging if their research proves successful. Similarly a unique and promising technology under development uses ultrasound to wirelessly transmit electricity to a small receiver to recharge a device.

There are also preliminary reports of batteries made of foam and foldable materials, but the one that seems to be getting attention is the technology announced this past April by Nikola Corp. They plan to release details at their Nikola World 2020 conference next fall. They say they have a game-changing new technology that is more environmentally friendly than conventional lithium-ion and could double the range of passenger EVs.

One thing is certain. It will be very interesting to see what batteries look like 5 years from now.

For Crying Out Loud! Where Can I Charge My EV NOW?

I need to know now! Where Can I Charge My EV?

One of the biggest fears associated with a fleet deployment of electric vehicles is what will happen when things do not go as planned. In other words, what if the unthinkable happens? What if my driver needs to charge while on the road? What’s more, what if my driver is far from familiar locations, facing a deadline?

The last thing you want your drivers asking is “Where can I charge my EV now?”

One of the greatest things about living in the 21st century is Crowd Sourced Open Data Initiatives. These are projects like Open Street Maps or Wikipedia, where individuals just like us contribute what they know to the greater community. This allows the project to amass a great deal of usable data and serve it back to the public on the web. In most cases, they will suggest users volunteer donations, rather than charging any user a fee.

Open Collective is providing the solution to “Where can I charge My EV?” through the Open Charge Map Initiative.

When you visit the site you will find it easy to navigate. You are able to add the charging stations you have found, or search the map for a charging station near your location. You can even check the map first, and plan your route based on the availability of charging stations along the way. Information about the budget, expenses, and donations received are easily accessible on their project page at Open Collective as well.

It took me less than 5 seconds to find 2 charging stations!

Both stations are just across the highway from our corporate office. Just click on the green charging station icons. That will open a window with all of the details for what kind of chargers are available. There is even a section to add details or comments if there is some detail you want to add.

Open Charge Map Charging Station Details
Now that your fears about finding a place to charge are put to rest, it is time to evaluate what fossil fuel vehicles to replace and what EV to replace them with. That is the subject of an upcoming post on tools to evaluate, based on your current vehicle use, what are the logical choices for your fleet.

Are you using all of the resources that can take your business to the next level?