As green energy and sustainability continues to be a concern, many industries have started to consider ways to go green in the short and long term.
Opting to comprise your fleet completely of electric vehicles is a clear way to cut down on your emissions. For a large fleet, switching to electric vehicles can make a huge difference on environmental impact.
While there are many factors to consider when determining what type of vehicle is best for your fleet, you might be wondering how this affects your fleet's current operations.
But here’s some good news about electric vehicle fleets!
When it comes to electric vehicle fleet management, it’s not too far off from what you have grown accustomed to with your gasoline or diesel-powered team.
Electric vehicle fleet management is what your team will need to have in place to make sure you have the right infrastructure in place to keep your fleet running.
Here’s what you can expect when managing your fleet of electric vehicles and how to ensure they get the power they need.
How do Electric Vehicles Operate?
Powered by an onboard battery instead of by a combustible fuel source like gasoline or diesel, these vehicles offer a zero emissions alternative to their traditional counterparts. While the sustainability benefits are apparent, these models have several drawbacks.
First and foremost, electric vehicles tend to cost more than conventional vehicles. If your company is seriously considering switching to electric vehicle fleet management, do your research on rebate options within your area or industry. Subsidies, incentives, and tax credits all help make your company’s goal of sustainability easier to achieve from a financial standpoint. Many programs exist that help reward businesses for making sustainable choices in their operations.
Second, you need to consider how you will ensure that your electric vehicles have access to a charging station. Is there one already in your area? Are there ones easy for your team of drivers to access while out on their routes? Or would you have to add ports to your already existing base? Adding charging stations will be an extra cost and an extra logistical step for your team to consider when switching your fleet over to this new power source. The good news is that these power stations are growing in popularity, and as more businesses switch to this fuel source, these stations will continue to pop up across the country.
While these two drawbacks require an upfront investment, it’s important to keep in mind the long-term savings your fleet will see after making the switch to electric vehicles. The cost of gasoline and diesel can be unpredictable, with us seeing several spikes in oil costs just this year. Switching to electric-powered vehicles locks you into a fuel source less susceptible to rising costs meaning that you’ll see savings in the long term.
Training Your Fleet on Electric Vehicles
Sure, you might be the one deciding to switch to electric vehicles, but your drivers will be the ones working with them day in and day out. Making sure they are on board with the change, as knowing how to properly run and charge these new vehicles is a critical aspect of making this switch.
Earlier, we mentioned the logistics behind making sure you can charge your vehicles. You must also train your drivers on where these charging stations are located on their routes or near your operations. You should also keep in mind that, for some drivers, this might be the first time they’ve operated a battery-powered vehicle. Make sure they feel comfortable charging them while out on the job and answer any questions they might have about the process. Thankfully, the technology has gotten so advanced that, on average, battery powered vehicles need only 5 minutes of charging time to operate.
Besides communicating with your team about training how to use their new technology, make sure they understand the why behind your decision to change. Share how your fleet plans to cut down on emissions and the impact your new approach to sustainability will have in the long term. Employees will appreciate understanding where this change is coming from!
Managing Electric Vehicle Fleets
As mentioned earlier, when it comes to the actual management of your fleet, the power source won’t change most of your already existing operations. Once you’ve made the initial monetary investment in your new fleet, researched potential rebates you qualify for, and determined how you’ll keep your fleet well powered, the rest should come naturally. Especially if you already have the right tools in place to assist your team.
If your team is already using field service management software to help them run their day-to-day operations, that software will come in handy for your electric vehicle fleets.
Fleet tracking software will help ensure your team knows where your drivers are and when your clients can expect their arrival. Drivers, in turn, can have the app for easy communication. All of this works the same, regardless of the fuel source your company opts to use.
Change is, of course, a challenge for any company, even during the best of times for business. Before switching to new vehicles, make sure your day-to-day operations are fine-tuned so you’re ready for the change. Ask yourself these questions about your fleet.
- Does your fleet currently have good communication between your managers and drivers?
- Could your back office be simplified in any way?
- Are drivers trained on safety, and what can be done to promote safety within your fleet?
Focusing on how you can better tweak and improve your fleet before switching your fleet will make sure you're in a better position for the big change in vehicles.
Software for Electric Vehicle Fleet Management
While the fuel source for your fleet business might change, Azuga’s commitment to providing you with the best tools for your operation won’t. We offer a variety of products to help with your electric vehicle fleet management. Contact us today to learn how we can help your fleet or schedule a demo for one of our software products.