Moving to an Electric Fleet? Don’t Forget About EV Telematics

EV fleet

If you’re like most fleet organizations, you’re under significant pressure to transition to a reduced emission fleet. This pressure is coming from all sides. Government regulations are increasingly pushing companies towards zero-emissions vehicles, which basically means EVs. From a competitive standpoint, companies that have already adopted EVs are saving money and simplifying maintenance—so the longer you wait to follow suit, the longer your bottom line will likely lag behind theirs.

There’s also public image to consider. Running a fleet of combustion engine vehicles certainly isn’t a PR problem today. But as time goes by, converting to EVs will become a table-stake for any organization that wants to be taken seriously.

For all these reasons and more, you’re probably either considering EVs for your fleet or already in the process of transitioning to them. In either case, don’t forget one of the most important aspects of your transition: EV telematics.

The Need for EV Telematics

Anyone who manages a fleet probably understands the value of telematics on some level. From there, it’s not a big leap to grasp the importance of implementing an EV telematics solution when you switch to electric vehicles.

Fleet telematics give you the information you need to make the decisions that continually improve fleet performance and reduce costs. Your telematics data can help you:

  • Enhance fleet productivity by locating your assets, optimizing your routes, and reducing your fuel and repair costs.
  • Ensure driver safety by monitoring key metrics to minimize risk and reduce liability.
  • Streamline ELD and HOS compliance by centralizing the information you need and reducing costly errors.

EV telematics deliver the same benefits. Yes, it may be tempting for fleet managers to think that once they’ve transitioned to electric vehicles, they won’t have to keep such a close watch on energy consumption or route optimization because their costs will already be so much lower. But keep in mind that once we’ve passed the tipping point for EV adoption, most companies will be on a level playing field. The next competitive advantage will go to those companies that find ways to shave pennies off every dollar of cost. They’ll achieve these savings through smart, diligent use of EV telematics.

If you want to be one of these companies, here’s a word of warning: even if you’re completely ready for EV telematics, make sure your EV telematics provider is ready for you.

Avoid the Biggest Drawback to EV Fleets

There’s a serious drawback to using electric vehicles in fleets: EV manufacturers don’t have to follow a consistent standardization protocol when they provide access to vehicle-side data. This makes things complicated for you. Whereas with gas-powered vehicles you knew what you were getting in terms of vehicle-side data, the data you get from EVs could come in any number of forms.

This of course means that you can’t count on your telematics provider to be able to work with the data that’s coming from your EVs. You must make sure you choose a vendor that supports as many EV makes and models as possible.

So, how many is that? There’s no easy answer to this question. There are “only” about 150 to 200 different EV models available today. But consider the fact that according to one industry expert, there could be 500 new models available by 2022. They’re hitting the market at the rate of about 10 vehicles per month.

In light of this flood of new options, your safest bet is to choose an EV telematics vendor that already supports the most vehicles and that has proven its ability to scale up its support quickly for new models.

We at Gridline know that vendor is Geotab. Geotab already supports 100 EV makes and models and has been ranked by ABI Research as the world’s leading commercial telematics vendor two years in a row.

Gridline is a certified Geotab reseller, which means we’re highly qualified to help you get the most out of your EV telematics using Geotab’s market-leading technology. As you consider how to maximize the efficiency of your electric vehicles, don’t go it alone. Drop us a line today.