Managing an EV Fleet Requires a New Layer of Oversight and Control
By Hanno Klausmeier, VP Software Engineering
The transition to an electric vehicle (EV) fleet is a complex challenge, encompassing crucial elements such as vehicle selection, charging infrastructure, and energy sources.
Gone are the days of traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) fleet management. We’re moving from the simplicity of distributing fuel cards to drivers, to fleet managers now being tasked with overseeing complex energy management alongside vehicle journeys and driver coordination.
To navigate this transformation seamlessly, real-time data monitoring capabilities are essential.
VEV-IQ: A Single Window on EV Fleet Operations – Energy, Vehicles and Chargers
Addressing these challenges is VEV-IQ, a comprehensive software platform that acts as the control centre for the EV fleet. It empowers fleet managers to monitor energy consumption, vehicles status, and arguably most important, charging. The fleet manager needs a holistic view from the vehicles to the charging stations to optimize the energy consumed, plan routes and schedule charging. The integration of both the CPMS and Fleet management system is key to achieve it.
Ensuring vehicles have enough charge at the right time to complete their journeys is key and unlike existing ICE fleets, it takes careful planning and management to ensure the vehicles are ready.
Example: Vehicle management view
Let’s dig further into the charging management element of VEV-IQ and explore why it is so crucial as part of the transition.
Why You Need a Charge Point Management System (CPMS)
While tracking electricity consumption is important, the primary motivation behind implementing a CPMS is to enable a Fleet Manager to have control and visibility of the charging of their fleet.
VEV-IQ provides the ability for a fleet manager to monitor and control the charging of all the vehicles in their fleet from one system. The cloud-based platform enables control of charging sessions from anywhere (via laptop or mobile app), provided the charging station is internet-connected. This provides the fleet manager with full visibility and control of their fleet ensuring that all of the Fleet is charged and ready to support business critical operations at the start of the next shift.
This ranges from ensuring the vehicle has the right amount of charge to complete its route the following day through to the ability to support remote unlocking of charging cables stuck in a charging station, streamlining operations that previously required manual interventions and ensuring the Fleets drivers are not delayed.
Example: Charging stations view
The CPMS can also play a pivotal role in billing for electric vehicle drivers if they need to charge away from the depot as an exception. It’s akin to a petrol pump calculating charging costs, providing control and oversight for the business.
Integration with Other Systems and Business Functions
A good CPMS should seamlessly integrate with essential business functions. VEV-IQ has been developed to enable this flexibility and deliver enhanced functionality
This includes energy management systems, fleet management systems, telematics providers, analytics tools, Electric Mobility Service Providers (E-MSPs), expense management systems, payroll, accounting, and car catalogues.
Visibility of your fleet and Depot performance is critical. VEV-IQ’s analytic integration with Power BI supports detailed analysis of your fleet operations providing insights to help you manage performance and cost.
Example: VEV-IQ Analytics with Power BI
Energy Management in Real-Time
VEV-IQ also has full Energy Management System integration. This enables management of onsite energy assets (Solar and Battery Storage) and the ability to manage the vehicle charging performance based on the performance of these assets – e.g. prioritising solar energy to minimise power costs, or using onsite battery storage to provide additional overnight power to charge the fleet.
Example: VEV-IQ Energy Management System Integration
Check out our VEV-IQ data platform here
What’s Next in Software Development for EV Fleets?
We’re continually developing the features and integrations in VEV-IQ to put more insight and decision-making power into the hands of fleet owners. This will move beyond charging management towards managing and controlling the broader energy ecosystem to bring additional value to our customers and VEV.
In the meantime, transitioning to an electric fleet presents unique challenges, with charging management at the forefront. VEV-IQ’s CPMS solution comprehensively addresses these challenges, providing Fleet Managers with the tools and confidence to support their electrification journey.
Start your fleet electrification journey with VEV today. Contact us.