Did you know that effective EV fleet management can result in a 55% reduction in energy costs?
This remarkable achievement is made possible with the integration of telematics and smart charging solutions.
Technology such as on-board diagnostics and GPS, combined with telematics systems, help to provide valuable data about the state of vehicles and charging processes. In this way, telematics combined with smart charging software help to ensure:
- fleet readiness,
- operational efficiency,
- and cost-effectiveness.
In this article, we’re going to show how combining the power of smart charging software with telematics can be a game-changer for EV fleet charging.
Role of telematics in fleet management
Telematics plays a pivotal role in fleet management. Telematics systems collect and manage vehicle information using onboard diagnostics and GPS technology. The data is sent to a cloud server and made available to relevant people, such as fleet managers.
The data collected by telematics often includes valuable information about:
- vehicle location,
- idling time,
- harsh acceleration or braking,
- fuel consumption,
- vehicle faults,
- and more.
The insights derived from telematics data boosts operational efficiency, improves safety, and lowers costs.
The shift towards OEM-specific telematics
A recent trend in the automotive industry is the shift towards OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer)-specific telematics, rather than third-party systems.
More and more vehicle manufacturers recognize the immense value of telematics data. They are starting to implement proprietary telematics systems which allow them to see and store data in their own cloud.
These OEM telematics systems often provide more vehicle-specific data and greater integration and functionality, although they may also limit the options for third-party service providers.
Transitioning to EV fleets
As fleets transition to electric vehicles, the data captured by telematics is becoming more and more important. Information about driving and distance requirements can be used to determine which ICE vehicles are best suited for replacement with EVs.
Parameters such as driving distance, fuel used, and dwell time informs infrastructure planning, ensuring the right number and type of charging stations are installed at optimal locations.
Telematics data helps fleet managers to:
- optimize charging schedules,
- ensure vehicle readiness,
- maintain hardware uptime,
- and facilitate maintenance.
Telematics also collects data that can be used to calculate the total cost of ownership of EVs, e.g. energy costs, maintenance costs, and the lifespan of vehicles.
After the transition to EVs has taken place, telematics systems are still important. They enable real-time monitoring of the state of charge, helping prevent potential issues like charger downtime or vehicles running out of charge. They also provide insights into energy usage patterns, helping to cut costs.
Overcoming fleet management challenges with telematics
Managing a fleet, particularly an electric one, comes with its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to optimizing charging operations.
Challenge #1: Vehicle readiness
Problem: Maintaining vehicle readiness is complex given longer EV charging times, compared to ICE vehicle refueling.
Solution: Telematics can provide fleet managers with real-time information on the state of charge of each vehicle in the fleet. This lets you identify vehicles that need to be charged and schedule them accordingly. Notifications about low battery states or completed charging can be sent to fleet managers via email, SMS, or other communication platforms, ensuring quick actions can be taken to maintain vehicle readiness.
Challenge #2: Asset downtime
Problem: Asset downtime, both of vehicles and chargers, directly impacts fleet efficiency and performance. Inefficient depot operations can prevent vehicles or chargers from being utilized to their full potential.
Solution: Telematics can help in minimizing the downtime of both vehicles and chargers. By tracking the usage and operational status of these assets, issues can be identified and addressed promptly. For example, if a charger is malfunctioning, the system can notify the relevant parties to take immediate action.
Challenge #3: Inefficient depot operations
Problem: The problems can range from underutilization of vehicles and chargers to poor scheduling of charging times, leading to vehicles not being ready when required or chargers being unnecessarily occupied.
Solution: With telematics, fleet managers can gain insights into how vehicles and chargers are being used. This can help in identifying inefficiencies in depot operations, such as a fully charged vehicle not being utilized or a charger being occupied by a fully charged vehicle. With these insights, operations can be optimized to ensure maximum utilization of assets.
Challenge #4: High energy costs
Problem: High energy costs can affect the cost-effectiveness of the entire fleet.
Solution: One of the major benefits of telematics is the ability to monitor and control energy usage. Analyzing data on energy consumption patterns, in combination with a smart charging software system, means that charging can be scheduled during off-peak hours when energy rates are lower. This can significantly reduce the energy costs associated with running an EV fleet.
Combining smart charging and telematics
Ampcontrol is a pioneering cloud-based charge management software that collects and analyzes data from various sources. Charging optimization can be enabled by bringing in data such as charger diagnostics and energy tariffs, and combining it with telematics data, such as vehicle state of charge, range estimation, energy consumption and more.
Using Ampcontrol’s powerful algorithms with external and telematics data can help to:
- provide optimal charging schedules,
- ensure high charger uptime,
- and keep energy costs to a minimum.
Non-Standardized Vehicle Data Communication Protocols in EVs
However, a primary challenge lies in the non-standardized vehicle data communication protocols in EVs. Different manufacturers use different systems, making it complicated to create a one-size-fits-all telematics solution.
However, the industry is addressing this issue with the creation of new standards and protocols. An example is the development of ISO 15/1/8, aimed at standardizing data communication in electric vehicles. This advancement would simplify the integration of telematics in EVs, enabling fleet managers to unlock the full potential of telematics regardless of the vehicle's make or model.
Benefits of Ampcontrol
Ensuring High Charger Uptime
One of the significant advantages of using Ampcontrol lies in its capability to ensure high charger uptime. The platform gathers extensive diagnostic data, including fault codes on the charger side.
This rich information empowers fleets to take proactive measures - either by implementing over the air actions or collecting the necessary information to carry out maintenance or escalate issues to the charger manufacturers. The result is maximized charger uptime, a critical factor in maintaining the operational efficiency of an EV fleet.
Reducing Charging Costs
Ampcontrol applies an AI-powered smart charge management system. This advanced system factors in numerous variables across a fleet to optimize charging, with the primary goal of minimizing energy costs.
As fleets transition from ICEs to EVs, this feature proves invaluable. Maximizing energy cost savings means that Ampcontrol makes such a transition more affordable and more appealing for fleet operators.
Comprehensive Fleet Monitoring with Telematics
The Ampcontrol platform aggregates a wealth of information from the charger and vehicle, with the help of telematics, offering a complete view of all assets.
The comprehensive data enables effective tracking of fleet availability. In this way, fleet managers are equipped with the information they need to make informed decisions for optimized fleet operations.
Case Study: Ampcontrol and Revel
To illustrate the practical benefits of Ampcontrol's offerings, let’s look at a case study involving Ampcontrol and Revel.
Revel, a shared electric moped service, chose Ampcontrol as its partner in managing its fleet's energy use. Ampcontrol's comprehensive fleet monitoring and smart charge management tools were crucial to optimizing Revel's operations.
Telematics Integration Leads to Energy Savings
Ampcontrol's integration with Revel's fleet led to significant energy cost savings. Integrating charger information, smart charging algorithms, and telematics, through Ampcontrol helped to reduce Revel's energy costs by over 55%. The platform's ability to pull in state of charge, GPS, automatic vehicle management data, and more diagnostics from various telematics systems greatly enhanced Revel's operational efficiency. This demonstrates the profound impact that smart energy management with telematics can have on a fleet's operations, driving substantial cost savings and improving overall efficiency.
Telematics plays an essential role in managing electric vehicle fleets, providing real-time insights that lead to more efficient and cost-effective operations. Integrating telematics and smart charging solutions like Ampcontrol, means that fleet managers can ensure high charger uptime, optimize charging schedules, and reduce energy costs significantly. Adopting telematics is no longer just an advantage but an operational necessity for fleets, especially those transitioning to or already using electric vehicles.
To find out more about Ampcontrol and how our platform can combine with telematics to optimize your EV fleet, get in touch today.