Insights / Eliminate excess energy spend in your fleet

Eliminate excess energy spend in your electrified fleet

25th June 2021

Electrifying your fleet is full of benefits for your company and they don’t need to stop once you’ve swapped internal combustion engines (ICE) for electric vehicles (EVs).

You can continue to tot up the savings by ensuring that the drivers behind the wheel of your fleet know the best practices about economising their driving style.

In the same way as traditional ICE vehicles, insurance companies use telematics to provide their customers with a monthly driving score. Similar approaches can have a huge effect on your electrified fleet.

A 2010 Accenture study identified the key issue to EV adoption; they needed to be on a par with ICE in cost and performance. A lot of progress has been made to close the gap but we’ve put together some everyday tips to ensure that you’re getting the maximum range out of your fleet as possible.

Read the road ahead

Anticipating the road ahead can help you to minimise acceleration and braking. Harsh acceleration doesn’t have quite the same telematics penalty as an ICE, but it can also lead to sharp braking.

Conserving momentum is the number one approach to ensuring that the journey is the most efficient, much as it would be using an ICE.

Eliminate harsh braking

Regenerative braking’s a key feature for EVs which takes kinetic energy from the motion of the car and converts it into electricity.

Instead of braking, relaxing a foot on the accelerator causes the engine to act as a generator, creating reverse torque to the front wheels, slowing it down. By trying to maximise the use of this technique you can see energy recapture rise to 10% in normal conditions and 30% on descents.

Instead of braking, relaxing a foot on the accelerator causes the engine to act as a generator, creating reverse torque to the front wheels, slowing it down.

Keep an eye on your speed

High speeds negatively impact the charge levels of an EV to a greater extent than they affect the fuel levels of a traditional vehicle. Try to avoid spending too long at a high speed to minimise the drain on the battery.

The higher energy consumption’s caused by drag, which ICE vehicles can combat this through their use of gears but EVs don’t have as many models that aren’t automatic. This also explains why city driving is ideal for an electric vehicle.

Eliminate excess energy spend in your electrified fleet - Body image

Air conditioning and heaters cost energy

Some features such as a horn, lights, indicators and windscreen wipers are necessary for driver safety.

On the other hand, heating and air conditioning can affect energy depletion by up to 10%. It’s important for your drivers to understand this because it will be detrimental to the range of the vehicle and impact your planning of routes.

EV heating systems can’t use excess heat from the engine like an ICE model does. Instead, it’ll either need to pre-heat the car using mains electricity or the battery. Pre-conditioning EV batteries ahead of departure is particularly effective in Winter where the air temperature may be below optimum levels for the battery.

Air conditioning is less impactful but at speeds less than 45mph, opening a window is more effective.

One way to combat this would be to use heated seats rather than space heating as it keeps you warmer and uses less energy. Newer models such as the Tesla Model 3 use an air source heat pump to ‘scavenge’ heat from all parts of the car, improving battery performance.

Get to know your fleet’s eco features

Almost every EV comes with a host of features designed to help your drivers be smarter and more efficient when on the road.

Switching to eco mode or equivalent can reduce the energy spend of the journey by limiting the throttle and the power of air conditioning and heating options.

Having your drivers familiarise themselves with everything the vehicle has to offer and reading the manual will help. On long distance runs, you can then plan accordingly and make sure it’s never a scramble to find the nearest charge point.

By getting the drivers within your fleet to adopt some, or preferably all, of these measures it should give you enhanced flexibility when planning your routes. Additionally, it should aid in reducing range anxiety within your fleet.

To find out how Drax can support your business on its electrification journey, contact us below.

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