How-to guide

Transitioning to electrical power is an important decision for any fleet. It requires research and planning, to ensure money is invested wisely and that implementation is as seamless as possible.

This guide leads you through the most up-to-date market information and relevant fleet experiences. It is designed to give your company step-by-step guidance, taking you through the basics of EV technologies to the early adoption and evaluation of your own corporate fleet transition plan.


Build the charging solution

Deploy chargers ahead of EVs

The deployment will vary across a number of variables such as the use case, EV type, charging technologies and services available within your region, and excess available capacity at charging sites.

Building the charging solution is likely to occur in the following stages:

Stage 1
build for a pilot fleet using excess available capacity at fleet parking sites. The build will be small, supporting charging needs of typically less than 10 EVs.
Stage 2
build for a site’s entire fleet electrification through longer-term planning and coordination with the DSO/DNO to upgrade distribution system capacity at substation levels. Here too, smart charging, on-site storage, and/or generation may alleviate needs for upgrades to the distribution system.
Stage 3
build for near-term fleet adoption by first upgrading site capacity through a grid distribution capacity upgrade via the DSO/DNO or using smart charging technologies, on-site storage, and/or generation technologies. This would typically support the charging needs of a fleet up to 50 EVs.

Deploy the EVs

Educate, train, and excite your drivers

A successful deployment depends on how EVs are communicated to the drivers.

Resolve misconceptions through trainings and educational materials concerning places to charge, vehicle range, and time-to-charge. Consider simplemessages, such as most of the time a top-up of 10 minutes from a public charger will be enough to power the EV back to its dedicated charger.
Also consider using the following tools and methods to better familiarize potential EV adopters:

  • Smart phone apps that track and analyse how an employee’s current use of a conventional vehicle would result in financial savings and GHG reductions, and identifies locations to charge a hypothetical EV along the routes they use.
  • Provide EV test drive events.

Emphasize the benefits of EVs; lower operating costs, reduced GHG emissions, no local pollutants like nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) pollutants.

Inspire by starting with top management and identified super users that are well positioned to advocate and move the EV message forward.

Address lingering concerns through technical solutions such as:

  • An FAQ hotline for employees
  • Ensure employees have a road-side assistance solution
  • Offer conventional vehicle rentals within policies to mitigate employee concerns with EV viability for road trips
  • Provide employee training on EVs to elevate their concerns such as vehicle range. Some apps exist to help with this.

Collect and track data

Monitor the roll-out

If you are not using vehicle telematics for your existing fleet, transitioning to EVs is a great opportunity to start.

Vehicle telematics are communications pathways and platforms that collect and organize vehicle data so that fleets can assess and improve fleet performance. Adopting a telematics system will also give you critical information for determining the feasibility of an EV transition.

EV technologies are advancing rapidly. Assumptions that may be accurate for today’s options may not be right for tomorrow’s. Tracking real-world data will give you the best insight on the performance of your EV fleet.

When tracking data avoid privacy vulnerabilities by providing clear details on what data is being collected and how it is being used by:

  • Detailing the objective of the data collection effort
  • Spelling out specific data points for collection, and
  • Having clear guidelines for reporting and processing.

Think of research questions like this:

  • How does temperature impact efficiency?
  • Using heating and air conditioning draws power from the battery will have an impact on range.
  • When and where are drivers charging?
  • Most charging sessions will have some flexibility for managed charging. If this flexibility is optimized, the fleet can save money on energy costs.
  • What are the EV driver experiences?
  • Many early EV adopters report positive experiences, and it is important to collect this information. It will help you improve your transition program for employees.

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