Electricity is unlike any other fuel. Electricity comes from different sources and rates based on each charging facility, utility provider, seasonal changes, time of use, overall demand, and other factors. Your fleet can easily spend more on electricity than diesel if it is not managed efficiently. One of the largest pitfalls is software and hardware integration. The software integration is an issue because chargers, networks, and vehicles usually come from different entities which means data is not pulled into the same platform creating a siloed management process.
However, electric fuelling is manageable and there are aspects which you can control to ensure operational efficiency. Here are some recommendations to consider for your fuel management:
- Understand your charging requirements. Analyse your data to understand which vehicles are best fit for your operation. Vehicles can have significantly different charging requirements which will affect your fuelling strategy.
- Schedule vehicle charging. Charging rates vary dramatically depending on what time you charge. To get the best rates confirm the time of use rates with your supplier and then set charging schedules, usually, the best rates are after 9 pm. You should also plan your routes and make use of free charging facilities.
- Assess your charging speed. Demand charges can equal half of the total cost to charge. To avoid this, you can analyse load balance as it can lengthen the time to charge and reduce costs. Alternative you can investigate battery energy storage, solar, or other power generation which reduces peak demand charges.
- Change your utility rate. It’s likely that your fleet will use different rates at different facilities. Review utility rates and consider alternatives to demand charges such as subscription fees, seasonal, demand holiday or special rates.
Charging costs are difficult to track without software and impossible to analyse without integration, making software capability critical to any fuelling solution. All fuel management requires fleet management software that compiles data from different sources to produce an efficient strategy. Ultimately your software must deliver advanced analysis to help you avoid excessive costs from poor charging decisions that impact the performance of your fleet. AssetWorks provides a fleet ecosystem that supports the road to sustainability and carbon neutrality by analysing your operations with data-led strategies.