What is EV Fleet Charging?
Posted 26th January 2024
Electric vehicles (EVs) are fast becoming one of the most important topics of conversation as we shift away from our reliance on fossil fuels for our energy consumption. Our roads and modes of transportation have become a source of potential and inspiration. As much as there needs to be a top down approach towards transitioning to EVs, there is also a need for businesses to take a proactive approach to innovation by installing EV fleet charging points that suits their business needs now and in the future as their fleet grows.
What is an EV Fleet?
When one company owns or leases a group of vehicles this is called a ‘fleet’. An EV fleet is a group of electric vehicles that is owned or leased by an organisation. This fleet of vehicles is then used by the company as part of its service fulfillment. Commercial EV fleets have many different uses for many different industries. You see electric vehicle fleets as part of charities, government agencies, as well as taxi companies, buses, delivery vans and other types of public transportation services.
Electric Vehicle adoption rates have been on the rise for some time, and continue to increase over the coming years. With companies that already have a fleet of vehicles, switching to an EV fleet and managing that effectively has become an important consideration and process to undertake.
What is EV Fleet charging?
EV fleet charging solutions comes from charge points being installed on site. EV infrastructure provides effective charging for the fleet of electric vehicles that the company operates daily. Fleet charging is the replenishment of EV fleet batteries, through EV charging stations. Just like a traditional vehicles rely on fuel for an internal combustion engine, an electric vehicle needs to recharge its battery to continue to operate effectively. Power output and charging status can all be monitored in one place using your own Charge Point Management System (CPMS).
To charge an electric vehicle, it is simply plugged into an EV charging station. For a fleet of commercial or industrial electric vehicles, this requires multiple charge points and a management system to overlook the network and ensure consistent, optimal performance of fleet. Depending on the size of the fleet in question, the provision of EV charge points can change in size and scope. It can also consist of on-site charging points, where fleet vehicles sit when not in use. Every EV fleet charging solution is unique, and that is why a tailored approach works best to maximise the potential of an EV fleet, no matter what type of business you own.
ElectrAssure offers expertise and a full A-Z solution when accessing your Fleet EV charging requirements
Different ways to charge EV fleets
If you are considering switching to a fleet of electric vehicles for your business, but also want to provide EV charging provisions for your employees and clients, there are a few different locations where you can install EV charge points. At first there is a change in approach if you have been used to using petrol stations or on-site provisions to refuel your vehicles, but once EV charging solutions are installed it is a simple process that brings many benefits such as cost reduction and employee satisfaction.
Charge points in the workplace
Installing EV charge points at s work premises is an effective, cost efficient way to charge a fleet whilst being able to monitor and maximise up time. Up time is an important metric to measure as any time your fleets are down can cost substantial amounts of missed revenue. Effective vehicle management is useful for those company vehicles that are out on the roads during the day but that require scheduled charging times.
If you have a company depot where your fleet of vehicles are kept, it is advisable to install EV charge points on site. This ensures that whenever vehicles are parked in the depot, they can be charged and ready to go when they are next required. An effective EV charging infrastructure means your business is always moving forward.
On-road public charging points will be accessible for EV fleet drivers. This is an important consideration for vehicles that are running out of battery during long-distance journeys. This should never be a default charging option, but the potential charging locations should always be reviewed and planned out for such journeys. Public charging on the most part can be avoided with your own in house charging stations. By doing so you can increase the efficiency of your fleets journey while avoiding premium public charging prices.
What are the benefits of EV fleet charging?
Installing EV charge points for your company EV fleet brings with it a whole host of benefits. These include:
- A reduction in vehicle emissions – as all companies look to make a change in emissions produced and to reduce the company carbon footprint, transitioning to a fleet of electric vehicles and installing EV charging points is a good way to do so.
- Lower vehicle maintenance issues – the cost of maintenance and upkeep of electric vehicles is lower than that of vehicles that rely on fossil fuels. There is not the same worry of oil to change or an engine to manage and maintain, and there are fewer parts to wear down that would require replacing.
- Improve company image – a modern, forward-thinking company, that is looking to become sustainable and have greener brand credentials is a much more attractive proposition for new staff, new investors, and new clients and customers.
- Become a sustainable leader – stay ahead of the competition within your industry by embracing the chance to change how you view your fleet now and installing EV and EV charging infrastructure.
- Reduce operating costs – When you consider the cost of fuel and the cost of maintenance and upkeep on traditional vehicles, it is sensible to switch to an EV fleet. This will help to significantly reduce your operating costs over the coming years.
- Reduce noise levels – Electric cars are quieter than older models of vehicles that require fossil fuels. Alongside environmental concerns and long-term sustainability, reducing noise levels is another sensible and conscious change of approach that helps boost mental health, morale, and keeps local neighbours of a business happier with the company and its relationship with its location.
- Take advantage of government support – there are some government incentives and grants available (such as The Workplace Charging Scheme – WCS) to help businesses shift their own requirements and that of staff to electric vehicles.
How important is EV Fleet charging for the wider adoption of electric vehicles?
Electric vehicles are part of the wider conversation as far as sustainability is concerned. We can make strides towards reducing emissions and becoming environmentally-conscious. The future of transportation moves towards electric to help meet global targets for emissions. The introduction of Government incentives and regulations are necessary to push large scale adoption of electric vehicles by the public and businesses.
The charging levels of electric vehicles
There are three different levels of charging for EVs. Level 1 is the standard home EV charger with a wall plug of 120 volts and this is the slowest type of EV charging available. Level 2 chargers are those that are commonly found in public locations and within work premises and use 240 volts. Level 3 is another step up with 480 volts and a robust charging solution.
Both Level 1 and Level 2 chargers supply AC (alternating current) from the grid, which then needs to be converted into DC (direct current) by the vehicle’s battery, as EV batteries can only accept DC current. The process of conversion is what makes these slower than Level 3 chargers, which are DC.
Choosing the right charging solutions for your EV fleet
By switching to an electric fleets a business will encounter different challenges than traditional fleets. It’s pivotal for a business to have the right EV infrastructure in place to manage EV charging effectively. When designing your infrastructure you should take into account your businesses needs now and in the future. Keep your growth plans in mind. Understanding the different levels of charging requirements will help you decide on exactly what charging stations your fleet will need going forward.
- Although Level 1 chargers are the cheapest to use, they are not recommended for commercial use due to the slow nature and the risk of overloading electrical lines.
- Level 2 chargers provide a reasonable speed of charging, and this is why many commercial premises choose these for the use of staff members and visiting clients and customers. In fact, most commercial facilities installing EV charge points will choose Level 2 chargers as these offer sufficient charging speeds and are cost-effective.
- For heavy-duty EVs and a large fleet of vehicles, Level 3+ chargers are the most reliable way to go, offering a robustness that is required for heavier vehicles and bigger demands on the fleet at a functional level.
- Some businesses that are located on major transportation routes, motorways, and off the beaten track, are more likely to choose DC fast chargers for EV charge stations, as this helps those vehicles that are stopping quickly and don’t necessarily have the time to wait for a Level 2 charger to finish charging.
Should you install EV charging stations in the workplace?
Alongside investment in charging solutions for your EV fleet, the installation of EV charging stations that your staff members and customers can use when on site could also be of great benefit to your business. It helps with the transition to a greener workplace, helps to reduce the carbon footprint of your company, which brings with it brand reputation benefits, and boost efficiencies for your fleet.
ElectrAssures solution For EV fleets
With the help of ElectrAssures EV fleet charging expertise you’ll have the capability to charge multiple EV vehicles simultaneously without the need to worry about compromising performance or disruption. Our range of services fit the needs of different fleet sizes. Our EV experts can support your transition to an EV fleet every step of the way by offering a full A-Z solution. If you require tailored solutions and our industry expertise to help maximise the potential of your EV fleet then please contact our team today.