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Supporting the drive towards an electric future

12 Apr 2022
Giorgio Migliarina-alt

Giorgio Migliarina

Products and Services Director, Vodafone Business

Sales of cars powered solely by batteries surged in the United States, Europe and China last year, while deliveries of fossil fuel vehicles plateaued.

However, this electric mode of transport is not only becoming increasingly popular among private users. Businesses are also looking to make the switch.

Whether that’s in agriculture, last-mile logistics or even across public transport, organisations are making their fleets more sustainable in a bid to bring down costs, win customers and support wider sustainability goals.

Managing these vehicles can be just as challenging as before though, and that’s where fleet analytics can still support.

Making a difference with data

As the transition to sustainable and emission-free vehicles is speeding up, more and more companies are considering the addition of electric vehicles (EVs) to their fleet.

To be able to do that you have to manage all of your vehicles, electric and traditional alike. You need to know things like how much battery power is left, in the same way you would monitor fuel consumption.

Working with EVUM Motors across its fully electric trucks in Germany, we’re helping bring a complete end-to-end fleet management solution powered by our IoT network to its fleet so that managers can have more visibility and make better decisions.

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Designed with affordable and sustainable e-mobility in mind, EVUM Motors aCar is consciously simple in design and geared to conserving resources. For it to work effectively, connectivity is key to its make-up.

The first vehicle manufacturer to adopt our fleet analytics solution, the telematics unit is mounted directly onto the aCar’s on-board diagnostic interface. It includes a cellular modem with a SIM card and GPS module for localisation.

Vehicle data can then be forwarded from the SIM card via the network and uploaded to the cloud, where it can be seen by the fleet manager.

Regularly delivered to the fleet portal for easy viewing, the data shared includes information like the charge level of the battery, the current position of the vehicle, as well as other data on the use and condition of the aCar. This allows managers to look after their fleet more efficiently.

In fact, the use of an aCar reduces local CO2 emissions by 100%. This corresponds to 13,440 kg[1] and the utilisation of the fleet is optimised further by our fleet management solution so that there is no unnecessary green energy consumption.

In addition, applications such as a Green Fleet Dashboard provide commercial or public users with up-to-date data on CO2 savings. In the future, even more options such as commercial vehicle sharing or predictive maintenance will be added.

Our own electric fleet

In the UK, we’re working with a number of manufacturers to eliminate carbon emissions from our 1,355-strong car and van fleet by 2027.

Already in 2020, 98% of the cars ordered by us were either electric vehicles or petrol-hybrid electric vehicles and around two-thirds of the car fleet is now electric, which has led to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 520 tonnes.

The van fleet is presenting more of a challenge.

Our telematics data shows that our engineers typically drive 150-170 miles a day and the best EV vans on the market can only do about 200 in real-world conditions. With engineers responding to emergency call outs at all hours, we need vans to be near to full charge every hour of the day.

We’re confident that new van models with superior range can solve this problem in the future and are looking at alternatives such as incorporating ‘van charging’ breaks into engineers’ working days or using hydrogen-fuelled vehicles instead, which tend to have a much bigger mileage range.

Are you ready to go green?

Whatever the future looks like, we’re committed to driving a cleaner, greener society and will be using the UK as a case study to roll out across our European footprint and beyond, in time.

Already we’ve noticed more employees making the switch as the range of electric vehicles on the market grows and the number of charging points increase.

But for electric vehicles to truly take off, the public and private sectors need to come together to build greener energy grids that will be able to power the mobility of the future.

Before you make the switch, why not try our Electric Vehicle Suitability Assessment tool to find out if it makes sense for you and your business, both operationally and financially.

[1]The values refer to a service life of 8 years. An average commercial vehicle used in municipal and commercial use was compared with the EVUM Motor aCar.

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