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How To Charge An Electric Vehicle Fleet

December 3, 2020

6 min

Charging your electric fleet doesn’t have to be complicated. Learn how to charge your electric vehicle (EV) fleet.

Charging for electric vehicle fleets

As electric vehicle fleets (EV fleets) become more commonplace, fleet operators are finding that keeping their fleet vehicles charged can become complicated. Between knowing when to charge, route planning, electric fueling costs, maintenance, and more, EV charging is not easy to manage. And with more financial incentives being offered to businesses using EV fleets, electrification is occurring at a more rapid pace.

In this EV fleet charging guide, we'll go over how to charge your fleet and solutions that make it easier to charge your fleet.

What you need to charge your fleet

Just like how diesel vehicles rely on fueling stations, EV vehicles have their own charging methods. When you begin using an electric fleet, your charging infrastructure will likely be put in place. Here's everything you need to begin charging your fleet.

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE)

EVSE (aka a charger) keeps you and your electric vehicle safe while charging. The correct charging current is set based on the maximum current the charger can provide and the maximum current the car can receive. As part of the protocol, a safety lock-out exists, preventing current from flowing when the charger is not connected to the car. It ensures that if a cable is not correctly inserted, power will not flow through it.

EVSE also detects hardware faults, disconnecting the power and preventing electric battery damage, electrical shorts, or worse still, fire. A good starting point is to work with a fleet electrification service to determine your vehicle's energy consumption. Energy usage is calculated in terms of kWh per mile (or kWh per hour for some vocational fleets).

Vehicle itself

This might sound obvious, but you need an electric vehicle to begin charging.

Software that controls charging

EV charging software helps improve how you handle your charging. Most organizations don't need to keep their vehicles 100% charged. Why? Depending on the routes and how often your EV fleet is used, you can see cost savings by keeping EVs charged at optimal levels. Keeping your vehicles fully charged results in unnecessary expense. With charging software, you can know how much to keep your vehicles charged by accounting for their usage, routes, and peak demand.

EV charging software helps fleet operators optimize energy and vehicle use by setting driving schedules and routes, charging intervals, and vehicle maintenance in alignment with customer demand, power prices, traffic conditions, and charging-station availability. 

Facility & transformer (electric infrastructure)

As part of your charging infrastructure, having access to a facility with charging stations is crucial. After all, this is where the electricity comes from for your vehicles. A typical charging facility consists of:

  • Transformers: Electric devices that change electricity from one level of voltage to another.
  • Electric grid: An interconnected network for delivering electricity from a charging station to the EV.
  • Charging meter: A device that records the amount of power flowing through a circuit
  • Charging stations: A physical station where EVs are parked and charged. Charging stations can typically take up to two weeks to build.

When transitioning to an EV fleet, your existing bus depot can be converted into a charging facility as well.

Fleet transition plan

Fleet electrification requires planning to ensure a smooth transition from gas/diesel to electric vehicles. There is software available that can simulate vehicles, infrastructure, and energy models, based on the unique operational characteristics of each fleet. A data-driven fleet transition plan allows for a smoother transition to a fully electric fleet.

If you're considering transitioning your fleet from gasoline and diesel to electric vehicles, then there are several important infrastructure-related factors to address. Some of these factors involve familiar issues and decisions you already know from operating conventionally fueled vehicles. Others introduce new concepts that are unique to EVs, such as the installation of a charger (aka EVSE).

Regardless of your fleet’s specific needs, every project should start by clearly defining the charging requirements for the EVs you are planning to deploy. This exercise allows you to build all other project components around properly charging the selected EVs to support implementing them in a way that best fits your fleet’s bottom-line characteristics and most common use (duty cycles). This section provides guidance for evaluating your fleet charging needs, charging equipment options and site feasibility

How to charge your EV fleet with Electriphi

Electriphi is the leader in EV fleet and energy management solutions. Here's how we make it easy to manage your EV fleet.

1 - Plan

We work with you to create a fleet transition plan from diesel to electric. With our expert team, we'll help you find the best electric vehicles and begin the transition process. During the planning process, we'll simulate the day-to-day activity of your fleets to determine optimal energy levels.

2 - Deploy

Once your EV fleet is ready, we work with you to deploy the EV vehicles in action. Our software helps with route planning and energy management, so you know when to charge your vehicles to keep them running.

3 - Operate

With our industry-leading software, we make it easy to manage your fleet as they run their routes and need to be charged. We make it easy to measure the performance of your fleet and ensure your vehicles aren’t sitting idly by. 

4 - Expansion

As you start working with Electriphi, we’ll work with you on a plan to expand the size of your fleet to include more EVs.

Transition your fleet to Electriphi

Still running a conventionally-fueled fleet? Here's why you should transition to an electric fleet powered by Electriphi.

Optimized TCO

Electriphi helps to ensure the total cost of ownership (TCO) of your EV fleet. Incur lower maintenance and no fuel costs with EVs as well as save costs on electricity with our smart charging capabilities that include vehicle telematics and route management features.

Fleet management

Manage your fleet with ease with Electriphi. Our software makes it easy to monitor your vehicles and get ahead of issues that can prevent EVs from being used. 

Save total cost per mile

Electriphi's software makes it easy to keep your fleets optimally charged. Instead of keeping your vehicles at full charge and overspending, we make it easy to determine the optimal charge levels for your EVs. This helps to save money on EV costs and improve the TCO of fleet electrification.

Route planning and charging strategy

Comprehensive fleet charging management based on schedules, telematics, routes, energy rates, and more. Ensure your electric vehicles are optimally charged and ready to go when needed with Electriphi's software and smart charging capabilities.

Conclusion

By knowing when to charge your fleet and how much to charge, you can ensure your fleet is running smoothly while saving on energy costs. To learn more about how Electriphi can help with EV fleet management, contact our team.

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