Electrifying your fleet delivers environmental and financial benefits for your organisation – both as it’s happening, and after you’ve completely swapped your internal combustion engines (ICE) for electric vehicles (EVs).
One way of making financial savings is to ensure your EV fleet drivers adopt best practices in relation to economising their driving style. But how can you do this? Read on to find out.
Multiple studies have identified the key issue with EV adoption: to succeed, the results must be on a par with ICE in terms of cost and performance.
So here are some everyday tips for your drivers to follow to make sure you’re getting the maximum range possible from your EV fleet.
Read the road ahead
Anticipating what’s ahead can help drivers minimise acceleration and braking. It’s worth nothing that harsh acceleration in an EV doesn’t have quite the same telematics penalty as it does with an ICE.
Conserving momentum is the number one approach to ensuring a journey’s completed in the most efficient manner.
Eliminate harsh braking
Regenerative braking’s a key feature for EVs, which take kinetic energy from the motion of the car and convert it into electricity.
Instead of braking, relaxing a foot on the accelerator causes the engine to act as a generator. This creates reverse torque to the front wheels, slowing the EV down. By trying to maximise the use of this technique, energy recapture can rise to 10% in normal conditions and 30% on descents.
Keep an eye on your speed
High speeds have a negative impact on an EV’s charge levels to a greater extent than they affect the fuel levels of a traditional vehicle. By trying to avoid long periods at high speed, EV drivers can minimise the drain on the battery.
The drag on any vehicle will make it consume more energy. ICE vehicles can combat this through their use of gears, but most EVs are automatic so can’t compensate in the same way.
Air conditioning and heaters cost energy
Features such as a horn, lights, indicators and windscreen wipers are necessary for driver safety and can’t be eliminated. On the other hand, heating and air conditioning are optional extras that affect energy depletion by up to 10%. Drivers must understand that these features are detrimental to the range of the vehicle and will have an impact on route planning.
EV heating systems can’t use excess heat from the engine like an ICE model does. Instead, it’ll either need to pre-heat the car using mains electricity or the battery. Pre-conditioning EV batteries ahead of departure is particularly effective in winter, when the air temperature may be below optimum levels for the battery. Air conditioning has less impact – although at speeds below 72kph (or 45mph), opening a window is more effective.
One way to combat this would be to use heated seats rather than space heating; the former use less energy and keep you warmer. Newer EVS such as the Tesla Model 3 use an air source heat pump to ‘scavenge’ heat from all parts of the car, improving battery performance.
Get to know your fleet’s eco features
Almost every EV comes with a host of features designed to help your drivers be smarter and more efficient when on the road.
Switching to eco mode or equivalent can reduce the energy usage on the journey by limiting the throttle as well as the power of air conditioning and heating options.
Having your drivers familiarise themselves with everything their vehicle has to offer will help. On long distance runs, you can then plan accordingly and help ensure they’re never scrambling to find the nearest charge point.
Getting the drivers within your fleet to adopt these measures should give you enhanced flexibility when planning your routes. Additionally, it should aid in reducing range anxiety within your driver group.
To find out how Drax can support your electrification journey, get in touch here.