Optimising EV charging

20th June 2022
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Once your electric fleet is up and running, it’s time to manage it, and the possibilities are fascinating, and potentially transformational for your business.

Just as with petrol and diesel vehicles, you can make your business run better, more efficiently and economically with excellent fleet management. For electric though, the metrics you need to look at are different and require alternative systems for measuring them. 

But also, because of the technology and information available, running an electric fleet and its charging provides insights you could only dream of with petrol and diesel.

This Is because the power produced by the National Grid is constantly monitored, and charge points produce real-time data, which is all available if you know how to access it. The carbon intensity, the price and the location of every kWh created and used by your fleet can be monitored. It means, if you want, you can get granular levels of data about your use of electricity, vehicles and drivers in a way that is genuinely transformational. Here’s how.

Understanding power like never before

With petrol and diesel, you can get very accurate figures which tell you the cost to fuel your vehicles when a driver has filled up. And that’s useful. But with electricity, the basic unit cost when it’s charging is just the tip of the iceberg.

Using our Fleet Portal, you can not only see the exact cost of that electricity per kW at any given time (we split it into 30-minute chunks throughout each 24 hours, just as smart meters do) but also the location, whether at home or on the road, the rate of charge, and even the carbon intensity of that electricity.

This is a game-changer. Many companies now have to report their carbon emissions and energy usage, with our research showing that 67% of fleets want to offset their carbon usage. The Mina Fleet Portal can show how clean, or otherwise, the electricity generated was, because the National Grid monitors for every region what percentage was produced by coal, gas, nuclear, wind or solar at any given time. This means you can see how much carbon was used in the production of the power your fleet uses, and crucially, allows you to make plans to be greener still. 

For example, it might be that at certain times of the day, more electricity is produced by renewable methods, which means you can reduce your carbon footprint by charging as much as possible during those periods. It’s not a choice you have with fossil fuels: the environmental impact has already occurred by the time it reaches the fuel tank.

A completely new way of running vehicles

Monitoring your vehicles’ electricity usage will give you a view of your fleet unlike any you’ve had before. In our Fleet Portal, you can see exactly how much each charge costs, and the rate while charging, which is a very useful, highly accurate, top-line figure for understanding the economic position of each and every vehicle.

But that’s just the start. You can see where every charge took place, how long it lasted, and split out how much of each charge was for business and private mileage, which hugely helps when paying employees’ charging costs.

It can also then show how energy-efficient each vehicle is, not only in terms of the electricity used per kWh but also the carbon intensity. This helps you to quickly build up a picture of the best performing EVs, which is a new and rapidly developing sector gives your business a huge advantage.

So instead of filling cars and vans with petrol and diesel, getting receipts and then working out basic fuel economy and cost, with electricity, you can see every unit of power and how it was used by your vehicles – either at an individual level or across the entire fleet.

Understanding driver behaviour in a new way

Because all the data for power is so elegantly linked, you will be able to see when drivers charge, where, how and why. This is transformational too.

You’ll be able to see who is driving efficiently, and who isn’t, as well as their energy tariff at home, so you can help them find cheaper tariffs if need be. And also, you’ll be able to refine your drivers’ behaviours to create an ever more efficient, green fleet.

If, for example, a driver charges at home but tends not to bother scheduling it for off-peak periods (when electricity can be 10 per kW cheaper and possibly cleaner), you’ll see it and can change that behaviour. 

Or perhaps they use expensive public chargers when cheaper ones are available nearby. You can show them where those are as well – or if charging speed is important direct them to networks that have faster chargers. That’s because you can find that out through the Fleet Portal too.

Optimised charging means a revolutionised fleet

As you can see, the level of data you can get from an electric fleet is beyond anything previously possible with petrol and diesel. It allows you and your business to manage vehicles in a way never done before. 

But as with everything, too much information can be overwhelming, and counterproductive. That’s where our Fleet Portal comes in. It presents all your data in easily understandable graphics and allows you to analyse specifically what you want to about your fleet or drivers. When you have this level of insight at your fingertips, electric can transform your fleet.