19 September 2019
electric vehicles for your fleet? EPOD software can help
New technologies often
take time to filter through to the mass market, especially when they redefine
an everyday commodity. This has certainly been true of contemporary electric
vehicles, which have experienced sluggish uptake since their introduction in
the late 1990s. In the UK, researchers have put this down to multiple factors,
including confusion around the benefits and
incentives, and a lack of choice.
However, things are
finally starting to change, not least in the logistics sector which is subject
to evermore stringent diesel taxes and government targets intended to
ensure that 40 percent of commercial vans are low emission by 2030.
The Royal Mail has been trialling
electric delivery vans since 2017 and, according to the latest annual Logistics Report from the Freight
Transport Association (FTA), a huge 71.4 percent of van operators intend
to use electric vehicles in their fleets this year.
If your business is
one of them, it’s time to assess the impact of the switch to a partially or
completely electric fleet.
An Electronic Proof of Delivery (EPOD) system is
essential infrastructure for electric vehicle adoption – here’s why.
Optimise fleet range for both fuel and
For any logistics
business relying on road transportation, vehicle range is all-important. A
delivery company trades on its capacity to get goods where they need to go
within a strict timeframe, so any uncertainty around how many miles a vehicle
can cover is simply not an option. A recent survey of 150 fleet managers found
that their main area of concern relating to electric vehicles is driving range
- 80% said that ‘range anxiety’
limited their company’s electric-car uptake.
Electric vehicle range
is improving all the time – the UK’s leading electric vans both have a claimed range of up to
106 miles – but even
more important is the ability to optimise that range. No matter the distance
your drivers can cover in electric vehicles, you need to know that they can
turn each and every mile into business value, which is where the route planning element of EPOD software comes into play.
An EPOD solution can
automatically identify the most direct and/or cost-effective routes for both
traditional petrol and electric vehicles, taking into account appropriate duty
cycles and charging opportunities for the latter. Live vehicle mapping then ensures
any unplanned route deviations are factored into an electric vehicle’s range
and route, so that updates can be sent to the driver remotely and in
Maximise battery life through live
As you may have
guessed, the key to successfully integrating electric vehicles into your fleet
is ensuring the technology performs to its optimum capacity. This isn’t
possible without a supporting software system that allows you to minimise
inefficiencies, such as Touchstar’s new ‘Waiting Time’ analysis. This feature
enables you to set maximum waiting times for your drivers to adhere to, so that
an undeliverable item doesn’t lead to engine idling and wasted electric vehicle
your drivers’ habits behind the wheel through vehicle telematics can help you
get maximum mileage from electric vehicles. Driving style is known to have a
significant impact on electric vehicle range; the Energy Saving Trust found
that, after training, drivers of electric vehicles reduced
energy consumption by 16% and increased driving range by 20%. With telematics built in, an EPOD system
gives you the ability to encourage your drivers to adopt energy-saving driving
behaviours, such as conserving momentum and smooth acceleration.
Protect your EV fleet
Electric vehicles tend
to have a high resale value, which can make them attractive to market-savvy
thieves. Not only does the GPS vehicle tracking capability of EPOD software allow you to see the exact
location of each vehicle in your fleet via real-time mapping, and live ETAs to
each new delivery destination, it gives you an extra security measure should
any of them end up in the wrong hands.
Clearly, a high-value
fleet makes insurance even more essential, and EPOD can help here too. Store
renewal dates in the system for automatic reminders, giving you plenty of time
to secure the best deal and remain compliant.
Support fleet management with EPOD
software, whatever your choice of vehicle
Whether your fleet is
petrol, electric, hybrid or a mixture of all three, an EPOD solution is vital
for getting the best from it.
To discover the other ways Touchstar’s Electronic
Proof of Delivery technology can help your business achieve better fleet management,
please don’t hesitate to get in touch.