Fleet operators have no shortage of reasons to join the electric vehicle revolution. Compared to gas-powered vehicles, EVs are more energy efficient, have lower fuel costs, require less maintenance, and leave a smaller ecological footprint.
A key component of any electrified fleet is convenient, reliable access to charging stations that are appropriate to the types of vehicles and their usage—now and in the years to come. To maximize the benefits of going electric, follow our roadmap for investing in EV charging for fleets.
Your transition to an electric fleet needs the strongest possible infrastructure. Hypercharge has the answer.
Locating your network
Your fleet requires a detailed energy management strategy to ensure all of its vehicles hit the road with a sufficient charge. This begins with determining when and where charging will take place.
Is your fleet parked at a government, commercial, or industrial headquarters when not in use? This provides a central location for an expandable number of charging stations. If most vehicles are idle and charging over the same period of time—ideally when electricity rates are off-peak—the requirements may be as high as one station per EV.
Perhaps your fleet is spread across numerous locations. Carshare programs, for example, situate their vehicles in public parking lots, college and university campuses, and outside apartment or condo buildings. If usage patterns permit, multiple vehicles may be able to share each charging station, and your charging capabilities can be increased by adding additional station locations.
Some company vehicles are taken home by their drivers, where they may be charged overnight. This can be accomplished with an appropriate outlet or a charging station, often underwritten by the employer. Hypercharge can share best practices for calculating electricity costs and reimbursing your employees.
Laying the groundwork
When Geotab analyzed driving patterns for 179,000 light-duty fleet vehicles across North America, it found that nearly half could be swapped for an EV equivalent today. About 98% of the vehicles’ daily driving needs would be covered by a single charge.
As the tide turns towards EV adoption, anticipating future infrastructure demands is a critical part of any EV charging strategy. For example, consider the underground conduit that connects charging stations to the electrical grid. Forward-looking fleet operators install conduits that can support additional charging stations as needed, avoiding costly upgrades down the line. This should be planned in consultation with the local utility company, ideally at least a year in advance, to coordinate the work and negotiate electricity rates.
Hypercharge can provide guidance on offsetting these upfront costs through government incentives, such as rebates, tax credits, and grants.
Selecting your charging solution
After establishing charging locations, timing, and electrical capacity, it’s on to the all-important charging method, which falls into three categories.
Level 1 charging can be as simple as plugging into a standard 120V outlet. This is the slowest option, with a charge taking as long as a day or even two. It’s most appropriate for smaller vehicles that are typically used to travel short distances, such as staff cars.
Level 2 chargers are the most popular option among fleet operators, delivering a full charge in about eight hours. This may take place overnight, when electricity rates are at their lowest. For drivers seeking a midday “top-up,” the charger can add 20 to 128 kms of driving range—the distance travelled before the battery runs out—per hour of charging.
Level 3 chargers fully charge an EV battery in less than an hour—under some circumstances, as little as half that time. In addition to convenience, Level 3 chargers offer a fast solution to urgent needs, such as catching up on charging demands after a power outage.
Once a Hypercharge station is active, operators can collect data that provides valuable information about each vehicle’s driving range, frequency of charging, and drivers’ charging habits. This data can help manage costs, inform station usage guidelines, and shape plans for the future.
Engaging the right partner
EV charging for fleets requires careful study to realize its full potential. You may wish to initiate a pilot project in order to work out logistical and operational issues, test equipment, assess the return on investment, and educate stakeholders. Hypercharge is your end-to-end partner, supporting all types of fleets throughout each stage of the process—from creating an investment strategy to upscaling operations. Contact us today to take the first steps towards getting your fleet EV ready.