Top 5 lessons learned from EV pilots
March 10, 2022
An electric vehicle (EV) pilot is the most effective way for fleets to transition to an electric future. Over the past year, Element has helped clients take charge of their electrification journey through EV pilot design, process implementation, and charging installation.
Tune in to watch our EV Pilot Programs Manager, Ehren Korshus, as he shares the top 5 lessons learned this past year, walking hand in hand with our clients and helping them transition from ICE to EVs.
Looking to start an EV pilot? Keep in mind these 5 lessons.
#1 Choose a fleet management company with strong EV collaborations
Strong EV collaborators create stability both at pilot and at scale. They ensure long term viability of EVs through timely execution of installations and driver engagement.
By uniting with industry leaders such as Qmerit, EnelX, ChargePoint and WEX, our clients gain access to seamless charging solutions to strategically electrify their fleets.
#2 Prioritize fleet vehicle ordering
OEM production challenges continue to constrict supply and availability of some EV models. Once executive sponsorship has been obtained, we recommend acting quickly to identify ideal pilot candidates for timely vehicle selection and order placement.
Element can help you prioritize what’s important and determine optimal sequencing from pilot design to implementation.
#3 Invest in fleet driver training and engage drivers from the start
One of the most overlooked aspects of any new EV pilot is driver training and communication. Yet, it is a critical step for successful program adoption. The driver experience from vehicle delivery to driving can look very different for EVs compared to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. EVs are more technologically advanced. They require new driver habits and operational considerations such as EV charging times for route planning and productivity.
“I remember my first time driving an electric vehicle. Thankfully it was on a closed course as I was not expecting the harsh regenerative braking to kick in and throw me into my seat belt. Being able to articulate how to operate an EV including charging and parking is key in preparing drivers for adoption of these vehicles.” – Ehren Korshus, EV Pilot Programs Manager
Our EV pilot program considers a comprehensive training plan in partnership with the vehicle manufacturers. This helps to ensure that your pilot drivers are prepared to take delivery of their new EV, safely operate it, and recharge it according to the charging strategy that we help you develop.
#4 Driver reimbursement is not as challenging as it seems
We recommend leveraging existing processes and policies to reimburse drivers for home or public charging. There are many methods available for driver reimbursement. In its simplest form, the calculation method uses factors including average residential electricity rates ($/kWh) per region combined with a public charging approximation to estimate how much a driver spends per month. This is often the easiest method for organizations to implement for pilot purposes.
Element’s solutions make reimbursement strategies easy to build. This allows you to focus on the most critical aspects of pilot deployment first and you can select the most suitable reimbursement method for your fleet closer to pilot launch.
#5 Consider adding telematics to your pilot to optimize fleet EV performance
Having a robust fleet telematics solution can add a lot of value to your EV pilots and beyond. A data-driven approach to evaluating vehicle performance across geographies, weather conditions and use cases can help you project fleet performance as you look to scale beyond your pilot. This can also help you optimize vehicle choices by understanding the impacts of driver behavior on vehicle range as well as comparing the range advertised vs. range observed in your fleet’s specific operating conditions.
Element collaborates with leaders in the telematics industry to provide purpose-built EV solutions and custom analysis to help you communicate your EV pilot story to leadership, from both a financial and operational perspective.
Interested in learning more about Arc by Element’s end-to-end EV fleet offering?
Find out how we can help you and your fleet prepare for large-scale EV adoption through pilot planning, vehicle support, and charging infrastructure.
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