It’s never been easier to set up and manage a fleet of electric vehicles. Running your electric fleet smoothly, however, does require you to have the right software working behind the scenes. Let’s take a deep dive into the world of smart EV fleet management.
Whether you’re looking to transition a fleet of delivery vans to electric, you’re eyeing up a range of electric company cars, or you’ve already taken the plunge on charging hardware for your office, every fleet manager has one thing in common: they need to be sure that their vehicles and employees are equipped to hit the road without worry or delay.
In the world of EVs, that means ensuring that the entire fleet stays charged up without hassle and without breaking the bank. The answer? Intelligent fleet charging and management software that can make running any number of company-owned EVs a breeze.
Here’s everything you need to know…
What is EV fleet management software?
EV fleet management software can be understood as the digital platforms that companies use to oversee and operate a network of chargers for electric fleets. And what are electric- or EV fleets exactly?
An EV fleet is any collection of electric vehicles owned by an organization. That means everything from company cars to busses – all of which need to be able to reliably access charge points and the necessary power, where and when needed.
If you’re a delivery company with a fleet of EV delivery vans, for example, you need your drivers (or the team at the depot) to be able to keep those vans ready for the road. Likewise, if you distribute company cars to office workers, they need to be able to charge their vehicles in a way that works for both them and the organization. Or a hotel chain with a fleet of electric minibusses might choose to put a charger or two in every hotel parking lot.
So, the key challenge that EV fleet managers have is ensuring that there’s robust and convenient charging infrastructure that staff can access easily.
In most cases, the solution to that particular problem means being able to run and manage those charge stations intelligently – and without high operational costs.
What’s important here is that those charging points are like giant paperweights without some pretty smart software to back them up.
So, in short, an EV fleet management software solution is the brains behind the brawn; it’s how organizations can enable, manage, and optimize charging for staff.
What does EV fleet management software do?
We’ve mentioned that EV fleet charging software helps companies manage their network of chargers, but what does that mean in practice? And more importantly what should it do ideally?
Here are the key features to look for in an EV fleet solution…
No matter the use case, fleet managers should look for software that makes the charge points as easily accessible as possible to their drivers. For the driving employees, locating the charge points, beginning a charging session, and paying for power should be smart and simple, so that they can get back on the road without delay.
An option like Spirii’s includes charge keys and dedicated charging and payment app suitable for any fleet. While charge keys can be placed on the icon on the charger to initiate charging sessions, the Spirii Go app can also be used to initiate charging with the press of a button - but furthermore the app has a super user-friendly interface that makes finding the nearest available charger, and getting back on the road, incredibly easy.
And besides using the app for work purposes, the employees can freely use Spirii Go to charge and pay in a large roaming network of 300.000+ chargers all over Europe.
Any fleet owner would want to invest in a software management system that enables them to keep a high uptime of the chargers, by swiftly locating issues and begin error-fixing – if the opposite were the case, it would not only slow down the transport and cause trouble for their business case, it would keep the time and costs spent on maintenance of the charging network very high.
With the Spirii Platform, fleet managers can consolidate all operational processes into one place – in an insightful dashboard they can easily oversee the health of their charging network by monitoring chargers in real-time, locating service issues fast and fixing errors remotely. Learn more about the Spirii Platform.
Dynamic Load Management is an important feature for today’s charge point operators – this goes for fleet owners too.
Dynamic Load Management allows you to optimize electricity capacity and lower installation and operational costs at your charge points. The feature uses algorithmic models to both balance and optimize the energy usage across chargers depending on how many vehicles are connected.
If 4 vehicles are connected at a location with 8 charge stations for instance, the load is adjusted so that all cars get the maximum power available. If more cars get connected, the load is adjusted accordingly and safely. This will mean that you don’t need additional reinforcement of the charging location to avoid surpassing the electricity capacity and causing installation issues or breakdowns - and the best part is that it's all in the software working behind the scenes.
Understand the details of Dynamic Load Management.
Insights and optimization
Any software solution worth its salt will house important information about uptime and charger status as well as useful analytics in a dashboard that makes it easy to understand charger usage and user behaviour.
This data can then help you make smart decisions around how to make the most of your hardware – including showing you when and where it’s time to scale up with additional charge points based on occupancy metrics for example.
Flexible compensation and pricing
Fleet managers would want to be able to set special prices or to compensate their workers without issues. With Spirii’s solutions you can easily set up compensation schemes and automated reimbursement for employees charging their company car at home or in public.
And for fleet managers looking to charge their users for energy – as with a company car fleet that uses chargers at the office – the system behind the scenes should preferably allow you to offer discounts to specific users (say guest or certain employees).
With platforms like Spirii, you can choose between different discount types and overall pricing models. The pricing models count fixed and dynamic which allow the price itself to adapt to either preset (and changeable) kWh price or to flux alongside the real-time cost of electricity. Setting a margin above that dynamic market rate ensures that you’ll always be running at a profit. Read more about Spirii’s voucher discounts and pricing models here.
Fleet managers could benefit from a system that allows them to set the chargers to publicly available outside working hours – or for instance at locations that aren’t used much. This functionality would enable a faster return on investment from the charging infrastructure with additional revenue coming in. Interested in knowing how? Read more about opening hours with Spirii.
How much does fleet management software cost?
Most fleet charging solutions are priced based on the number of cars in the fleet and their associated chargers - needless to say the functionalities and services included in the software play a major part to pricing too.
Many CPOs struggle with the need to use several systems, services, and management software from different providers in order to cover their needs and keep their charging network running smoothly. This is due to the fact that the software often only includes functionalities handling one aspect of the operations or services.
With Spirii, CPOs will meet a full-service platform covering their every need from building, launching, operating, and optimizing their charging network. Our solution is fully scalable and adaptable, which means that fleet owners can pick and choose from features to cover their business needs. This also means pricing varies depending on the services needed and the size of the fleet in question.
If you’d like to explore your options and get a quick quote, please get in touch.
What is the best fleet management software solution?
As the number of EVs requiring power increases, so do software solutions and platforms enabling charging. The best solution for out there of course depends on your business needs. Yet with a long track record in the EV industry and award-winning solutions, Spirii can help you offer smart and easy charging, no matter your business size or maturity.
Our intelligent, cloud-powered platform is customizable, future-proof, and built by industry experts who use the platform to run high performing charging networks themselves. The Spirii Platform consolidates all the operational processes and settings fleet managers need into one place. From there, you can easily monitor all your chargers, address service issues with remote troubleshooting, and manage user groups, permissions, and prices.
Our future-proof backend and frontend solutions ensure our partners have all the tools they need to offer charging services that accommodate any requirement. Our APIs and white-labeling options provide the flexibility to select from a range of custom hardware and software integrations bearing your branding.
All in all, Spirii’s fleet charging management technology simplifies a typically complex set of processes with an easy setup and powerful optimization tools.
Get in touch if you'd like a chat with one of our trusted advisers right here.