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What is electric vehicle telematics?

According to a recent report by Deloitte, the global electric vehicle (EV) market is set to grow with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29 per cent over the next ten years. This will see total EV sales grow from 2.5 million in 2020 to 11.2 million in 2025, reaching 31.1 million by 2030. This extraordinary growth is being driven by a variety of factors, including innovations in battery technology, climate change, and depleting oil reserves. 

Despite this rapid growth, there are many challenges unique to today’s EVs that have commercial fleet managers feeling hesitant about making the transition from petrol- and diesel-powered vehicles to electric ones. By hesitating, however, they’re delaying the inevitable because all businesses will need to switch eventually, and it’s better to get ahead sooner rather than try to catch up later.

However, a solution already exists that can help commercial fleet managers to simplify the transition from diesel to electric and solve challenges such as range anxiety—the driver’s fear that a vehicle has insufficient energy storage to cover the road distance needed to reach its intended destination. This solution is automotive telematics and specialist electric vehicle telematics systems. 

What is electric vehicle telematics? 

Electric vehicle telematics refers to the tech-powered solutions that enable fleet managers to continuously gather data about their vehicles. EV telematics systems use a combination of GPS, telecommunications, onboard diagnostics, vehicle technologies, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to do this, and they provide powerful insights. 

The data that’s collected by an electric vehicle telematics system can be analysed through an online platform and used to improve fleet operations by informing things like route planning, maintenance scheduling, and charging optimisation. 

As a solution that has helped to power petrol and diesel fleets for several decades, telematics has the potential to be just as powerful, if not more powerful, when deployed in an electrified fleet. 

What can electric vehicle telematics do?

Electric vehicle telematics can be used to provide managers with a wealth of information, data, and deep insights about electric vehicle fleets. This includes every trackable vehicle metric, from vehicle battery levels and battery discharge rates to the routes that your drivers are taking and how well they’re driving: hard braking, sudden acceleration, and average speed are just a few examples of the many driver metrics that you can track by using an EV telematics system like Trakm8. 

This is all made possible through a combination of cloud-based platforms and in-vehicle hardware. Although all telematics systems are different, the hardware component (think of it as a black box) will usually be hardwired into a vehicle or connected to the on-board diagnostics port where it collects data and sends it to a cloud-based platform via cellular Internet where it can be viewed in real-time and used to generate in-depth reports and inform decision-making. 

3 benefits of electric vehicle telematics

We cannot overstate the benefits of transitioning to an electrified fleet and using EV telematics. It unlocks a wide variety of benefits which include long-term cost savings and better vehicle health. These include:

Real-time driver monitoring

With EV telematics, it’s possible to understand where your drivers are and how they are progressing on their journeys. It also gives you an insight into how your vehicles are being driven because electric vehicle telematics systems continuously gather data and provide a real-time, 360-degree overview of what drivers are doing while behind the wheel. The data that is collected can include routes taken, distance travelled, driving time, average vehicle speed, harsh acceleration and braking, and exceptional events such as breakdowns and accidents.

This high-level insight provides fleet managers with the opportunity to step in and take remedial action where inefficient, negligent, or dangerous driver actions are identified. This has the knock-on effect of reducing vehicle wear and tear, preventing accidents from occurring, preserving battery life, and unlocking lower insurance premiums over time. 

Better route planning

Even the most basic of electric vehicle telematics systems will include GPS and real-time tracking. Not only does this help fleet managers to keep an eye on their operations but it also enables both proactive and reactive route planning. 

Software can be used to plan informed routes that get the most out of their vehicles’ batteries and available charging points along planned routes, which helps solve problems like range anxiety. Route planning serves many other useful purposes too, especially when done in real-time to help deviate around accidents, traffic jams, and congestion.  

More informed charging schedules and health alerts

EV charging is something that requires careful planning around schedules, routes, traffic congestion, and environmental factors including elevation, weather, and temperature. An effective electric vehicle telematics solution such as Trakm8 enables fleet managers to plan better charging schedules by using real-time data. Features include continuous charging updates, the planning of vehicle recharging priorities based on schedules and routes, and pinpointing of available charging stations to allow drivers to select the best routes based on point-in-time charging needs.

What’s more, electric vehicle telematics can provide an insight into overall fleet health through predictive maintenance. By using the Trakm8 cloud-based platform, for example, fleet managers can receive instant information about things such as tyre pressure and oil and receive alerts about potentially faulty parts and battery health. The platform can also be used to schedule servicing and maintenance when a problem is spotted. 

Ready to get started with your transition?

Trakm8 is the first telematics solution on the market that has been optimised for both EVs and ICE (petrol/diesel) vehicles. Read more in our Guide to Electic Vehicle Telematics.

Is your fleet ready for the transition to Electric Vehicles? Find out today by completing the free Electric Vehicle Suitability Assessment tool from Trakm8.

Get in touch with our team today and we’ll learn all about your business, fleet, and daily operations to decide what telematics devices would provide the most value to you.

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