André ten Bloemendal argues that battery telematics software will be pivotal for fleets in the transition to electric
Electric vehicles (EVs) have emerged as a revolutionary force in the automotive industry, quickly changing transport and logistics. During the first wave of electrification, hardware was the central discussion point: the industry needed EVs and infrastructure to charge them. But in this next wave, the focus has shifted to advanced technologies to optimise EV (and charging infrastructure) cost and performance, as well as user experience. For fleets and the businesses which run them, battery telematics software is the key technical innovation to do so.
Battery telematics software monitors and manages the performance of an EV’s battery. It collects and analyses data from various sensors within the vehicle to supply insights into the battery state and health. That way, battery telematics can reduce vehicle incidents, improve operational performance, and reduce costs, making it a key component in the e-mobility ecosystem.
For fleet managers, telematics provides real-time information about the battery’s charge status, range, and performance. By easily locating charging stations (thus reducing range anxiety), fleet managers can plan their trips more effectively and confidently. Furthermore, battery telematics software helps to extend the lifespan of an EV’s battery. By monitoring numerous factors such as temperature, charging patterns, and driver behaviour, the software can suggest best practices to maximise the battery’s durability. This not only improves the ownership experience but also helps reduce long-term operating costs.
EV OEMs also reap significant benefits from battery telematics, namely it enables them to gain valuable insights into the performance of their EVs in real-world conditions. This data can be used for continuous improvement in vehicle design and battery technology, resulting in more reliable and efficient EVs.
Another critical advantage for manufacturers is the ability to offer proactive maintenance and support. By remotely monitoring battery health, manufacturers can detect potential issues before they become major problems, allowing for timely service interventions. This not only enhances customer satisfaction but also reduces warranty claims and associated costs.
Battery telematics software also plays a pivotal role in facilitating fleet management for the businesses that operate EVs—busses and trucks being at the forefront here. For example, it can help to extend the lifespan of vehicles. By finding anomalies in battery health, allowing intervention ahead of any damage, operators are able to prove warranty terms compliance for batteries, something that can save hundreds of thousands of euros across larger fleets.
With the ability to monitor the status and health of multiple EVs in a fleet, companies can optimise vehicle utilisation and route planning, and ensure the availability of electric fleet vehicles for service. This results in cost savings and improved operational efficiency.
With the growth of the EV market, regulations like AFIR (Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation), and the global push towards net zero, businesses must switch to e-mobility. Battery telematics software enables the reduction of complexity of EV fleet management whilst continuously optimising operations and lowering costs. However, only few players offer open telematics that can be tailored to specific use cases, works across regions and EV charging hardware, and abide by local legislation.
With the ability to monitor the status and health of multiple EVs in a fleet, companies can optimise vehicle utilisation and route planning, and ensure the availability of electric fleet vehicles for service
Battery telematics are only part of an expanding technology set which offers access to data which is already revolutionising fleet management. How companies manage this technology into their existing and growing fleet operations software will be a key differentiator for success.
With the right data and systems, fleet managers have the opportunity to become ever more flexible and responsive, able to manage rapid changes to schedules, operating circumstances or incidents. Ensuring an open systems, with API’s offering the ability to integrate with existing and future charging infrastructure, depot management and power management software as EV operations scale will separate the wheat from the chaff.
Despite some growing pains, the future of telematics looks bright. Ongoing technological advancements will facilitate longer-lasting batteries, more efficient energy management, fewer incidents, lower costs, and a lower environmental impact. By choosing a strong, open and experienced partner, the road to electric transport can be smoother than some might think.
The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Automotive World Ltd.
André ten Bloemendal is Senior Vice President, Europe, at ChargePoint
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