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The Electric Vehicle Guide

The Electric Vehicle Guide

How to identify suitable drivers in the Fleet to Switch to EV?

Make your fleet an Electric Fleet! An approach that works…

By Alex Baker, CEO CleanCar.io

CleanCar’s electric vehicle guide to uncover the maximum number of EV opportunities and fleet solutions in your fleet with an easy, straightforward process…

Pre-qualification Process –

  1. Consider what you want to achieve and why, I always say, so consider what does success look like?  It could be as simple as “we want to get 5 EV’s on our fleet by the end of this financial year”.  Or “We would like to save £20,000 by introducing Ultra Low Emission Vehicles” and “We need to achieve a 10% emissions reduction as part of our CSR policy commitments’.  Once you have a starting point, you can gauge if the process has succeeded or not.
  2. Understand the potential benefits to the organisation, the fleet and the employees and put them in order of priority. E.g.
    1. Fleet: Save Money, Reduce C02, Gain some Valuable PR
    2. Employee: Save TAX and personal fuel costs, avoid congestion and emissions tax, park in the prime position in the car park!
  3. Consider the quick wins and think about the parts of your fleet where you feel it will work such as the team that drives only in the major cities, or the cars that work in the Airport or port. Or could also be the service/maintenance or toilet cleaning van that does the same route every two weeks.  You may as well pick the low hanging fruit to start with.
  4. Send out a quick questionnaire to the drivers who may be part of the process.  Explain what you are trying to do, and the reasons why. Then ask any of the simple questions such as:
    1.  Is the employee supportive of the switch to EV, if yes why but if not why not?
    2.  Where are their vehicles located when not in use? e.g. business car park, public car park, employees’ home, other
    3. For how long are their vehicles parked when not in use (e.g. overnight)?
    4. Estimates of daily/weekly usage pattern (number of trips/destinations, the distance between destinations, total daily mileage)?
    5. Any seasonal variations in usage?
    6.  If a charge point is required at a home address and if so, is it possible to install a charge point at home (see note on Home ChargePoints)
    7. If a vehicle only had a range of 100 miles a day, are there any occasions where this would cause issues and if so, would a pool car solve this problem?

The above are just a few examples; you can come up with your own based on what you are trying to achieve but do keep it short and simple and concentrate on the key areas that could cause issues later.

 

Data Analysis Process:

The next step is a bit of a pitch or our services but I make no excuse for that, as I believe it the best approach.

CleanCar is a solution that uses a small plugin GPS device or a Phone app to record when and how a driver uses their vehicle.  Over a period of a few weeks or a few months (depends on requirements and seasonality) we build up a profile of the driver allowing us to:

  • See if a driver’s vehicle usage is suited to any EV cars or not
  • See which vehicle is best suited to this purpose
  • Show potential cost saving by making the switch
  • Recommend ideal charging requirements

The process is as follows:

Step 1

Define the Cohort:

We work with a Fleet/Organisations to try and understand which users or groups of users are most likely to be suited to the restrictions and benefits of Electric Vehicles.  We then define this group and start a communication plan (outlined above)

Step 2

Collect Data:

A small GPS device is sent to these drivers, which is self-installed into the 12V Cigarette lighter socket of the vehicle.

Step 3

Collect Behaviours:

The driver simply goes about their routine as normal.  When the vehicle is used, the GPS position of the vehicle is recorded and sent via the mobile network to our big data portal.

Step 4

Analysis:

Once a suitable amount of data is recorded (anything from 2 weeks to 3 months depending upon requirements) the user can log in to see:

  1. Are they suited to an Electric Vehicle?
  2. Which EV’s are best suited to their needs?
  3. What will be the cost/saving of making the switch compared to a new version of their current vehicle?

What is the ideal location and type of charge point?

Step 5

Reporting: A report is provided to a fleet manager or manager of the organisation as well as the driver. All of this data is fully protected, Data Protection legislation compliant and is anonymised where required.

Fine Tuning:

The final step is unique to your Fleet’s requirements and involves a consultative approach, to fine-tune and optimise how you make the switch to EV’s for those suitable drivers/vehicle duty rosters in your fleet.

Areas worth consideration include:

  • The optimum way to fund your new vehicles, to maximise tax efficiency.
  • Optimum lease/finance terms and mileage breaks
  • Bulk purchase/lease discounts
  • Mileage reimbursement
  • CSR policy compliance and C02 reduction target performance

Some words of warning!

Be very careful using manual mileage expenses data to do your analysis. As having run a mileage capture business for six years; I can say with some conviction and experience that most mileage expenses are pretty useless most having a significant overestimation of journey lengths.  If you have any doubts, avoid it.

Drivers who are overestimating but the measurement tool or software itself.

Based on our previous analysis for a company we won’t name, we found many of its employees were perfectly suited to switching over to an EV as they were doing up to 20 small trips per day in and around the major cities.

When we compared the accurate GPS data against the postcode to postcode look up in Google, we found a 16.24% discrepancy in the distances reported.  This is simply because Google lookup was set to quickest route, not the shortest.  The driver had local knowledge and took the shortest route, whereas Google was suggesting a less direct route. 16% discrepancy when you only have 80 miles range to play with can make a big difference.

Using GPS data remove ambiguity.

The eight questions you should ask to find the ideal EV candidate

If you are not sure where to start with your fleet profiling why not send out a quick questionnaire to all your drivers.

Here are the questions I would ask to uncover the users that are most amenable and likely to be suitable for switching:

  1. Would you be happy driving an electric vehicle if it saved you money and was practical charge easily and conveniently?

  2. Is it possible to have a charge point installed at your home and would you be able to access the charge point each night?

  3. If your car started every day with 100 miles of range, please answer the following this would…

    1. Be suitable for all my work and social requirements

      Or Impact me –

    2. At least twice a week

    3. Once a week

    4.  Twice a month

    5. Once a month

    6. Occasionally

  4.  Do you have access to more than one vehicle, i.e. is there another petrol or diesel vehicle that you can use.

  5. Are you interested in finding out more about electric vehicles and their benefits?

  6.  Are there any reasons you know of that would prevent you from using an electric vehicle?

  7.  Do you have any misgivings about electric vehicles?

  8. Do you feel the environmental benefits are worth the switch to electric from petrol/diesel?

It should be pretty clear from the responses to the above questions as to your driver’s initial suitability plus their attitude to and preconceptions of an electric vehicle. Also, some of the questions might seem very similar but are asked differently for accuracy purposes.

Remember you are trying to find the low hanging fruit so there is no point convincing a climate change sceptic who lives in a rented apartment on the 15th floor to make the switch when there are much easier opportunities to focus on.

Also, you want to try and draw out any objections that you can address early on.  Such as “I need to drive from Birmingham to Plymouth every six months to visit an elderly aunt.”  If you can overcome this by offering a pool vehicle or rental, then better to understand the potential issues sooner rather than later.

Scenarios: What does the ideal candidate for an EV look like?

PLEASE NOTE: These are simplified views for illustrative purposes, so we will not delve into all the potential tax efficiencies available. These profiles are designed to sell the concept to your drivers.

Persona 1: Julia

Works as a Regional Manager, looking after 5 sites/offices in the Black Country.  Julia must go into the HQ in Dudley two days a week and then visits the other 4 sites in and around the Dudley and Wolverhampton area throughout the month. Julia lives locally and drives between 30 and 70 miles a day in her Renault Megane 2.0 petrol.

After 3 months of GPS analysis, it is proven that Julia could benefit from owning and Electric Vehicle and she decides upon the Nissan Leaf 24kw which is leased for around £270 per month fully maintained which is about £13 per month more than her previous Renault Megane.

The simple results:

Because Julia does lots of stop-start driving, her fuel economy was shocking giving her around 28mpg so this is where she sees the biggest savings as her monthly fuel costs have dropped from about £300  for petrol to around £38 for electricity.

Also, her company car tax has also reduced from around £2,467 to around £1,489.

Saving: Around £3500 in fuel and around £1000 in company car tax:  In all Julia saves around £4100 per year from the reduced costs to run the vehicle and savings on company car tax.

Persona 2: Bob the Cleaner

Bob works for the local council have the job of cleaning the public toilets in the area.  Due to the nature of the work, the vehicle ( a small van) does the same route every two weeks and each night is parked in the local depot.

The council wants to know the following:

  • Will it be possible to switch from a Diesel Van to an EV
  • Should they choose the Renault Kangoo or Nissan ENV200
  • Will they save any money?
  • Would a 7kw charger be suitable.

After driving about for two weeks with the CleanCar dongle we were able to run the trips through the analysis and found the following:

  1. Yes the vehicle is suited to an EV, despite the Electric Van costing nearly double the amount compared to the Diesel alternative there were considerable Whole Life Cost savings
  2. A 7kw charger is perfect for requirements.
  3. The Nissan ENV200 is the ideal choice, with a WLC payback in  just over 1 year

Persona 3: John the Rep – A real-world example

John is a Sales Representative for a large multinational company. John’s previous car was an Audi Diesel A4 and he chose the Mitsubishi PHEV Outlander as his new car. This was chosen from a list of virtually any make and model of vehicles given his reasonably senior banding on the choice list. It is based entirely on Whole life cost rankings.

When choosing his vehicle, he looked through the list and spotted the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Some of his colleagues had also recently ordered.  John did some research and realised that based on the details of the car, he could get quite a lot of car with very little BIK company car tax to pay.  He looked at the official MPG. After speaking to his colleagues he realised, he would be lucky to see 30% of that from real-world driving, but frankly, he did not care.  The company, after all, pays for his fuel. John could always fudge his mileage claims just a tad to compensate.

What John ordered his new vehicle…

However, John ended up ordering the Mitsubishi Outlander and as part of the deal. John was offered some kind of “government initiative” to pay for a charging point on the side of his house. After looking at the paperwork and also thinking he may soon move to a new house, it all became a bit too complicated. In the end he figured, as he was gaining the tax benefit anyway, that he didn’t really need to charge the vehicle at home.

What happened after John’s decision –

It transpired that John’s employer has consequently seen his vehicle’s running costs increase significantly, now looking at ways to penalise John for not using it properly. This involved now insisting he now pays for all the fuel used on his fuel card. John would then have to claim back the business element costs based on an “actual fuel cost” pence-per-mile basis. It has all got very complex with both John and his colleagues becoming very unhappy by the whole process. After all, he just chose a car from the company’s list! John is up for a fight and has a union rep on his side.

What John will do from now on…

John’s employer now plans to restrict the choice of the Outlander. It will only be available to the employees who are suited to gaining the benefit of the EV.  Problem is, they do not know how to measure and calculate the disadvantages let alone the benefits of electric cars. As it cannot be measured or calculated accurately in a simple, straightforward manner.

Consequently, they will most likely end up simply removing this vehicle from the choice list altogether.

Other Useful Links:

Looking to the future check out this video by Tony Seba one of my personal favourites. – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b3ttqYDwF0

Glossary of Terms – We love our acronyms!
Personally, I like this one https://pod-point.com/landing-pages/electric-car-glossary

Here is another for the taxi industry http://www.levc.com/technology/glossary/

And another http://evsafecharge.com/ev-terms-glossary/

Note on use of language

Experts in the EV sector may pick up on my use of terminology in this guide; I make no excuses for sometimes not using the correct terminology. The Electric Vehicle space is confusing enough without the use of dozens of acronyms that only an ‘EV industry stalwart’ understands.

I have designed this guide for those individuals who have direct and indirect responsibility for making decisions about Fleet vehicle procurement and logistical management. So this guide is designed with those roles in mind and a belief that the information, guidance and advice should be presented in a straightforward and helpful format. Hence I have tried to avoid the jargon but you can find links at the bottom of this guide to some very useful glossaries for clarity around industry buzz words.

Electric car technology is changing all the time. If you are looking for fleet solutions, CleanCar has a solution to help you find out if a EV will meet your needs or your fleets. Please contact the CleanCar system at info@cleancar.io.

Is an EV right for everyone?

Is an EV right for everyone?

Is an EV right for everyone? Well… This is what we are about to find out…

Do we believe EV cars are right for everyone?

No, we don’t! Our view is that as things currently stand, some people are perfectly suited to owning an EV. Although, there are benefits of electric vehicles that wouldn’t suit everyone, that’s why CleanCar is here. Whether it be for a fleet or just for yourself. Electric vehicles are not for everyone. This is due to the drivers travel requirements and vehicle usage profile, the driver would just not benefit from owning an EV. The driver would find the experience either impractical or expensive compared to a traditional Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle.

In most cases, it’s about finding the ‘sweet spot’.  This ‘sweet spot’ can be measured based on a driver’s average daily, weekly or monthly mileage pattern. Whether that be from commuting to work, job type or lifestyle.  The sweet spot is usually reflected in a mileage profile that is neither too low, nor too high.

For example –

If your daily mileage requirements are really low an you only drive a couple of thousand miles a year, then yes. An EV will probably work for you. You are unlikely to see any significant WLC savings as you are not doing enough miles to gain the cost benefit.  At the other end of the scale, if you have a daily commute of 120 miles and the EV’s “real” range is just 90 miles, it means a charge at least once a day, which may not be feasible or practical.

Each vehicle has a sweet spot, and they can be quite different from model to model. Those driver profiles that fall within the sweet spot are those who we should target, at least in the short term. These drivers will offer the greatest cost savings and will benefit the most from the switch to EV.

NOTE: The ‘sweet spot’ of EV’s are constantly widening as vehicle pricing lowers due to demand coupled with new models with increased range.  This means that more and more drivers are falling into this sweet spot, which is good news for all.

About CleanCar –

In the five years since we envisioned CleanCar, our core proposition has become increasingly more relevant to business fleets and motorists, as we accelerate the transition to electric mobility from fossil fuel dependency. Our CleanCar solution aims to fully inform both businesses and private motorists in making that ‘transition’ as easy as possible…

Wanting to learn more about the CleanCar system? Why not visit our webpage www.cleancar.io. Also, why not try out our CleanCar Online Calculator? Calculate your savings! Estimate the savings you can achieve by using CleanCar – Click here – CleanCar Saving Calculator

Follow the CleanCar’s social media pages such as; Facebook, Instagram and twitter you will find us @cleancarsystem. Thank you.

How CleanCar Works for Different Types of Customer

How CleanCar Works for Different Types of Customer

Are you wanting to know how CleanCar works for different types of customers. Well… If you are this page is certainly for you.

About CleanCar and How we works –

EV technology might not suit every driver. In this quick article, I will explain the business model and give a quick overview of the benefits depending upon your point of reference.

I regularly get asked how the CleanCar solution works and depending on the audience I will tell a slightly different story. It’s not that we have multiple fleet solutions for a variety of used cases but the benefit of the CleanCar system does change depending on your perspective.

To start let’s review the image below that explains the flow of data into CleanCar, explains what we do with it and how we report on it.Overview of CleanCarTo explain the image in more detail, the CleanCar solution is split into the following areas:

CleanCar Consumer

CleanCar consumer, aimed at the average person on the street; it’s the trimmed down version of CleanCar. It allows a user to see if they are suited to an Electric Vehicle. It would also allow users to see what Electric Vehicle would suit the drivers requirements. CleanCar will show the user on what they will save by making the Electric Vehicle switch.

Our route to the market for this service is generally via a third party or as we like to say a channel partner.  This is an organisation like an energy company or vehicle manufacturer, who knows their customers would benefit from the use of an Electric Vehicle and simply need a tool to help prove it, even if they are wanting to make their fleet an Electric Fleet. This where CleanCar come in, we assist those organisations in showing the benefits of Electric Cars to their customers and fleets.

CleanCar Business

CleanCar business is where we started out; aimed at the larger organisations who run a fleet of vehicles. Not knowing the benefits of an Electric Vehicles is ‘risky’. Drivers want to know the cost saving and benefits before they start purchasing Electric Vehicles. This is why drivers simply can’t make that decision to move to this new technology.  We often find drivers feel the decision is a “bit risky” and there are too many unknowns.  Following the CleanCar approach, we show the drivers which vehicles they should switch to. CleanCar also helps drivers to understand the financial benefits. We also can make suggestions regarding how many charge points they need and where to put them.  Its powerful stuff and it is great for anyone looking to de-risk a decision about their e-mobility requirements.

CleanCar Intelligent Mobility Solutions

This part of CleanCar is our Data Science bit. If one of my old mathematics teachers at school could see how excited I get these days with numbers and data well…they just would simply not believe it.  In a nutshell, we can collect very accurate data about how people use their vehicles. From their build up profiles of usage; we can also then combine this data with other data sets to tell a story.

Overall, I hope all the information you have been given in this blog has given you a better understanding of how CleanCar works. If you would like to use the CleanCar system but still have questions about, how, why, who? etc. no need to worry! The questions you may want to ask, may have already been asked and answered read below for more information…

Please click visit FAQ page to view more questions that have been answered by our team. However, we have added some FAQ questions below that would be relevant to this blog, we hope this is helpful for you.  –

Is CleanCar new? 

No, it’s not the CleanCar system has been assisting the fleet market to make the switch for about four years. However, the latest version of CleanCar, the one you are using is very new. This version has been rebuilt from the ground up to aim at individual users as opposed to fleets.

How does the device work?

The CleanCar device (we must find a catchier name, send ideas to helpdesk@cleancar.io) is an incredibly smart piece of kit, but for this FAQ, we will keep it simple.

  • The CleanCar device has been designed to record GPS coordinates of your location while you are driving
  • It will do this every 10 seconds or 100 metres or 25-degree change in direction so on a winding road it takes more coordinates and on a straight one less.
  • The device saves these coordinates and every few minutes it connects to the mobile network via an onboard sim and uploads these to the CleanCar portal. It will store around ten days of driving if for any reason there is no signal.
  • Once we receive the data, we store it up, and while most people are asleep in the early morning, our servers and algorithms convert it into journeys and statistics.
  • The following day you will be able to log in see your stats.
  • CleanCar aims to help users like you to make the switch from your internal combustion engine to an electric vehicle

Will the GPS device work in all vehicles?

The GPS device will work in virtually all vehicles so long as there is 12v power socket (cigarette lighter socket). Please not, however, some high-end vehicles where there is a heated front screen can take longer to get a GPS fix.If your question is not above and you feel you need more support, please e-mail helpdesk@cleancar.io. One of our team will respond as soon as possible. Thank you

How do I install the GPS device?

It is essential that the GPS device is located in a 12V in the front console of the vehicle so that it can receive signals from the global navigation satellite system. Also if you can see it and it falls out you will notice, if you place it in a glove box or the boot of the car, you may not notice if the device has become dislodged.

How do I know the device is working in the vehicle?

Plug your GPS device into the 12V of your vehicle.  Please turn your ignition on.  The LED/light should display blue to indicate the device is operating.  You may start your journey.The next step would be to ensure the sim-card in the device is in the device the right way.Please see image below to check this – It should be fine but they can take a bit of a beating while being distributed and they very occasionally come loose. The device takes a little time to normalise and likes to be used regularly, so we advise that you plug your device and drive about for a few days before checking your date, we want to ensure it has a good charge and has had a chance to connect to the airwaves.

Also, if this has all been checked and the sim-card is in the right way or the Switch-ON button is also the right way, we will need to know about this. You will need to contact helpdesk@cleancar.io one of our support team will be able to help you.

Who is behind the team of CleanCar?

CleanCar is owned by The Virtual Forge and run by Alex Baker, www.thevirtualforge.com are a company who design exciting and innovative IT systems for some of the worlds best-known companies, they also analyse lots of data.We have about 120 employees based all over the world in the UK, Portugal and the USA.  The team dedicated to CleanCar numbers eight presently with loads of support from the rest of the group.Our founder Alex Baker would love to hear your views, drop him a line on alex@cleancar.io

CleanCar also have a cost saving Calculator –

Check out our cost saving Calculator – The Potential savings with CleanCar – Estimate the savings you can achieve by using CleanCar. – Click here for the cost saving calculator

Electric car technology is changing all the time. If you are looking for fleet solutions, CleanCar has a solution to help you find out if a EV will meet your needs or your fleets. Please contact the CleanCar system at info@cleancar.io.

Follow our social media pages such as; Facebook, Instagram and twitter you will find us @cleancarsystem. Thank you.

Future of Electric Car Technology

Future of Electric Car Technology

Needing fleet solutions for the switch to EV? Well find out more with CleanCar – EV cars Market now and the future of Electric Car Technology…

Click here to view a presentation I did at a recent Green Futures conference. Take this with a pinch of Salt. It’s just my ideas and something to create a conversation… Clearly it’s best with some narrative as well.

“If saving the planet & saving money are important to you, then CleanCar is what you have been looking for. Discover today if an electric vehicle could make your life better. Just place the CleanCar device in your car, drive about as normal and let CleanCar show you the benefits.” To find out more please visit our website www.cleancar.io