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Your ChargePoint EV Guide

Your ChargePoint EV Guide

A ChargePoint Infrastructure guide for the EV’s in your Fleet

Requirements for ChargePoints at the office, depot and at home

Cleancar is here to show you the benefits of Electric Cars and Charging Points. CleanCar is giving you Fleet solutions for your ChargePoint EV Guide…

By Alex Baker, CEO CleanCar.io

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I have heard ChargePoint manufacturers say that every person who uses an EV needs 2.3 ChargePoints. One at Home, one in the office and some public charging in between… Of course, they would say that they are trying to sell ChargePoints after all!

Personally, on this regular basis, I use about 1.2 ChargePoints for my Nissan Leaf. I mostly charge at home with the occasional public charge.

I know some businesses that use 0.5 chargers per vehicle. I.e. they have a bank of chargers at the office or depot, where vehicles charge when they need to operate two vehicles per charge point.

Each instance is different, and your requirements will be unique. However, I think in the short term it’s better to be conservative and robust in your requirements.

Be Conservative:

By this I mean don’t push the boundaries too far. Look for the easy wins. Recommending drivers to switch to EV who most require the vehicle to be charged at home or office no more than each night (or day if night shifts). I would not recommend this for the drivers who need to charge 2 or three times per day. This is to make EV cars work. The electric vehicle technology is improving and very soon those drivers will fall into the once a day charging profile. So focus on the easy wins and keep an eye on the changing technologies and reassess every few months.

Be Robust:

Through our analysis, we often help fleets to understand how many ChargePoints they will require for their electric fleet. Depending on whether they intend to buy or lease. For example, our analysis shows they require a minimum of 24 x 7kw for their 50 Electric vans. We would always recommend they go a little higher and plump for say 27 chargers. The cost impact is minimal to the overall cost benefits and it improves the user experience and caters for the occasional high use periods.

NOTE:

Just because we recommend 27 ChargePoints it does not mean it is always possible. The ChargePoint installers will need to check the site first. They would also check it has the grid capacity to operate this number of ChargePoints or outline the works required to bring it up to this capacity and capability.

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Public Charging Networks

Improvements in public charging network, however still cannot be relied upon. Often when we speak to fleets, we get questioned about utilising the public charging network as the sole and only way of charging. If this is something you are considering, I would strongly urge you to think again…

As an EV driver, I love the public charging networks and I have some favourites. I like to use when I park in the city, and the fast chargers on the Motorway services have been a godsend over the years.

Here are a few things to consider though:

  • Many of the older chargers are simply a waste of time, unless you are parking overnight. Often, 3.7kw chargers which means snailpace slow with them being merely a slight upgrade compared to a three-pin plug. You could park you Nissan leaf at Tesco, plug in your car and come back to a whole ‘two miles’ of extra range.

  • Broken, Vandalised, Behind Locked Gates…not there! These are all things I have experienced before. Sometimes it can take a very long time to get them fixed and working again. If you are dependent upon a specific location based ChargePoint and it’s suddenly not useable then it could have a serious impact on your charging capabilities.

  • ICED. This regular and often frustrating occurrence is where someone with an Internal Combustion Engine vehicle is parked in the spot reserved for electric vehicles.

  • Charge Rage! I have seen it happen, where a charge point is ICED or where a plug-in hybrid is charging, and a Pure EV needs to charge. A simple of the cuff remark can soon escalate into an unpleasant situation.

  • Charge Point Blocking: I have especially seen this on the CHAdeMO (Super-Fast Chargers) where a PHEV is charging slowly (some cant take advantage of the fast charging), and a pure EV needs to get some power. Can lead to charge rage.

  • Expensive: Many of the Public Charge schemes that were originally government funded (like Ecotricity’s electric highway) used to be free to charge for EV owners. However, as EV usage has increased in popularity, there are very few free to charge locations left and these are quickly diminishing plus some of them are unreasonably expensive. You need to factor this into your decision-making process.

  • Decentralised Networks. To use all the known networks in the UK would require a heap of RFID, cards, swipe cards and mobile apps. There is no one single network, and EV users who rely on public charging will need to gain some knowledge about what’s out there. And it’s changing quickly.

  • Poorly located ChargePoints. On more than one occasion have tried to use a charge point that is located in an underground car park in London where the company that provides it has moved from an RFID card to an APP. The problem is the app won’t work underground without a mobile signal, so you are up and down two flights of stairs while you put all the required info into the app and gain a signal. It keeps you fit at least! Frankly, I just don’t sometimes bother as its just too much hassle!

Conclusions

In a nutshell, only rely on public charging networks. If you really must. However we recommend to charge at home or work. Think of the public charging network like that friend you have, who, when you see them are the life and soul of the party but also has a habit of letting you down at the last minute. Just like your friend, the network is gradually getting older. It is more refined and over time will start to settle down. It become much more reliable, but may be not quite as much fun!

Note on home charging:

It’s important to check that your employee has a home suited to a charge point. Otherwise there may not be the option to install one.

Things to consider:

  • Does the employee own their home?
  • Do they have approval from a landlord to fit a charger?
  • Is their home in a suitable location, i.e. is it a 3-story flat or a terraced house?
  • Are they in temporary accommodation or about to move to a new house?
  • Are there any restrictions such as being listed or in a conservation area?
  • Is there off street parking and suitable location for a charge point install?
  • Is there any other reason why a home charger is not an option?
  • Also, if they stop being your employee, or move house you should be clear in what happens to the charge point. If you are insisting on recovering your kit then this could cause problems with a house move and surveyor reports etc.

The issues with range vs. range anxiety.

It’s a funny thing when you first drive an EV. There is no doubt that you, like most people, will get range anxiety. You will see 20 miles of range left, which, if in a petrol or diesel car, would bring you out in a cold scary sweat. You get used to it, to be honest these days I only start to worry if I hit 7 miles or less.

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Let’s not underestimate the impact though, as diesel cars today will do 500 miles on a full tank. EV cars will do maybe around 100 miles. The difference takes some getting used to. This is why we use the ‘CleanCar process’ with our customers (more below). With the process, we understand how someone really uses a vehicle and what their journey profile actually means, when it comes to range requirements. We can then explain and display this accurate usage profile to them in a simple to understand way. Then, prove that an EV works for their specific usage requirements.

Range Anxiety in many respects is like learning to drive. You start out, and you must think about everything such as changing gear, using the pedals and everything else. Before long it’s normal and you don’t even think about it. Range anxiety is something you can’t avoid. You just have to get on with it but it soon disappears, especially with planning, knowledge and experience.

In the future, range anxiety will be a forgotten phrase, a bit like the noise of a phone modem connecting; you had to be there for the very short time when it mattered. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsNaR6FRuO0

Gain Maximum Range… even more cost saving!

Here are some very useful tips to ensure you gain maximum range from the EV/PHEV’s in your Fleet…

  1. Encourage your EV driver’s into the habit of pre-planning their vehicle charging needs and ensure, whenever possible. They reach the 80% optimal battery charge level. Apart from gaining optimum range, the long term effect will also maintain and extend the battery ‘life’. When recorded regularly, it is in a reliable ‘good condition’ documentation that supports asset resale or lease returns.
  2. When planning a longer than normal trip, do remind the driver to make sure they are aware of more than one or two of the public network charge point locations en route. Charging points can not always be relied upon to either be working or available. However there are Apps for that so search for Zap-Map, ChargePoint or PlugShare.
  3. In cold weather, recommend them having the heater on during the last 20- minutes or so of charging. This will minimal heat settings will suffice during the journey – Seat warmers do the trick nicely! – If its hot weather then the same applies to the air conditioning.
  4. Also, when out and about encourage drivers to park in the shade/sheltered bays – as above.
  5. Encourage your EV drivers to develop a smooth breaking and acceleration driving style! This improves battery performance and range efficiencies as well as safety!
  6. Educate them to try to avoid high speeds, especially over 50 mph given that EV’s are almost the opposite to petrol & diesel as slow stop/start style city driving suits electric vehicles.
  7. With longer trips in an electric or hybrid vehicle should always be planned. Remind the drivers that high cruising speeds on motorways for long periods, will reduce the stated range capability.
  8. Encourage them to use their vehicles ‘ECO settings’ to aid battery performance and conditioning.
  9. Advise them to leave the kitchen sink at home! More unnecessary weight equals less range.
  10. Ask them to test and compare their regular route options. Some so called ‘faster’ routes could be less range efficient (higher speed – flat motorway). It lacks regenerative breaking benefits (hills and dales!).

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. 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.

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 and 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/

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.

Need EV Solutions? How we work…

Need EV Solutions? How we work…

Let’s find out how CleanCar works…

Need EV solutions? Well lets find out how cleancar works. Why not find out how CleanCar works and see if an Electric Vehicle would be suitable for you or your fleet? Imagine having an Electric Fleet…

CleanCar is a solution that uses a small plug in GPS device or a Phone app.

Customers use CleanCar’s device or app to record how and when a driver uses their vehicle. This is over a period of a few weeks or a few months. This also depends on requirements and seasonality. We then build up a profile of the driver, which allows us to understand:

  •  if a driver’s vehicle usage is suited to an EV or not.

  • which vehicle is best suited to this purpose.

  • The potential cost saving by making the switch.

  •  The ideal charging requirements.

The process is as follows:

Step 1 – Define the Cohort:

CleanCar works with Fleet/Organisations. The system understands which drivers or what groups of drivers are most likely to be suited to the restrictions and benefits of electric vehicles. CleanCar then defines this group and starts a communication plan (outlined above).

Step 2  – Collect Data:

The CleanCar team posts a small GPS device to the drivers. When the drivers receive the device, it 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. Once the driver uses their vehicle, the GPS position of the vehicle will be recorded. Data from the device is then sent via the mobile network to our big data portal.

Step 4 – Analysis:

Overall, our devices would have a suitable amount of data recorded. This could be anything from 2 weeks to 3 months depending upon requirements. The user is then able to log in to and answer the questions below:

  1. What Electric Vehicle would suit the user and their needs best?
  2. Will there be a saving by making the EV switch compared to a new version of their current vehicle?
  3. 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.  The driver will also have a report. Data Protection legislation is 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 optimize 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 maximize tax efficiency.
  • Optimum lease/finance terms and mileage breaks
  • Bulk purchase/lease discounts
  • Mileage reimbursement
  • CSR policy compliance and C02 reduction target performance

 

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