Electric vehicles (EVs) are an important part of the global discussion about energy conservation and the future of transportation. Electric vehicles have emerged as a key focus point of energy-efficiency initiatives. Whether you own an electric vehicle or not, there is no doubting that EV adoption rates are increasing.
EV fleet is one of the causes why adoption is increasing so quickly. As more businesses switch to electric vehicles for their fleets, fleet managers and operators must take into account how to charge their commercial fleet and keep it running through shipments and other types of business-related transportation. So, what exactly is fleet charging?
What is EV Fleet Charging?
EV Fleet Charging or simply Fleet Charging is the process of replenishing the amount of power in EV fleet vehicle batteries by plugging them into EV fleet charging stations. An electric car, like a traditional internal combustion engine vehicle, requires periodic battery recharge to remain operational. Fleet charging is another term for fleet electrification.
EV fleet charging stations with multiple charge points are installed in industrial and commercial settings. A driver simply plugs a commercial EV fleet vehicle into an EV charger station via a connector to charge it.
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What are the Various Types of EV Fleet?
The various types of EV Fleet and why they are ideal for electrification:
- School Buses
Significant funds are currently being invested in the adoption of electric school buses. The average school bus transports students for approximately 6 hours per day. The buses pick up students in the morning and drop them off in the afternoon.
The buses are idle in the depot for the remaining 18 hours of the day and night. Furthermore, during peak demand for electricity during the summer months, these buses can be used to balance the grid. This will improve grid reliability while also providing additional revenue to schools.
Paid cabs are a fairly new form of fleet and are perfect for EV fleet charging as they will significantly reduce the power consumption strain. The most basic reason why taxis are ideal for electrification is that they are used on a rotational trip basis. This will mean that even a small number of charging stations can be used by multiple vehicles.
- Light and Medium Duty Vehicles
Large delivery companies such as Amazon and UPS are attempting to reduce their environmental impact by placing large orders for electric light and medium-duty trucks. Light and medium-duty trucks are ideal for electrification because they typically perform short delivery runs, known as ‘last mile delivery‘ to meet consumer demand for quick and dependable service.
- Heavy-Duty Vehicles
Long-distance trucking is the most difficult challenge for an EV fleet charging. When dealing with high cargo requirements and high mileage, the tradeoffs between battery range and battery weight must be carefully considered.
Some heavy-duty vehicles are particularly well-suited to electrification. Ambulances and garbage trucks, for example, are examples of large utility vehicles. These vehicles could benefit greatly from intelligent charging because they travel intermittently over short distances and return to a home base on a regular basis.
Breakdown of Different EV Charging Levels
There are three EV fleet charging levels: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. The quicker the charging, as more power is supplied to the vehicle, the higher the charging level. Because each EV can accept different levels of power, different EVs charge at different speeds on each level.
Level 1 charging makes use of a standard 120-volt household outlet. By plugging the charging equipment into a standard wall outlet, any electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid can be charged on Level 1. Level 1 charging is the slowest method. It adds 3 to 5 miles of range per hour. Because EV batteries are much larger, Level 1 charging is quite slow for most daily charging, unless the vehicle isn’t driven very far on a daily basis.
For daily EV fleet charging, Level 2 is the most frequently used level. Level 2 charging equipment can be fitted at home, at work, and in public places such as shopping malls, train stations, and other destinations. Depending on the power output of the Level 2 charger and the maximum charge rate of the vehicle, Level 2 charging can recharge between 12 and 80 miles of range per hour.
Level 3 charging is the quickest type of charging available, capable of recharging an EV at a rate of 3 to 20 miles per minute. In contrast to Levels 1 and 2, which use alternating current (AC), Level 3 charging uses direct current (DC). The voltage is also much greater than that of Level 1 and Level 2 charging, which is why you don’t see level 3 chargers in homes. There are very few housing locations that have the high-voltage supply required for level 3 charging.
How are Multiple EV Chargers Different – Trickle vs. AC vs. DC Charger?
Trickle charging, AC charging, and DC charging are the three types of charging.
Using a standard (three-prong) 220V plug to charge your EV at home is the slowest method. It is only advised in extreme circumstances, after consulting with electricity providers.
With a wall box installed, you can charge 3-4 times faster using AC Household Charging. AC Public Charging is also an option.
The quickest way to charge your EV is at a public DC Fast charging station with a power rating of 50kW or higher. This method will charge your battery from 20% to 80% in about 40 minutes. There are also ultra-fast charging stations that offer more than 150kW.
Why Should Corporate Companies Invest in EV Fleet Charging Stations?
Office or business building managers and property owners should consider installing EV chargers in their buildings. Market participants who make the first move can reap numerous benefits.
Businesses that provide commercial EV fleet charging stations may be able to attract and retain employees who prefer to charge their EVs during the workday. It may indicate that their employer is sensitive to niche needs and dedicated to green, sustainable solutions. Businesses can even charge their corporate EV fleet in their in-house charging stations.
Installing electric vehicle charging stations on your commercial property will help your company contribute to a more stable environment. EVs reduce tailpipe emissions. It can reduce its environmental impact even further by utilising renewable resources such as solar energy.
Do EVs benefit more from slower charging?
Slow charging is the most favoured and self-sufficient method of charging the EV battery. It extends battery life and is safer than fast charging. It is also the most cost-effective method of charging the EV battery because the EV owner only has to pay for the energy.
What is the life of an EV battery?
Most EV batteries today have a life span of 15 to 20 years within the car – and a second life after that. It’s also worth mentioning that EV battery technology is still progressing, so as technology advances, we can expect batteries to last longer while also becoming cheaper, smaller, and lighter.
How often should you charge your EV to 100%?
You can charge your EV once every 15 days. The range of most EVs easily covers most daily or weekly driving. In fact, most users don’t even need it fully charged, so except for longer trips, try to keep it between 20% and 80% charged.
Can you sit in an EV while charging?
Yes, you can ‘start’ an electric vehicle and sit in it while it is connected to a charger. The infotainment system, automatic climate control, and a few other systems can operate while charging. However, when your EV is plugged in, the drivetrain is disabled to prevent damage to the vehicle, charger, and so on.