Loss of EV charge in cold conditions will require extra fleet planning
Fleets adopting electric vehicles will need to plan ahead to counter decreased battery efficiency in winter, particularly for essential commercial vehicle operations, according to FleetCheck.
The fleet software specialist said it is becoming clear that EV range can be affected by as much as 30-40% in real-world conditions by cold weather and this could have a bearing on day-to-day utility.
While some drivers, such as those dealing with clients, may be able to switch to more video conferencing in autumn and winter, FleetCheck MD Peter Golding said that others who need to operate all-year-round may need to take more proactive action to manage range in the cold seasons, especially within commercial vehicle operations and home shopping fleets facing the Christmas rush.
He added that the solutions to this issue lay in better journey planning and vehicle utilisation, as well as in educating drivers and fleet managers about the best ways to preserve range.
“The fact is that all company car and van drivers are going to have to become expert at managing range, and learning about all the small and large things that you can do to eke out the maximum range from each charge when the necessity to do so arises.
“When it’s clear that loss of charge in cold conditions is going to be an issue, such as potentially for parcel delivery fleets, then the need to recharge should be built into the daily schedule or other solutions found, such as vehicle swapping.”
A further point, Golding added, was to ensure that drivers did not head out in difficult winter driving conditions in their EV.
“It should already be the case that, if you’ve had heavy snowfall, for example, your drivers should stay at home but this is double the case with an EV. Reduced battery capacity means that, if drivers do become stranded, they are probably more at risk than in a petrol or diesel vehicle with a full tank of fuel where the cabin can be kept heated for quite some time.”