Where fleets could lose money with electric trucks
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On the Road

Where fleets could lose money with electric trucks

David Sickels is the Senior Editor of Fleet Equipment. He has a history of working in the media, marketing and automotive industries in both print and online.

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Fuel prices are high, so naturally, you’re probably looking into integrating electric trucks into your fleet so you can save some cheddar at the fuel pump. But here’s the problem: It’s possible that trading that fuel line for a plug isn’t doing yourself any favors.

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If you’ve done any research into electric trucks, you’ve no doubt already come across phrases related to EV charging like “demand charges” and “peak charges.” If your intention is to keep more cabbage in your wallet, these are things you’ll want to avoid, because if you don’t, it means that you’re plugging in your electric truck when energy demand is high and costs are at a premium.

But, there is hope! Let’s talk about it.

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Here’s a not-so-secret secret in the EV charging industry: You need to leverage charging software to help control your fleet’s energy costs.

If your trucks are running on diesel, you’re likely watching your fuel costs like a hawk, and you should be doing the same thing with your energy. The trouble is, there are a lot more variables involved with energy costs. It’s a lot harder to keep your numbers straight – and that’s where software comes in. The good news is that if your fleet is full of trucks returning home to charge every day, as we know about 90% of fleets are, you have a lot of control over your charging provider and the software they provide.

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Think of your charging software like your telematics software: You’re ultimately looking for access to visibility, access and control. You want to be able to manage your power, and have notifications surrounding everything that a typical fleet customer running diesel trucks would have through their telematics service provider.

The technology and equipment in charging might be different than in telematics, but the APPROACH is the same. Of course, all of this assumes that fleets understand their electric truck return on investment, which entails much more than simply adding the cost of the truck to the cost of your energy.

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Reaping that ROI is a delicate balance of the up-front costs of electric trucks and infrastructure and potentially longer-term electric truck lifecycles and maintenance costs. Much of that TCO legwork will be done working with your OEM of choice.

Just know that electric truck charging isn’t a simple fueling process where you pull up the pump, put the nozzle in and let it fill, and not all OEM charging software is created equal. Software brings a large degree of intelligence to the process, and if you want to save your fleet some of that bacon, you’ll want to make sure your brainwaves are on the same page.

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