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Ford expands telematics offerings to add options for electric vehicles

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Managing Editor of Fleet Equipment Magazine

With the announcement of the E-Transit all-electric cargo van, Ford has also expanded telematics offerings specifically aimed at electric vehicles.

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The company announced that new fleet-wide energy monitoring and vehicle management tools from Ford Commercial Solutions will be available to E-Transit customers when the vehicle becomes available next fall.

With the new electric vehicle tools, fleet operators can monitor the performance of individual vans, manage energy usage and gain key insights into their performance, Ford says. Using electric vehicle-specific data such as kWh consumption, charge speed, distance to empty and more, managers can better understand how they’re operating in real time in order to help optimize running costs and uptime.

The new tools also enable remote cabin pre-conditioning, so fleet operators can optimize cabin temperatures while E-Transit is plugged in to optimize battery efficiency, according to Ford. Alerts notify managers if a vehicle isn’t plugged in when it’s scheduled to be, while other tools let them remotely manage transactions for public charging and receive reporting to support reimbursement for employees who charge at home, the company added.

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Along with electric vehicle-specific services, Ford is introducing in-vehicle, real-time driver coaching through SYNC 4 voice assistant. Any time a driver exceeds a speed limit, rapidly accelerates, brakes harshly, leaves the engine running while parked or fails to fasten a seatbelt, they will receive an in-car audio message asking them to correct their behavior.

Ford is also offering integrated Driver ID, giving managers an easy way to associate specific drivers with vehicles. By allowing drivers to enter a driver-specific code into the SYNC screen, fleet managers get an accurate record of which driver is using which vehicle. By associating a driver with a specific vehicle, managers could analyze performance metrics to potentially identify new coaching opportunities to help manage driver performance, the company says.

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