While EV charging for fleet operators, is a mammoth task to embark on, many fleet operators have already started on their journey to electrification by investing in their first electric vehicles (EVs). Forward-thinking organisations have announced plans to significantly expand the number of EVs in their fleets, or in some cases, set dates to go completely electric.
More EVs in your fleet means more charging infrastructure at your premises. Therefore, like any introduction of new technology to your business, it will only be a success if you get users to embrace it. If you’re thinking about buying more EV chargers, it is important to include all stakeholders in the procurement process. But who are they?
1. The Fleet Manager
If you’re not the fleet manager, then make them your first point of call. The person responsible for the safe and successful operation of your fleet is a key decision-maker when it comes to EV charging. The fleet manager has the data on which vehicles are being replaced with EVs, how many are being replaced and when they will go into service. They also have vital intelligence on the performance capabilities of those electric vehicles – for example, their range on a full battery charge, how long they need to recharge, and when they return to base. This is all vital information when it comes to specifying your workplace EV charging infrastructure.
A fleet manager will also understand whether the vehicles need to be taken home by his drivers. This may lead to a need for home chargers to allow his team to charge at home.
2. The Facilities Manager
Electric vehicle charging points are infrastructure and therefore their day-to-day operation will fall under the facilities manager. FM teams will have specific requirements around accessing data from smart chargers to understand their usage – and most importantly, to ensure they are working correctly. Depending on how you want your charge points to be used, your organisation may wish to make charge points available for staff. This is where our back office comes in. This allows a business to place mixed tariffs on the posts – so the charge points can remain free for company vehicles but staff are charged for their use.
The facilities manager should also have a handle on key issues such as energy tariffs and available electrical capacity on site, and therefore whether you need to think about load balancing or smart charging to ensure demand for power does not outstrip supply.
3. Finance Director
It goes without saying that installing fleet EV chargers costs money. However, when it comes to data analytics and return on investment, not all chargers are created equal. Finance teams might want the ability to access data from chargers on who is charging, how much workplace charging adds to your energy bills, and how smart charging can have a positive impact on costs. It is important to factor these requirements into your specification when talking to EV charging installers, as not all chargers come with these back-office capabilities.
Finance will also need to be involved if the company vehicles are being taken home and charged at an employee’s premises. This is where a billing system comes in to allow reimbursement for energy used at home.
4. Human Resources
HR is typically the vessel for internal communications so make sure that they have a clear and complete understanding that includes:
- What EV charging infrastructure is being installed
- Who is allowed or entitled to use it
- Any health and safety information that needs to be shared with staff
Similarly, if part of your workplace charging plan includes providing EV charging for visitors or colleagues, then HR need to be in the know – for example, they might want a booking system to prevent disputes over charging bays.
5. Vehicle users
In most fleets each vehicle will have specific drivers who will be the only people using it. However, in some other cases such as pool cars there may be multiple users. Make sure that everyone who is going to be driving an EV understands where the charging infrastructure is located, when they can use it, and how to safely use it. This may also include training on the location of charging infrastructure away from base and how to use it through the relevant charge cards of apps. At Mer, we have a number of mobility partners such as Allstar, Octopus Energy and Zap Map, that allow card holders to access our public network.
6. Other employees
Last but not least, don’t forget to include other employees, even if they won’t be directly impacted by EV charging. It never hurts to keep your colleagues informed, share your success story about fleet electrification, and to enable them to ask questions.
7. Your charging provider
We can work with you to ensure that the right people within your organisation are informed and engaged with your EV charging implementation plans.
At Mer we are experts in fleet charging, and we’re happy to share our expertise to help you on the road to net zero. Our belief is that fleet managers shouldn’t have to be energy experts – that’s our job. Get in touch at [email protected] for a friendly chat with one of our team.