New Geotab tools that aim to help fleets go electric hit North American market

by Truck News

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – With the launch of two new tools, Geotab is looking to make the decision and process of going electric seamless for fleets.

The company’s Electric Vehicle Suitability Assessment (EVSA) and the Electric Vehicle Battery Degradation tools were released to the Canadian and U.S. markets today during Geotab Connect 2020 in San Diego, Calif.

“The Electric Vehicle Suitability Assessment evaluates your current fleet and creates a multi-year procurement plan to help you electrify it,” said Matt Stevens, vice-president of electric vehicles at Geotab. “The EVSA provides all of the information required to help ensure you are putting the best-fit electric vehicles into your fleet — so you don’t end up adopting a vehicle that does not work for you.”

EVSA helps fleets identify which electric vehicles meet their range requirements, as well as which EV options make financial sense.

The assessment is based on telematics data, and fleets are provided with a report that reveals lifetime cost analysis to go electric, range assurance that provides EV options that would be the best fit, the impact the environment would make on the EV, as well as fuel and CO2 reduction calculations.

EVSA is available as a free add-on in the Geotab Marketplace – a portfolio of mobile apps, software add-ins, and hardware add-ons – which also offers more than 200 third-party solutions.

“Geotab is the world’s leading telematics platform for electric vehicles,” said Geotab CEO Neil Cawse. “The EVSA is a practical step in speeding up the commercial adoption of EVs and is going to help change the lives of fleet managers who are interested in the effective electrification of their fleets. Geotab goes even one step further and supports fleets on their journey from zero to 100 percent electric, offering a comprehensive suite of EV performance monitoring tools inside MyGeotab once a fleet has started to electrify.”

Stevens said of the over two million Geotab subscribers, electric vehicles make up 1%.

“In reality, that is still a large number of electric vehicles,” he said, adding that to make a successful adoption to EVs, fleets need to employ the use of telematics. “If you’re going to go electric within a fleet, you really need telematics to do it successfully.”

Currently, EVSA is used only for passenger, SUV, and light-duty vans, though Stevens said there is interest in expanding the tool to include medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

It only takes around five minutes to launch the EVSA tool, then about an hour for the assessment to compute.

Fleets select the vehicles they are considering changing to electric, EVSA analyzes the vehicles’ historical telematics data, and then pinpoints which vehicles in the fleet are suitable for EV replacement.

Geotab Connect 2020
Matt Stevens, vice-president of electric vehicles at Geotab.

Geotab also released its Battery Degradation Tool in Canada and the U.S., which is used to assess how long batteries will last and whether it will be able to perform years down the road.

Though location is a factor that impacts battery life, Stevens said how often a vehicle is driven does not seem to affect its longevity, but how and when it is charged does make a difference in its lifespan.

“For most batteries, the battery will outlast the life of the vehicle,” said Stevens, adding that the degradation tool is also currently only for passenger, SUV, and light-duty van applications.

Geotab uses aggregated data collected from 6,300 EVs from 64 makes, models, and year vehicles to offer a comparison and assessment of battery health over a period of time.

“Considering we are in the early stages of EV adoption, the health of the battery has been a top concern for fleet owners and individuals,” said Stevens. “From a life-cycle perspective, battery health is key since it is the most expensive component in an EV and impacts vehicle range. With Geotab’s free EV Battery Degradation Tool, fleet operators, early EV adopters and those considering the purchase of an EV will have the information they need to make more informed driving, maintenance and buying decisions moving forward.”

Some of Geotab’s findings indicate that the average decline in energy storage for a 150-mile EV battery is 2.3% per year, or 17 miles after five years of use. Batteries with good thermal management degrade slower, while EVs driven in hot temperatures show a faster decline in battery health, and the use of direct-current, fast-chargers appears to speed up the process of degradation.

“As the world’s largest commercial telematics company, Geotab is committed to providing its customers and partners with cutting-edge solutions that deliver actionable results,” said Stevens. “Together with our global ecosystem, we are focused on consistently delivering on our promise to help businesses improve vehicle performance and safety, increase productivity and reduce environmental impact.”

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