Time spent charging is time not spent creating value for their companies, and one of the few downsides is that it can take much longer to charge EVs than it does to refuel a conventionally fuelled car. Even the fastest EV chargers can take thirty minutes or more to recharge a vehicle with a large battery.
In some cases, time spent charging can allow drivers to do other necessary tasks, such as answering emails, having meetings, or taking a lunch break, but for businesses that need vehicles to be on the road at all times, such as delivery companies or service engineers charging times will be more frequent and could cut into time that would otherwise have been spent working.
So, fleets require workday charging networks that allow for fast, easy access charging that minimises downtime or scheduling that fits around these stops.
High speed chargers are available at public chargepoints, although not all vehicles can access the very highest (something that is likely change over time). What a driver will get when they plug in is not always predictable either. While some cars and vans can only receive charging speeds up to a certain level, even those that can take an ultra-rapid charge may not always be able to access it.
A home charging wall box can typically charge at 7 kWh – this is also true of some charging points found on lamp posts around London (3-7kWh) and other free public charging solutions. These are intended for overnight charging or top-ups only, and they might not even be able to charge the battery of a larger EV overnight. For example, a 3kW charger would take 25 hours to fully charge the 75kWh battery on a Peugeot e-Expert van. This could make charging solely on home or free public chargers difficult or impossible for certain vehicles.
There are even vehicles that can’t use ultra-rapid chargers or need different connectors in order to do so. Older Nissan Leaf models that use Type 2 chargers would need a CCS connector for rapid charging, and vehicles like the Mitsubishi Outlander use the CHAdeMO charger that can hypothetically handle the charge from ultra-rapid chargers but will rarely have a connection point in modern charging stations. That said, both the cables for slow charging (3-pin-to-Type 1 cable) and fast charging (Type 2-to-Type 1 cable) are usually supplied with the vehicle – so be mindful of this when purchasing second hand.
This means that fleets who are buying from the growing inventory of second-hand EVs need to be careful that they aren’t setting themselves up to be unable to charge from the majority of public chargepoints or use the kind of fast charging that will make them viable for fleet usage.
Although the number of chargepoints is growing, finding a charger that will connect to your vehicle and that will charge fast enough to be viable in a business situation can still be difficult. There are dozens of apps that can find nearby chargers, but few are made for use by fleets. For this reason, we’ve partnered with Zap-Map to bring a solution to EV drivers who charge on the road. This integration means that customers using the Allstar One Electric card can make use of the ability to search for charging stations nearby and view, save and edit routes by planning which electric vehicle charging stations they can use on their journey.
Solutions like this should allow any company, from a small plumbing company to a major logistics network, to find electric charging solutions that allow them to stay charged and stay on the road.
To learn more, download our new whitepaper 6 Steps to an Electric Fleet: What to consider in the transition to EVs or for all the latest EV news and insights, please visit our Allstar EV Insights.