The transition to electric vehicles offers many opportunities, but it will need innovative digital systems to maximise its potential, says Phil Iley, VP Digital Innovation at Allstar Business Solutions.
In the next few years, businesses will need to juggle the transition to electric vehicles, contain running costs and sort vehicle supply. It’s a lot to handle. But at Allstar we’re introducing, and continue to bring to market, innovative yet simple solutions that streamline control and costs so you can concentrate on running your business better.
This is part of our philosophy: to enable every type of fleet transaction, and vehicle, to be operationally efficient using our systems, and then for those actions to be clearly and simply presented, so businesses of all sizes have a holistic view of their entire fleet, whether it’s electric, petrol or diesel.
Recent research conducted with our customers on the challenges they face show they need more information than ever, in a wide variety of areas. Nearly nine out of 10 say keeping costs down is their biggest focus, followed by nearly half (43%) citing purchasing and maintaining vehicles as the next biggest issue.
But also, work/life balance, going green, managing drivers, expanding the business and adapting to change are all areas that need attention. To manage all of this successfully needs data and systems that are integrated.
Many managers are time poor, but they're hungry for data, insight and information, and at Allstar, we are developing digital systems that are simple to use, and serve the fleet manager the necessary data in a streamlined, manageable and actionable way.
Our core self-service portal has a number of new features coming which makes it much simpler for fleet managers to interact with their account. They will easily be able to see all the information about their different vehicle types which will provide them with the ability to compare driver performance and monitor card usage.
By doing this, businesses can make clear decisions about where the transition to electric can happen more quickly, and where it might need more development before the move is made, ultimately helping to inform their future roadmap.
The transition to electric has the potential to be quite disruptive to established ways of doing things. Fleets are faced with a myriad of new apps, companies offering new products and services, and a wealth of different information.
Fleet managers and other key stakeholders need to choose the right EV solutions that are simple to use for both themselves and their drivers, whilst seamlessly integrating with their existing processes for petrol and diesel vehicles.
For example, how do you know you are using the best charging networks for you, or the costs are where they should be? That you’re charging at the best priced chargepoint providers or your employees are using the lowest electricity tariffs for home charging?
Introduce too many systems that don’t talk to each other, and you’ll be in danger of having to spend huge amounts of time trying to reconfigure and reconcile data so that it is comparable across all vehicles.
At Allstar, our systems have been developed to pull all of this into one place in our online portals, so that whether you need information about individual home charging costs, or how much you’re paying for diesel, you can bring the figures together and make sense of them in an easily comparable way.
Electric can provide so much more insightful information than petrol and diesel, because it is monitored at a far more granular level.
Whilst going into granular level of detail is transformational, it could also risk a business being swamped by information, to the point where it becomes too unwieldy to manage. On our platforms you can create reports for specific areas and make sense of all this data in a way that you can use.
With vehicle shortages still an issue for many businesses due to lack of semi-conductors, and manufacturers still trying to plan global supply and product mix over the next few years as they move to electric, it seems likely that many fleets will be mixed fuel for some time to come.
That means they need innovative, agile, solutions which allow them to change to electric vehicles when the opportunity arises, while staying with petrol and diesel elsewhere.
By making the systems that allow the management of these changes simple, Allstar can help fleets act quickly and tactically.
As an example, it might be that a number of electric cars become available from a supplier and you can switch some drivers into them. With our Allstar One Electric card for example, they could be using it to put petrol in their outgoing car one day, and using it to charge a new EV the next. And all the cost and usage data you need will be in the same place, and there won’t be any need to issue new cards or for drivers to access new systems or processes.
It's clever innovations like these that will help companies take advantage of opportunities that come their way, and at Allstar, we are at the forefront of empowering change, while maximising existing fleet management structures.
For more information about our EV solutions and how they can help you, click here.