fleetdigest April 2017
The February 2017 issue of fleetdigest is now available online. You can flip through it here, but first, a few words from the Associate Publisher of fleetdigest, Jack Kazmierski.
To EV or Not to EV?
A week behind the wheel of an EV helped me see the question in a completely new light.
I recently had the opportunity to spend a week behind the wheel on an electric vehicle, and I walked away from the experience with a deeper understanding of what it means to have to integrate an EV into your daily routine.
We often talk about the benefits of EVs, and how they could and should be part of certain fleets. But after a week of living with an EV, I appreciate more fully what that really means.
Not for everyone
Quite frankly, EVs are not for everyone. If you need vehicles that can go anywhere they need to at the drop of a hat, then EVs are probably not right for you. If your drivers log in long hours on the highway, then you’re probably better off looking for a different green solution.
On the other hand, if most of your drivers take shorter trips in an urban setting, then an EV could be ideal. Even longer trips, with predetermined stops scheduled in for charging, could work.
I know all of the above has been said many times before, but it’s one thing to say it, and quite another to live it, like I did, and really learn from the experience.
Covering long distances
During my week with an EV I had to make a trip from Hamilton to Midland, Ontario— a distance of almost 200 km, each way. My battery promised roughly 150 km on a full charge, so I knew I’d have to stop somewhere to charge the batteries.
What I didn’t appreciate fully is what that actually means. First, you have to plan your trip, and figure out which highways and roads you’ll take. Then you have to scour the Internet to find out where you will be able to find charging stations along the way.
Next, you’ll want to see if there are any Level 3 charging stations available, simply because you’ll be able to charge the batteries to full in less than an hour. If not, you’ll have to settle for Level 2 chargers, which take two to four hours, or Level 1 (regular wall outlet), which means you’ll have to plan an overnight stay.
And it’s that waiting part that becomes an issue, since no one has the time today to sit around and wait. Even if you’re only stopping for an hour, you’ll have to figure out how to best use that time so as not to waste it.
The bottom line is that EV ownership isn’t as simple as some of us might think. You have to think differently. You have to plan carefully. You have to count the pros and cons before you make the jump.