guides29th February 2024

A Guide to Implementing Energy Management

A combination of factors is driving the transition to electric fleets, from environmental impact, government legislation and consumer demand. EO is working with countless businesses in the midst of their electrification journey, and one of the regular hurdles we encounter is insufficient power on site. However, with the proper energy management strategy and technology solution, fleet operators can circumnavigate many of these concerns and directly manage their available power, ensuring their fleet is operational and on schedule – without getting an expensive upgrade to the grid.

There is often a perception that an electric fleet can only be scaled with significant grid infrastructure upgrades in tandem with more electric chargers on site. This leads to concerns over delayed timelines and costly utility fees. This is particularly an issue for fleets with limited energy capacity or under time pressures to make the switch who don't have time to wait for a grid connection upgrade.   

Energy Management is set to be revolutionary for EV (Electric Vehicle) fleets. With limited power supply and the pressure to go electric, utilising available power effectively is a game changer for the sector, particularly for those at risk of hefty fines if they exceed their allocated energy allowance. In addition to the management of power, there are additional benefits that an Energy Management system can provide, including timed connections, vehicle scheduling, and utilising off-peak tariffs, which will reduce operational expenses and extend the longevity of the assets.  

Adopting energy management for fleets involves several vital steps to ensure efficiency and sustainability. Here's a structured approach:  

Calculate Expected Demand   
Calculate the available power you think you need and analyse vehicle usage, routes or schedules to identify opportunities for charger optimisation. Review your vehicle fleet to see which vehicles will cover the most mileage and, therefore, need more charge before leaving the site. You will be able to set your charging then needs on a priority basis, ensuring the most efficient use of energy across your EV fleet.    

Energy Audit  
Many companies have limited power capacity on-site, so understanding how much energy is needed will be the critical first step to calculating whether a request for a grid upgrade is required or if an energy management solution will suffice. Identify potential barriers and challenges, such as infrastructure limitations or budget constraints.  

Set Clear Objectives  
Set clear goals and targets for energy management, such as reducing fuel consumption by a certain percentage or increasing the proportion of renewable energy used. These objectives will play a critical role in guiding your management approach and will help you to scale your electric fleet sustainably.   

Energy Policy and Regulation Compliance  
Staying informed about relevant energy policies, regulations, and standards is essential for ensuring compliance and identifying opportunities for incentives or subsidies. Governments enforce several deadlines, so ensure you know what deadlines need to be met in which country and ensure your goals are aligned. You can also collaborate with government agencies, utilities, and other stakeholders to access funding opportunities, incentives, and technical expertise.  

Invest in Efficient Vehicles  
Evaluate the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), including maintenance and operating expenses, to make informed decisions about vehicle purchases. You must look at each vehicle's driving range and charge requirements, as this will impact your daily operations.  

Install an Energy Management System (EMS)  
Installing an energy management system allows real-time energy consumption tracking and enables proactive management. It will adjust energy consumption patterns in response to demand fluctuations, help balance supply and demand, reduce peak loads, and avoid costly grid upgrades. EMS will be a crucial enabler for predictive maintenance in the future. Even if your energy audit shows that an EMS is not essential, it adds vast business and operational benefits with its features, such as vehicle scheduling. Installing an EMS is a critical infrastructure providing reliable, efficient, smart charging.   

Energy Procurement Strategies  
Optimising energy procurement through negotiating favourable contracts, leveraging bulk purchasing, and hedging against price volatility can minimise costs and ensure reliable supply. Review energy tariffs regularly to maximise charge sessions during off-peak periods. Utilising EMS and its scheduling features will enable you to maximise charging off-peak, helping to reduce costs drastically.   

Renewable Energy Integration  
Incorporating renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydroelectric, and biomass can help reduce reliance on fossil fuels and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. For most companies, this is a future goal that energy management will enable.   

Implement Driver Training and Monitoring  
The electrification of transport is not just a technical journey but also a cultural shift that will likely receive some resistance. However, with adequate training, presenting precise data and demonstrating positive experiences, the cultural shift to electrification can be swift and bring many unexpected positive outcomes.   

Continuous Monitoring and Improvement  
Regularly monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) related to energy consumption, emissions, and cost savings. An EMS can be crucial in providing these data points for management analysis. Continuously seek opportunities for improvement through data analysis, stakeholder feedback, and technological advancements.  

By adopting a holistic approach to energy management, EV fleets can enhance their competitiveness, reduce operating expenses, and contribute to a more sustainable future. Each element of implementation listed above is critical to ensure the long-term success of a scaled electric fleet. Moreover, having done thorough implementation work upfront, you will be in an agile position to adjust your electrification strategy as your fleet and core business needs evolve. Partners and providers, such as EO, can assist you on your EV journey per your needs.  


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