So you’ve been looking at electric vehicles (EVs) as your next fleet investment. But the question remains: How will you charge them?
The key to a healthy EV fleet is to establish charging bases, or designated areas where your fleet can fully charge before getting back on the road.
The idea of “fueling” your fleet right in your drivers’ garages or driveways can seem distant to many, but innovations in EV technology have made at-home charging more accessible than ever. It starts with understanding your team’s charging foundation, and building out a strategy from there.
At-home charging is most successful when your drivers have a designated space on your property to store your fleet vehicles, and an independent electrical source to fund that charge. Luckily, EV chargers are weatherproof, meaning an uncovered driveway works just as well as a garage or covered space.
The next step for fleet managers is to understand how to fund this new fuel source for your drivers. Fleet specialists need to consider the following:
- The average price per kilowatt-hours (kWh) your driver pays in their area
- The number of miles per kWh your vehicles get
- The mileage of your drivers monthly
These three elements will help you understand the baseline of how much you can expect each driver to spend a month from their home electricity bill, and give you ground around which to build a reimbursement plan. Your data is a great first step to make sense of these costs.
EV charging looks like most other electrical items. It comes equipped with an Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) charging plug that goes into your vehicle. From there, you need to take a look at the properties of your drivers and the EVs you want in your fleet and ask the following questions:
- Do I have a grounded outlet that is at least 120-volt (V)?
- Does my EVSE cord reach the outlet?
- What level of charging does my vehicle require?
While a traditional, 120-V outlet will charge most EVs as a Level 1 charge-point, it takes a long time and can be costly. It’s also important to note that EVs will not charge on hardware-store extension cords, so you might need to purchase a longer cord through your vehicle supplier, which are more expensive than traditional extension cords.
If you’re in EVs for the long haul, a Level 2 charger is a great way to charge faster and more efficiently. It’s a case-by-case basis, but many electrical services work with homeowners and businesses to install 240-V, Level 2 chargers directly into a home’s electrical system, usually alongside where the home’s electrical box is situated. In that case, make sure that your driver’s electrical box aligns with their charging location.
Of course, at-home charging isn’t for everyone. You might want to consider hybrid or alternative fueling options in certain situations, including when your drivers are:
- Renters or flat owners without designated parking and charge points
- Residents in urban areas without reserved parking spaces
- Living with street parking spaces which could require extended connection that is interrupted by pedestrians
- In homes that can not accommodate higher voltage charging outlets
What is the best option for you? Check out our EV Fleet Repository to see what is on the market today and what works for your business.