Fleets are facing an increasing need to compile more reliable data about the use of electric and hybrid vehicles, according to Wiltshire-based software company FleetCheck.
Peter Golding, managing director of FleetCheck, explained that an increasing number of businesses were starting to operate a handful of these cars on a trial basis but many were failing to effectively monitor them in use.
Golding said: “In many organisations, there has been a conversation between the financial director and managers responsible for the fleet where they have agreed to try out EVs and PHEVs on an experiential basis with a view to wider adoption.
“However, the ways in which this is being done are quite often not very structured. There is limited effort put into working out the best applications for this technology and teaching drivers how to use it effectively. Especially, there is little gathering of good quality data.”
Golding said in a surprising number of cases there was no recording of how the vehicles performed in real world conditions and fleets fell back onto using official manufacturer figures to justify their use that had limited relevance.
“Our view is that there needs to be a combination of on-the-road information gathered through telematics and careful analysis of this data using fleet software.
“For example, one of the first things that almost any user of PHEVs will discover is the often considerable disparity between official fuel consumption and actual figures. This is usually met with disappointment and the overall perception of these hybrids is negatively affected but there needs to be a more proactive response, in our view.
“With reliable data and thorough analysis, you can look at why this is happening and try to close the gap – is it a question of driving style or perhaps the type of journeys being undertaken? Can action be taken that improve these issues? For fleets that view PHEVs as a long-term replacement for diesels, these questions are important.”
In 2018 FleetCheck reported that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is generating increased interest in fleet software, as managers look for solutions that comply with privacy requirements.