New legislation designed to cut vehicle pollution, calls for all new taxis licensed from 1st January 2018 to be zero emission. Fleet operators in this sector will therefore need to plan for increasing their use of electric vehicles. However, concerns over the productivity and reliability of electric vehicles mean that many fleet managers are hesitant about changing their fleet.
According to Justin Ott, CEO of Spark EV Technology, existing methods of predicting range between charges are not accurate enough for fleet use. Where fleets have introduced electric vehicles it has resulted in a drop-in productivity as managers cut back on the number of journeys to avoid potentially running out of power.
Taxi and private hire fleets, as well as other fleet operators, will be interested to hear that a new artificial intelligence-based journey prediction telematics solution was released this week and is set to remove their anxieties. Spark EV enables greater fleet utilisation with vehicles able to complete 20% more journeys between charges.
Drivers and fleet managers enter their journey details through the Spark EV app or web interface and it advises whether they will be able to complete it based on data, previous trips and chargepoint locations. This gives reassurance by increasing the number of potential journeys by 2.8 a day and allows managers to add extra journeys to EV routes based on their remaining capacity. Using machine learning, Spark EV automatically updates predictions after each journey, continually improving efficiency.
From April 2019 the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will charge vehicles that do not meet strict environmental standards. With advancements in technology, hopefully more fleet operators will feel confident about changing over to electric vehicles.