Think an electric vehicle (EV) fleet might be right for your organization? Good timing! EVs are taking the world by storm and the topic is one of fleet’s hottest.

Vehicle manufacturers continue to make headlines related to their commitment to producing and selling EVs. But they are not the only ones setting ambitious goals. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada will ban the sale of fuel-burning new vehicles starting in 2035 to reach net-zero emissions across the country by 2050. Provinces across the country have announced their own infrastructure investments to support the goal.

In addition, most companies have defined ESG goals that will require reducing or eliminating emissions through EVs. But electrifying your fleet is a journey, and there are special considerations and opportunities to be aware of when preparing your Canadian fleet for electrification. Here are a few tips to help you with your journey.

Consider Geography and Temperatures

Canadian geography can bring special challenges. Extreme weather, battery life and range can be issues, especially with upfitted trucks, or trucks pulling a trailer. EVs behave differently in extreme weather, hot or cold. Range may decrease since the power using to condition the cabin is generated by the battery. Protect the battery by informing drivers of charging best practices. Devise a cold weather plan and educate drivers on how to operate and care for their electric vehicles. Companies will need to consider the driver’s territory and vehicle application to determine when or whether EVs are appropriate.

Don’t Neglect Incentives

The federal government and certain provinces in Canada offer rebates for EV purchases. Yet, rebates are likely to change with time, budget and transitioning government administrations. If the following, or other, incentives are available when purchasing vehicles, jump at the chance to take advantage of them. However, don’t plan on these discounts being available forever. The federal government’s Zero-Emission Vehicles (iZEV) Program awards rebates for each purchase. Check out an updated list of incentive programs at Electric Mobility Canada.

Leverage Connected Vehicle Technology

The data you can get from a Connected Vehicle Program, either plug-in or OEM direct, can have enormous impact for all areas of fleet from safety to vehicle health. But the biggest trend in vehicle connectivity is leveraging your data to determine your fleet viability for EV adoption.
When a client decides to transition to EVs, we recommend starting with an assessment of the current fleet. Having vehicles connected, helps to make the assessment even more precise. We’re able to get real-time, critical vehicle and driver behaviour information to make more informed EV replacement decisions on areas such as trip frequency, trip distance and vehicle locations.
Accurate trip information via vehicle connectivity brings visibility to vehicle utilization. Are the vehicles on the road for one long trip a day or do they stay local with frequent stops? Questions like these, inform vehicle range requirements, charging necessities, and optimal vehicle selection to ensure the best opportunity for EV adoption.
When it comes to vehicle locations, connected vehicle data can be used to quickly assess where vehicles are garaged and if there are stops along their route that offer charging. Evaluating trip information from connected vehicle data also insures the driver is taking the shortest route to optimize the vehicle’s range while increasing productivity.
After the vehicles are selected and driving patterns are understood, fleets need to be prepared to meet the charging need. Using connected vehicle data to obtain vehicle locations, stop durations and what time of day vehicles are stopped, informs how a fleet can create or use existing charging infrastructure to support the demand.

Look to Wheels Donlen

We are guiding our clients to their most ambitious destination yet—a zero-emissions mobility future. Innovative thinking, flexibility, planning, communication, and thoughtful implementation are necessary steps to achieving success. And we are ready to support you through your journey, with resources and assistance at every step of the way. If getting a head start on the EV trend is important to your organization, look to us as your on-ramp to a greener tomorrow.

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