How to handle the third phase of ‘EV anxiety’: efficiency

When electric vehicles (EVs) first became available, industry observers coined the term “range anxiety”. It described motorists’ fear of their battery charge running out before they could complete their journey. 

    "Charge anxiety” is a newer perceived problem with EVs. Another major concern is that there will not be  enough charging stations along your route, or that they will not function properly, potentially leaving you stranded.

    Government and industry are addressing both of these issues head on. The UK’s network of charging  stations is steadily expanding as more emphasis is placed on EVs ahead of the 2035 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles. More money is also being invested in charging infrastructure, which should alleviate some of the residual charge anxiety among drivers.

    Meanwhile, car manufacturers are firmly focused on range anxiety. They are working together to come up with new ways to charge batteries, such as installing auxiliary power and heating vehicle surfaces while travelling. According to research, this is effective at lowering overall power consumption. Meanwhile, car manufacturer Nio highlights its Power Swap battery swap stations, which allow drivers to exchange a depleted battery for a fully charged one in less than five minutes.

    As a result of these developments, the first and second types of EV anxiety are gradually diminishing and should eventually disappear. The spotlight is now on a third issue that affects both private motorists and fleet managers: “Efficiency anxiety.”

    Miles per KWH is the new MPG!

    Building efficiency across operations is a business imperative, boosting the bottom line and providing employees with ways to do their jobs more cost-effectively. Fleet managers play a critical role in determining the most efficient routes for drivers to take. As the EV fleet share grows, it is critical to understand the efficiency of various vehicles.

    The traditional efficiency metric for internal combustion is miles per gallon; the EV equivalent is miles per kilowatt hour (MPkWh). Businesses are beginning to place greater emphasis on this emerging metric, and we should see a beneficial shift away from monitoring battery range and towards monitoring battery efficiency.

    While range remains an important consideration – no one wants to be stranded because their battery’s charge is running low – MPkWh is critical for demonstrating the relative cost of covering distance. The lower the costs, the more efficient an EV can be. This is an important aspect for fleet managers during the research phase of transitioning from combustion to electric, as well as for cost management once drivers are on the road.

    An EV’s MPkWh figure indicates how far it can travel on a single kWh (or unit) of electricity. A vehicle with a battery capacity of 60 kWh and an efficiency rating of 4 MPkWh can travel 240 miles on average when fully charged.

    In simpler terms: EV range ÷ kWh battery capacity = MPkWh.

    MPkWh provides priceless information about the relative costs of journeys, indicating whether or not an EV saves money by requiring less electricity to achieve the desired range. The most efficient EV has a smaller battery capacity and a longer range. A lower MPkWh indicates that you will require more electricity to get that vehicle to its range.

    Efficiency variables to look for

    All of this highlights some critical factors to consider when choosing EVs for your company’s electric fleet provision.

    Higher value does not mean better range. Be sure you are paying for efficiency or range; not just a higher specification or a brand. 

    In addition, a lighter vehicle will likely be more efficient. Do you really need the additional range for the additional cost?

    You must also examine the Total Cost of Ownership of the EVs you want to add to your fleet. Efficiency is an important factor in this. A closer look at the efficiency differences between ‘normal’ and longer-range models
    reveals significant differences.

    Long range vs. standard range

    A model with a longer total range costs significantly more but has a range that is, for example, 70 miles greater than a model with a shorter total range. However, the battery weighs more to accommodate the extra distance, reducing efficiency by up to 1 MPkWh. 

    As a result, the second option makes more sense from an efficiency standpoint if your electric fleet is used for frequent short trips rather than long-distance driving.

    With an intelligent charging strategy, you could save thousands of pounds, have your driver use a more efficient vehicle, and never experience the inconvenience of a reduced range.

    Making the right choice

    Because of the relative complexity of comparing EV MPkWh, patient, thorough analysis is required. Athlon UK specialises in assisting our customers with this. We provide fleet management tailored to specific situations, whether it’s cars or light commercial vehicles of any make or model.

    We provide a variety of flexible, cost-effective funding options to meet your company’s current needs. Athlon has a presence in 20 countries worldwide, so we can meet your fleet needs as you grow and expand.

    As infrastructure investment continues to address range anxiety and charge anxiety, a new challenge awaits: when deciding to transition to an EV fleet, it is important to consider efficiency as well.

    Fast forward

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