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Peyton Panik

Peyton Panik

Aug 10, 2023

5 minute read

Fleet Management Blog

Tips for Managing a Fleet of Both EV and ICE Assets

Running a fleet that consists of both internal combustion engines (ICEs), electric vehicles (EVs) and other specialty fleet assets can be challenging due to the distinct characteristics and maintenance requirements of each type of asset, but there are a few things you can do to make handling a mixed fleet simpler.

Tips for Managing a Fleet of Both EV and ICE Assets

As electric vehicle integration into fleets becomes a more achievable sustainability goal for companies, striking the right balance between new and traditional vehicles can present a logistical challenge as you approach things like maintenance and lifecycle management, but fleet managers should never feel like they have to be either all ICE or all EV in order to be truly efficient. Your ideal fleet set-up likely includes a combination of both (or even other solutions such as hydrogen fuel cell vehicles).

What to Consider When Managing a Fleet of Mixed Assets

There are plenty of strategies you can use to keep all of your assets well maintained as you build out an electric fleet without feeling like you’re speaking multiple languages at the same time.

Let’s look at some tips and key factors to consider for effective mixed fleet management:

Data and Analytics

Utilizing fleet management software and telematics systems to gather data on vehicle performance, fuel/energy consumption, maintenance needs, and driver behavior is a universal need regardless of what kind of assets you’re managing. Many FMSs are taking EV fleets into active consideration in their features, making sure there is plenty of customization and EV-specific integrations available to optimize your EV data collection alongside ICE assets.

Fleet managers can use that collected data to analyze and identify inefficiencies, potential cost savings, and opportunities for streamlining the fleet’s operation, as well as comparing the performance of each type of vehicle to gauge return on investment and total cost of ownership of their asset types.

Driver Training

Providing comprehensive training to drivers on the unique characteristics of EV versus ICE vehicles can go a long way in establishing a well-maintained hybrid fleet. Fleet managers should educate drivers on driving techniques to maximize the range of EVs and promote fuel-efficient driving in gas-powered vehicles, as well as ensure that drivers are aware of the differences in what they should be looking for during daily vehicle inspections.

Charging Infrastructure

Creating a charging infrastructure and plan for your EVs, and taking into account the types of EVs in your fleet and their charging requirements, is as important a step for EV management as establishing a fuel budget and process is for ICEs. Making sure that you have consistent availability and accessibility of charging stations at strategic locations to support the daily operations of EVs will save you money and streamline your logistics in the long run, just as having a comprehensive fueling plan will reduce spending on gas for traditional fleet vehicles.

Effectively managing EVs doesn’t have to mean installing permanent charging infrastructure at your home office, just as ICE assets don’t always require onsite fueling solutions, but it could be a cost-saving solution in the long run if you feel it will benefit your individual operation.

Range Management

The primary difference between daily operating with EVs and ICEs is that EV route planning may take a little more finessing than a traditional asset’s routing as you consider charging stations, which are not nearly as widely available as gas fueling stations. Take into consideration the driving range of EVs so you can plan routes accordingly to avoid range anxiety and unnecessary downtime by engaging with telematics software, or consider implementing route optimization tools to minimize energy consumption and reduce operating costs for both EVs and gas-powered vehicles.

Maintenance and Repairs

An EV asset and an ICE asset might share a lot of similar elements mechanically that should be included in inspection and preventive maintenance criteria, but under the hood, things can look really different between the two vehicles. Be sure to develop distinct maintenance schedules and protocols for gas engine and EV assets, considering the different maintenance needs of each type.

If you use in-house maintenance, train your technicians to handle both gas engine and EV repairs, or consider outsourcing EV-specific maintenance to specialized service providers to fill the gaps.

Cost Analysis

ICE and EV assets present different opportunities to create cost savings immediately as well as down the road, so it’s important to regularly analyze the total cost of ownership (TCO) for your gas and electric vehicles , including upfront costs, fuel/energy expenses, maintenance, and resale value. Making data-driven decisions can help drive better choices in the future around fleet composition, and help you consider the specific use cases, driving patterns and lifecycle costs of each vehicle type.

Need help integrating EVs into your fleet?

Download our EV white paper for a breakdown of current EV trends and what to consider in expanding EV assets.

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Incentives and Regulations

One of the primary benefits of transitioning fleets to EV is their regulatory impact, so it’s important to stay informed about government incentives and regulations related to EVs, such as tax credits, grants and access to restricted areas or dedicated lanes. You can leverage these incentives to promote the adoption of more EVs in your fleet in the future, as well as reduce your fleet’s overall environmental impact.

Environmental Impact and Sustainability

Monitoring and reporting on the fleet’s environmental impact, including greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption, can go a long way in reflecting a good public image for your fleet and the company as a whole, especially if you’re striving to meet specific fleet sustainability goals. Continuous measurement of these metrics from both your EVs and ICEs can help you actively work toward reducing the fleet’s carbon footprint over time and aiming to make adjustments to your overall fleet composition.

Emergency Response Plan

As with any asset, it’s important to develop a contingency plan for emergencies, such as power outages or accidents involving your EVs on the road. Be sure to train drivers and maintenance staff on the proper procedures for dealing with emergency situations involving EVs just as you would with traditional gas engine models.

Flexibility and Adaptability

Technology is constantly changing around both EV availability and ICE capability and features. Stay on top of the evolving technology and advancements in both gas and electric vehicles. So you can be prepared to adapt your fleet management strategies as the industry progresses, especially as you’re assessing the cost of integrating more EVs into your fleet.

By implementing these tips and considering the key factors, you can efficiently manage a mixed fleet of gas engine and EV assets while maximizing performance, minimizing costs, and reducing the environmental impact of your fleet operations.

Download our EV white paper for a breakdown of current EV trends and what to consider in expanding EV assets.

Get Your Free Copy

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About the Author

Peyton Panik
Peyton Panik

Content Marketing Specialist

Peyton Panik is a Content Marketing Specialist at Fleetio. When she’s not writing, she’s probably churning through a new book or watching a movie she’s already seen 15 times.

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