While we are all of us definitely at the sharp end of a transition to electrification, it is also true that delivery fleets are taking a good hard look at the benefits of transitioning to and PHEVs and BEVs.
This is going to shift a few elements for the professional delivery driver.
New Maintenance Schedules
Maintenance intervals will change, particularly in the case of battery electric vehicles. Chief among these will be brake system attention. Regenerative brakes tend to last much longer, but at the same time, there will be a higher concern over corrosion rather than wear. There are also other systems and fluids that will need attention.
Routinely monitoring proper battery operation, charging protocols and maintenance is key to realizing potential running cost savings.
Due to the generally higher curb weight and high available torque of electric vehicles, greater attention must be paid to tire wear than would normally have been required on an equivalent-sized conventional ICE vehicle in the past.
Rotating tires, regularly monitoring tire wear, and also making continuing efforts to be kind to the tires, will all pay off.
Cold Weather Effects
Due to the relatively significant effect on range that ambient temperatures can have – shortening range by as much as 18%, by some estimates, in cold weather – it is important to put measures in place to mitigate the impact of temperature on vehicle operation.
One way this can be done in colder weather is to have the charging protocol timed to coincide with the vehicle’s operation.
Fully charging the vehicle just prior to use, rather than several hours before, will ensure that the batteries are warmer and able to provide a higher percentage of their overall performance at the beginning of the day.
Even as fleets continue to build their comfort level with EVs, those who drive them will also have to build their experience and tweak some of their habits to ensure they are getting the most out of this all-important business tool called the delivery vehicle.