Batteries have been round for over two hundred years, and we all have a pretty good idea what they have done for us in all that time. It isn’t as much as they are doing for us today, though. For sure, the modern global energy economy is being taken over by battery power, which is a good illustration of the large societal macro changes which battery power is ushering in. On the more quotidian end of the scale too, batteries are making more and more of an impact on our daily lives. There are now new battery technologies such as USB rechargeable AA batteries (replacing older household batteries), produced by new startups like Pale Blue Earth. Such technology is even doing things that were previously never handled with battery power.
However, the biggest indication that batteries are taking over is not to be found in these innovative new smart battery consumer products; nor is it even to be found in the large energy installations that rely heavily on advance batteries in order to store power. In fact, the starkest evidence of the battery takeover is in the explosion of the electric vehicle (EV). Why? Because we are an automobile society; you cannot go outside without seeing a car – and battery power is soon to take over every last one on our roads.
The EV revolution is sure to hit most of us. Nevertheless, it is not just a consumer revolution or even just a revolution in terms of how we get from A to B. Instead, because automobile travel impinges on so many industries and is necessary for their functioning, we can expect industrial and commercial practices the world over to have to adapt in some way to the new stuff that makes cars go.
To illustrate this, it is worth taking an example – the industry that is most strongly affected by changes in vehicle travel. This isn’t just one industry, but in fact any that runs what can be called a “fleet”, or a large number of vehicles. Such industries include haulage companies, taxi services, ride-sharing firms, car hire services, and all manner of delivery companies. With all these cars soon to feel the effects of the battery revolution and run on li-ion cells rather than the internal combustion engine, the concept of EV fleet management has arisen, a new practice that illustrates quite well how battery power is changing our world.
What is EV Fleet Management?
Many of the principles of old-fashioned fleet management have been carried over and applied to electric vehicles. Just as fleet management in the past required the maintenance of vehicles and their provision with fuel, EV fleet management revolves around how to ensure optimal charging for an EV fleet.
EV fleet management is though a far more sophisticated industry practice. It involves making use of a good deal of data and software. Thanks to EV battery management systems, much more data about the condition of EV cars can monitored than was ever possible with gas vehicles. EV fleet management involves combining that data with how many cars there are in the fleet, the costs of charging them, how far they need to travel, and so on. It is a sophisticated process which also makes use of internal networks in order to compute charging and distance data for a whole fleet of EVs.
EV fleet management is now something that pretty much everyone operating a fleet of vehicles will have to engage in or learn soon. It is the car industry which is helping batteries take over – but batteries are fundamentally changing the car industry too.