Vehicle specifications to consider when selecting an electric vehicle that are different from a petrol or diesel vehicle.
The specifications you should consider when buying electric vehicles include:
- Battery capacity (in kiloWatt hours (kWh) and driving range (km)) – Different electric vehicle models come with different battery sizes. Larger batteries cost more and determine driving range. Use your existing fleet data to determine the actual daily driving distance of your fleet vehicles and select electric vehicle models accordingly. Keep in mind many fleet vehicles regularly do not drive more than 100-200 km per day and can be fully recharged overnight using alternating current (AC) charging stations.
- Battery warranty – Many electric vehicles now have an 8-year/160,000 km warranty on the battery as standard.
- Electric vehicle charging rates (in kiloWatts (kW)) – Different electric vehicle models accept different rates of AC and direct current (DC) charging. Installing 22 kW AC charging stations at your site instead of less expensive 7.4 kW AC charging stations will not provide faster AC charging if your electric vehicles can only accept a 7 kW rate of charge. Most public DC charging stations are 50 kW, but newer DC charging stations are 300-350 kW. Many new electric vehicle models can accept charge rates higher than 50 kW and use public high-power DC charging stations on long journeys. One or two electric vehicle models cannot use DC fast chargers at all.
- Whether the battery has an active cooling system – Active cooling systems allow sequential DC fast charging and optimise battery life. Select electric vehicles with active cooling systems if your fleet regularly takes long journeys.
- Plug inlet type – Allow for different electric vehicle plug types.
- Regenerative braking – All electric vehicles have regenerative braking, where braking/momentum is captured to generate electricity and recharge the battery.
- Tow rating – An increasing number of electric vehicle models have tow ratings. Towing reduces an electric vehicle’s driving range; if you only have an occasional need for a towing function, consider hiring a vehicle.
More information on the electric vehicles programme and buying an electric vehicle: