Intercompany digitization and electrification of carpool and carsharing services
The 21st century is all about mobility, and also about sustainability. E-mobility is the buzzword of the day, and something few companies can afford to ignore. Where previously it was known as “mobility at any price,” now it stands proud alongside mindfulness, environmental protection and, last not least, cost saving.
Electromobility and carsharing in fleets
As it so often happens, it starts out with a few astute individuals who recognize the potential in new technologies and adapt them to a larger economic context. E-mobility is no exception: as a fleet manager, it might seem to be a Herculean task to decide from among the many different options offered by suppliers whether and, if so, which applications makes most sense for the company.
For nearly every fleet manager, digitization has been a main concern in recent years, and few fleets today can do without digital support. And rightly so. Almost all processes in fleet management can benefit from digital solutions, whether it is simple and straightforward booking and administration, secure and convenient vehicle handover or procurement, administration and claims management. Whatever it is, softwares can ease the process, free up HR, enhance capacity utilization and thereby lead to cost-effective and efficient performance. For most fleet managers, however, the question of electric mobility goes hand in hand with high acquisition costs, uncertainty about battery capacity, charging infrastructure and availability.
Research project – Smart eFleets
The Smart eFleets consortium aims to tackle this situation. The trail-blazing project, initiated by various Berlin supply and waste treatment and disposal companies with electric fleets, is committed to E-mobility and digitization in fleet management, it will start with municipal utilities and waste management companies. Under real-life conditions, approaches and processes for the transition to a fully digitized, intercompany vehicle fleet are to be developed, tested, optimized, evaluated and interlinked. As a result, experience and comparative data are available on how the digitization and electrification of a fleet can be carried out quickly, smoothly and effectively.
The project further delves into electrification, especially with regard to sustainability and environmental conservation. To this end E-mobility must gain broader acceptance and greater practicability: equipping carpools and carsharing services with EV’s as comprehensively as possible can make a significant difference in emission reduction. If companies are to overcome the entry barrier, economics must not be ignored. For this reason, the development at Smart eFleets focuses on collaborative models that allow costs and risks to be shared and easier access for interested users.
A further focus of the analysis is the way in which digitization and electrification are implemented in companies through change management. The parameters for operational and personal mobility are dramatically changing, so that corporate strategies need to continuously adapt in response. Which approaches are promising, i.e. which lead to a quick and noticeable change in fleet management, will not only be explained but will also be applied to third party providers in a further step with the goal of providing assistance to other industries. In the best-case scenario, better market penetration for E-mobility will be achieved.
Smart eFleets in detail: intercompany fleet management in EV fleets
What has up to now been vague and abstract will be divided into concrete research topics. The exhaustive examination will provide a deep understanding of internal and intercompany processes whose aim is to apply E-mobility in a resource-conserving manner and with high capacity utilization.are dramatically changing, so that corporate strategies need to continuously adapt in response. Which approaches are promising, i.e. which lead to a quick and noticeable change in fleet management, will not only be explained but will also be applied to third party providers in a further step with the goal of providing assistance to other industries. In the best-case scenario, better market penetration for E-mobility will be achieved.
- What legal, contractual and regulatory parameters need to be in place before companies can jointly access an (electronic) fleet?
- What sort of contracts would be viable between these companies and third parties?
- What processes can be derived from digital fleet management and how can these processes be optimized?
- Building a system architecture
- Establishing a common booking platform with interfaces for third-party providers
- Integrating existing digital solutions and data
- Developing an efficient infrastructure for recharging EV’s
- Alternating operation according to time-of-use windows
- Synergies with local energy provider
- Vehicle demand at peak times
- Average trip distances
- Vehicle types unsuitable for the pool
- Multiple use through transparent availability
- Reduction of fleet vehicles through pooling
- Enhanced utilization
- Operational safety
- General booking and billing platform
- Contingency options for system failures
Objectives and findings of Smart eFleets
The basic idea of every sharing scheme is utilization of synergies, cost saving, process optimization through standardization, and sustainability through resource conservation. Smart eFleets takes this one step with its pilot fleet – the joint-usage of urban vehicles by different industries. This vision is a sharing of an (electronic) vehicle pool by the employees of not only one company but among several companies, which is jointly managed, booked, (charged,) maintained and billed. The prerequisite for this is a comprehensive digitization of fleet management and the corresponding parameters for the participants. It starts with the precise analysis of processes in fleet management and their optimization in order to achieve higher capacity utilization and thus a reduction in fleet vehicles. In terms of E-mobility, the entry barrier for companies is lowered by a common charge station infrastructure and the sharing of risks and acquisition costs; sustainability and environmental protection can thereby be better bolstered.