New energy solution providers Viriciti and Simacan announced a new tool that aims to predict the energy consumption of electric vehicles based on road and vehicle data. The EV Fleet Analyzer is the first solution of its kind that is able to estimate energy usage for routes that haven’t been driven before.
The tool was developed to give fleet managers better insight into the feasibility and cost of routes driven by electric vehicles based on the state of charge of vehicles in the fleet. The web-based application takes the specific vehicle being used, battery types, traffic, temperatures, and the type of road all into account in its calculations for maximum accuracy.
The tool differentiates itself from other onboard telematics solutions with its ability to break trips up into micro road segments. These segments are then assigned a specific ‘energy profile’ which correlates to the energy used for that particular segment of road based on relevant characteristics. For example, steep hills require more energy to climb than flat sections of road.
These characteristics are weighted against the vehicle type being used with heavier vehicles – or more fully loaded vehicles – using more energy to move than lighter vehicles. The data collected is all piped up to the cloud where relevant metrics are calculated and fed back to fleet managers and drivers for the maximum impact.
The new solution takes the insights and telematics from Viriciti’s onboard EV monitoring solution and integrates Simacan’s mastery of calculating and leveraging geo-spatial data in logistics operations in a unique way that provides relevant insights to fleet managers. EV Fleet Analyzer is a beautiful example of a solution for developers taking a look into the future and developing next generation solutions that offer fleet managers visibility into their operations, which they could have previously only dreamed about.
Erwin Poeze, the Senior Machine Learning Engineer at Viriciti shared that, “the tool is a very efficient planning solution as it looks at all energy consuming characteristics of both routes and vehicles; not just at distance. It predicts the feasibility of any combination of routes driven with a specific vehicle. The tool also incorporates diesel vehicles. This way planners can use it for all vehicles in their mixed fleets.”
Looking into the future of the tool, the joint team is already hard at work to integrate driver behavior into account in its calculations. If one particular driver tends to power up that one steep hill on their route, the cost of that extra acceleration can be calculated and more importantly, fed back to the driver to correct the high cost behavior. Ultimately, the teams hope to help fleet managers develop training programs to train drivers not only on safe driving, but efficient driving as well.
The EV Fleet Analyzer tool has been tested with a fleet of trucks today but the tool will now be deployed for use in electric buses, allowing for efficiency calculations of routes that have never been driven before. This feature will be especially helpful for fleet vehicle manufacturers looking to sell vehicles to transit agencies. The ability to right-size batteries in each vehicle to ensure the lowest possible capital expenditure will help transit agencies build exactly the right fleet for their customers as the best price point.
As of today, ViriCiti is working to incorporate the energy planner functionality into its onboard systems to give customers insights before leaving the depot if a specific route is feasible with the current vehicle and its state of charge. Simacan has also incorporated the EV Fleet Analyzer tool into its Control Tower software for fleet managers.
Felix Faassen, Founder and CTO of Simacan, sees this functionality as especially relevant for delivery truck fleet managers, whose drivers run different routes and distances every day:
“For each plotted delivery, the remaining charge is displayed – without having to purchase a single EV truck. The tool will support our customers in making informed purchase decisions in EV trucks and support them during their daily operations.”
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