TO accelerate the UK’s transition to ultra-low emission vehicles, sustainable vehicle leasing specialists Fleetdrive Electric launches Crowd Charge, a smart electric vehicle (EV) charging solution designed specifically with business users in mind.
Launched at the edie LIVE 2017 event at Birmingham NEC, the bespoke charging solution enables Fleetdrive Electric to provide clients with the complete EV fleet package – a unique, easy-to-use system for introducing, implementing and managing EVs at the workplace.
Providing workplace charging can effectively double the range of a pure electric vehicle and therefore can significantly increase the potential number of zero emission drivers at any business.
It makes sense that when an electric vehicle is stationary for a period of time, it should be charging. Workplace car parks therefore present the perfect opportunity for businesses to support the use of electric vehicles and enable their employees to reap the benefits of low running costs while improving air quality.
Fleetdrive Electric has been helping businesses to adopt ultra-low emission vehicles since 2011 and has already put more than 1,000 ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) on the road.
Through working closely with clients to support their transition to ULEVs, Fleetdrive Electric has identified that providing workplace charging can be a daunting prospect.
Fleetdrive managing director Mike Potter says: “To simplify this process, we have combined our specialist knowledge of electric vehicles and charging technology to provide a service which enables business owners to make informed decisions about which vehicle type – battery EVs or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles – provides a viable option for their staff/fleet users, the finance options available, and offers an overall assessment of the requirements for implementing a functional, effective workplace charging system.”
Working with EV infrastructure specialists from University of Reading, and other IT and energy management partners, Fleetdrive Electric has developed ‘Crowd Charge’, a new generation smart-charger system which utilises the latest vehicle to grid technology.
In the near future, Crowd Charge users will be able to choose to have their vehicles charged based on pricing signals from the energy market, which would reduce costs and help utilisation of renewable generation.
Key benefits of the new Crowd Charge smart-charger:
- Scalable charging system that can grow with your EV fleet – connect additional chargepoints as you need them
- Incorporates the latest vehicle 2 grid technology for smart charging and management
- Pay as you go charging scheme – employees are issued with an RFID card to access the charging unit, to which they can add funds via PayPal or credit card payment and then use adhoc
- Easy accounting/billing as each driver’s energy usage is logged and reported real-time to the user and charging manager – Energy reporting can be linked to Crowd Charge at home to give full visibility of electricity costs
- Generates monthly or annual reports, itemising the energy used by employee
- True CO2 reporting based on the actual energy mix supplied to fuel the vehicles
- “Over the air” hassle-free remote management and maintenance
- Managing queues where limited charge-points are available – the driver receives text notification once their vehicle is fully charged – employers have the option to impose a penalty whereby a charge is added to the driver’s account if they haven’t moved their vehicle within a set timeframe
- Universal vehicle connection – With its adaptable connector, the complete range of pure electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, including the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, VW Golf GTE, BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf, can be charged with the system
The Crowd Charge smart-charger has been tried and tested at various locations across the Midlands as part of ‘Electric Nation’ project with Western Power Distribution. More than 700 EV owners will be participating during the project’s 18-month run, making it the world’s largest ever EV trial project.
Commenting on the launch of Crowd Charge, Mike Potter said: “Fleetdrive Electric are really excited that we can now deliver our own charging solution specifically for business users. Pure electric vehicles are the best way to drive down emissions and improve air quality and businesses can play a vital part in the transition to zero emission mobility.
“Although 90% of electric vehicle charging takes place at home, workplaces which can offer EV charging can effectively double the range capability of an electric vehicle making them a realistic option for many more drivers.”
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