Zero Sums

Evenergi offers a fleet management platform for organisations looking to decarbonise mobile assets.
A view of the BetterFleet Asset Manager.

A recent recipient of a Commercial Sector Innovation Fund grant, Evenergi has developed an online tool for organisations to implement viable strategies for adopting and transitioning to zero emissions vehicles across the fleet.

BetterFleet, as it is known, provides a comprehensive overview of battery electric and low emission vehicles available in the market — a market that is moving fast.

As part of the platform’s full fleet transition planning capabilities, a whole cost of ownership engine iterates through every vehicle within the fleet to compare different vehicle replacement scenarios and home in on the best solution.

Users, for instance, can take specific vehicles, input the relevant details, and compare these details directly to another vehicle and the BetterFleet tool will generate total cost of ownership statistical graphs over the asset’s life cycle and how much that vehicle will emit with costs.

It’s currently available as a free tool to help facilitate early-stage conversations for interested organisations and councils, one of the groups that regularly engages with Evenergi.

Because of the speed of which the industry is moving, fleet transition planning, given its static nature, can be limiting. In other words, these plans can become outdated or irrelevant very quickly.

“Oftentimes before you can realise their potential or realise the plan,” says James Gard, Evenergi Business Development Manager.

“If you’ve done all your business cases based around one cost and it drastically changed the next day, your plan is semi-irrelevant. You’d need to go back and recut it.”

Evenergi has developed a live library of all electric vehicles on the market currently.

The newest releases of EVs are updated with their availabilities and prices. The library is managed so users can have the most up to date information across the industry.

In turn, that allows Evenergi to rerun scenario analyses and update fleet transition plans very quickly.

“Framework methodology shouldn’t change that much from organisation to organisation which allows us to have uniformity and a consistent approach,” says James.

“However, the way that organisations choose to implement their fleet transition can have a lot of variances.”

For instance, timelines to fleet electrification will differ depending on organisational goals. Some businesses are super aggressive and want to generate a four-year plan starting the very next year while other organisations prefer to start in five-year’s time with an end date after ten years.

“They’re not doing anything in the short-term, they’re waiting for the technology to mature and then they want to go forward from there,” says James.

“They can define it as really aggressive or conservative in terms of how much they want to spend. You can add in parameters like that.”

James Gard, Evenergi Business Development Manager.
James Gard. Source: Evenergi.

BetterFleet generates the financials and the step change of vehicle integration in their fleet.

It even factors in the replacement schedules of the assets, price sensitivities, and it also recognises different states as well. While rolling out the Betterfleet platform in a number of jurisdictions, through grant funding from the Victorian Government, Evernergi were able to develop a Victorian specific version of the tool.

Evenergi, whose team includes electrical engineers, software engineers and transport planners, launched a platform that includes a vehicle operating cost calculator which is available to any organisation.

There are two versions of the comparison tool. One is more individual focused with less parameters that can be customised. The more granular tool is primarily accessed by people in fleet management or sustainability.

Here fleet managers can upload their fleet of vehicles and define their own transition pathway. The business has attracted an impressive and varied range of current partners from Telstra, Coates Hire, Reece, Yarra Trams, and South Gippsland Water.

The response to the platform has been positive from many of the fleets, according to James, who haven’t had the bandwidth internally to perform such a comprehensive assessment.

It’s helped, in this case, to remove the barrier to entry across the board.

“We’ve achieved what we set out to do which was to generate a self-service platform for fleet managers and to provide a free tool as well, which allows anyone to access fleet transition planning tools and see the total cost of ownership comparison between individual vehicles,” says James.

BetterFleet Asset Manager was one of the by-products of the CSIF program, the first fully self-service fleet transition software released in the market.

It maintains a live database of vehicles maintained by the Evenergi team which allows the reports that it generates to be frequently rerun, iterated on, and kept up to date.

“If someone has created a plan six months ago and a new vehicle comes to market, which we’re seeing happen, they can jump into their previous plan and run the analyses again and see how this new information might impact their transition,” says James.

“That’s part of the service of having a BetterFleet licence.”

Fleet transition planning is also difficult as it requires the involvement of many stakeholders, who may have had previously very little to do with electric vehicles, from landlords and location managers to Human Resources and others whose input is suddenly necessary says James.

“All these people have got different needs and wants,” he says. “What this means is the Change Management process and the engagement process is just as, if not more important, than the final report you generate.”

As part of the stakeholder mapping, it does, Evenergi pools together all the needs and wants of these relevant departments, collates the concerns, and notes the ideal outcome for each to better define the options for different pathways.

In short, Evenergi will model multiple scenarios through the tools they offer.

These reports that are generated back to the client will allow them to have more transparent conversations with everybody better representing all their needs.

It might involve site upgrades to electrical infrastructure down the line or budgeting for an extra 10 per cent of total spend for something that wasn’t initially accounted for.

“It allows you to bring out some of these concerns and we can walk through them so you can remove all roadblocks,” says James. “Once you provide that initial insight the next question fleets ask is how do we do it?”

Beyond the initial planning Evenergi can also deliver on energy management. It offers live monitoring on EV chargers and the vehicles.

Chargers can be remotely controlled through the system and have reporting that feeds back into the planning process.

“Some companies even want us to manage that charging point infrastructure and guide them through the whole installation process,” James says. “We are a comprehensive partner.”

While a plan to decarbonise can be created on day one, it might take 18 months before an electric vehicle is deployed with the right charging infrastructure up and running.

At that point, a year, and a half later, the technology has developed and with it a likely different dataset of vehicle efficiencies, from battery capacities, charging speeds and range distances.

“At that point it makes sense to have one platform where you can say this is how things are actually working today and rerun your scenarios,” says James. “It’s about having a fleet transition plan that is not stuck in a static point in time.”

The BetterFleet platform is now actively in use by Victorian fleets and across various government departments throughout the country for zero-emission transition planning and energy management.

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