Battery Fundamentals for EV Fleet Managers

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In all places you look as of late, it looks like somebody is speaking about electrical vehicles — and whereas there’s quite a lot of pleasure about these new EVs, there are quite a lot of questions too, particularly amongst fleet managers. EV fleet managers will inevitable have questions concerning the vary, longevity, and environmental friendliness of electrical vehicles, and people questions must be answered earlier than companies are able to spend on a brand new expertise for his or her fleet.

The excellent news is that the majority of these questions have been answered — and we’ve partnered with the industry-leading fleet administration specialists at Comdata® to compile these solutions on this “EV Battery Fundamentals” explainer, under.

EV Battery Fundamental FAQs

What are Electrical Automobile Batteries Manufactured from?

Most fashionable electrical automobiles use lithium-ion (li-ion) batteries, that are constructed from a mix of lithium (clearly), graphite, cobalt, and manganese, together with a couple of different “filler” parts.

What Are Some Benefits of li-ion?

In comparison with the normal lead-acid batteries in your gasoline automotive or golf cart and even the nickel-metal hydride batteries present in early EVs and hybrids, li-ion batteries retailer many instances extra power by weight, and may accomplish that in a smaller total bundle. Li-ion batteries additionally cost rather more shortly than older battery applied sciences. That mentioned, they’re additionally costlier than a few of these “older” batteries.

Are There Different Advantages?

Completely. The most important good thing about switching to a li-ion battery structure is that the supplies used have a a lot decrease lifetime carbon price than fossil fuels. That phrase, “lifetime,” is the one which you’ll want to take note of.

It’s completely true, for instance, that there’s a vital carbon price to getting the uncooked supplies for EV batteries — the lithium, the graphite, and so forth. — out of the bottom, and that it takes a big variety of miles pushed in an EV to offset that preliminary carbon price with the discount in tailpipe emissions…however that’s only a (very) small a part of the lifetime of these supplies.

See, as soon as the batteries dwell out their life cycles in an electrical automotive or truck (extra on that in a bit), the batteries may be put to work once more in a state of affairs the place speedy charging is much less important — and we’re already seeing a big variety of used EV batteries getting used as battery energy backups at hospitals and different, equally important factors of infrastructure. The true benefit is that this: batteries may be recycled repeatedly. That’s sustainable.

When you pull a barrel of oil out of the bottom and burn it, it’s gone eternally. That’s not sustainable.

How Lengthy do EV Batteries Final?

Regardless of electrical vehicles being a comparatively new idea within the minds of many individuals, there’s really a big quantity of information and knowledge on the market concerning the longevity of electrical car batteries — and that’s thanks, largely, to the success of the primary fashionable, commercially profitable hybrid automotive: the Toyota Prius.

First launched in 1997 as a 1998 mannequin yr car, the Prius has been in fixed manufacturing for twenty-five years, making up the lion’s share of the greater than 15 million hybrid vehicles, vehicles, and SUVs that Toyota has placed on the highway since … and people vehicles? There are nonetheless hundreds of these 20+ yr outdated hybrids nonetheless on the highway, on their unique batteries.

In newer years, vehicles just like the Tesla Mannequin S (which made its public debut all the best way again in 2009) and Nissan LEAF (2010) helped popularize li-ion battery expertise, and– whereas these EVs carry 8 yr, 100,000 mile warranties– a number of examples have been pushed lots of of hundreds of miles on their unique batteries, serving as firm employees automobiles, taxis, leases, and extra.

That mentioned, it’s necessary to understand that EV batteries, like all batteries, do degrade over time. That signifies that a automotive that had, for instance, 250 miles of vary when new, could solely have 225 mile vary after 4 years on the highway.  A current report confirmed that the typical decline in power storage is 2.3% per yr. For a 150-mile EV, you’re more likely to lose 17 miles of accessible vary after 5 years.  Newer batteries with smarter controllers and charging programs have made great progress in bettering the longevity of EV batteries, and the specialists (like JB Straubel, one of many inventors of the battery tech used within the unique Tesla Roadster and founding father of Redwood Supplies, an EV battery recycling firm launched as a JV with Toyota) are banking on EV batteries lasting about 15 years earlier than they have to be changed.

Can the Lifetime of an EV Battery be Prolonged?

Even with the newest, smartest EV battery expertise in your fleet car, there are nonetheless some commonsense steps to stretch out the lifetime of an EV battery.

When attainable, keep away from excessive temperatures when parking an EV. That might imply looking for a shady (or, higher but, lined) parking spot on a extremely popular day or parking the automotive in a storage on a really chilly day.

Don’t let drivers cost to 100% full. That is usually probably the most tough change of mindsets for drivers of conventional fleet automobiles, who have a tendency to think about their vehicles when it comes to “full” or “empty”. In apply, nevertheless, it’s very straightforward to handle, since most EVs (and all the trendy ones) have already got superior battery administration programs that keep away from excessive states of cost (0% & 100%). Although a full cost will give the utmost working time and vary, it’s not a good suggestion for the general lifespan of EV batteries.

Scale back the quantity speedy or Stage 3 charging as utilizing these chargers can degrade the battery extra shortly.  As helpful and handy it’s to cost an EV in 25 minutes, minimizing the usage of all these chargers will prolong your battery life over the lengthy haul.

When Will There be a Must Purchase a New Battery?

The quick reply to this query is: probably by no means. In the identical manner fleet managers most likely don’t ask how usually they should purchase a brand new engine or transmission for a conventional car.

The longer, higher reply to this query is possibly, if you happen to maintain the car for a few years or use it closely, finally fleets could also be confronted with the necessity to purchase a brand new battery for an EV car. That can occur when the battery’s capability deteriorates to the purpose the place it’s not handy to cost it up as continuously as wanted, or when there’s harm to quite a lot of the battery’s cells, or sections.

When that occurs, some impartial outlets will attempt to substitute the dangerous cells with good ones — repairs that would run as little as a couple of hundred {dollars} — or recommend a substitute of the battery altogether. For a Nissan LEAF (225 miles of vary, when new), a brand new battery is priced at $5499. A primary-gen Chevy Volt is a bit much less, about $4,000.

Charging, Upkeep – Who Pays for it All?

Whereas it’s true that charging up fleet automobiles with electrical energy could also be cheaper than filling gasoline tanks, and that the upkeep prices of EVs may be tremendously diminished in comparison with typical vehicles and vehicles, that doesn’t make these issues free. From a fleet gasoline price perspective, having workers cost up at residence and on the highway can complicate price monitoring and cost programs, and that’s the place the Comdata® EV and combined fleet options are available.  Comdata® supplies combined fleet cost options for EV charging and gasoline. Fleet drivers can cost at-home, at-work, or on-the-road and fleet managers have the identical controls, reporting, analytics, and fraud prevention as with their conventional fleet resolution.  

Attain out to Comdata® on to study extra about how their options will help your fleet transition to electrical automobiles at the moment.

This text is supported by Comdata®.

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