Fleet management solutions provider Samsara has unveiled a new suite of tools aimed at helping fleets optimize electric vehicles (EVs).
As battery prices decline and emissions regulations tighten, "we've definitely seen a lot of our customers talk about sustainability as a primary goal," Rushil Goel, vice president of product engagement, told FreightWaves. With momentum increasing, Samsara decided to help fleets "figure out that journey."
Generally speaking, Samsara's new features fall into two buckets aimed at facilitating EV fleet planning, according to Goel. The first revolves around tools that provide real-time charging status and alerts.
For example, fleet managers concerned about range anxiety can get notifications of low EV battery levels so they don't get stranded on the side of the road. Another offering is an EV Charge Stations Map Overlay, showing charging station information, including open hours, available charging types and more, so customers can find the closest station and plan routes.
The second category of tools focuses more on broader reporting, Goel said, providing fleet managers with "a full EV management platform" that ensures they get the most out of their electric vehicles.
"Let's say I'm a fleet manager that has adopted electric vehicles. I want to make sure I get most out of them. So I want to know how do they compare to regular gas vehicles. Or maybe I'm charging in the middle of the day when the rate is too high. How can I plan better?"
With the new features, customers can leverage fuel and energy usage data to inform their electrification planning strategy and determine which vehicles are performing best across the entire fleet.
They can stay on top of energy consumption, carbon emissions, effective MPG, and percentage of electric miles driven vs. fuel usage for plug-in hybrids.
These EV tools are now part of Samsara's fleet management platform and are available to all existing customers.
The company services thousands of vehicles globally and Goes said he sees promise in cities like London, where emissions requirements have been imposed on vehicles entering downtown.
And as Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), UPS Inc (NYSE: UPS) and other logistics companies make public commitments to adopting electric delivery vehicles, Samsara anticipates bringing more medium-duty fleets onto its platform.
Since OEMs are just starting to make heavy-duty electric trucks, it will be a bit longer before the company sees adoption by large commercial vehicles, said Goel.