Managing and maintaining a fleet of vehicles is no small task, especially if the fleet includes dozens or hundreds of vehicles. That’s why software is crucial. Ford updated their own fleet management software to coincide with the lunch of the E-Transit electric van.
Managers will be able to access a ton of information about each van. This includes electric data about the vehicle, including the vehicle state-of-charge. Managers can also view energy consumption data and individual driver reports to see who is using the most juice and who is driving at any given time.
To assist with being more efficient, there is in-cab coaching for the driver to let them know where they can do better and how to do so. Should the driver accelerate less aggressively? The van will tell them.
If a driver needs to recharge at a public charging station, fleet managers will be able to seamlessly pay for that transaction.
“Knowledge is power — and Ford is empowering commercial businesses by giving them the information they need to get the most out of their electric vehicles,” said Julius Marchwicki, chief operating officer, Ford Commercial Solutions.
It’s not all about keep track of the drivers, though. The system can also be set up to precondition the cabin of the van, while it’s plugged into an outlet, to heat or cool the van before the driver leaves. This saves on consumption and also makes the driver more comfortable.
An onboard modem handles all the connections back to home base, and fleet managers will need a subscription to Ford Telematics and Data Services, but if they already have a fleet they’re familiar with the process.
We expect to see similar connectivity and monitoring options on the electric F-150 when it goes on sale in mid-2022. The E-Transit enters production near the end of 2021.