Alex Johns, Altelium’s new business development manager, argues that fleet managers need complete battery state of health data to effectively operate EV fleets, benefit from extended warranties and understand the second life market.
In an article recently published by Electronic Specifier, Alex discusses his experience having implemented and managed Gatwick Airport’s fleet of electric taxis and 300 self-employed drivers. He also oversaw the trial of Tesla’s electric taxis, which completed 1.5 million miles whilst stationed at Gatwick Airport.
Having first-hand experience managing EV fleets, Alex knows that fleet managers need complete battery state of health data to make inform decisions about their vehicles.
Embracing EV fleets
“How can we expect fleet managers to embrace EV if they’ve one hand tied behind their back?” says Alex.
He continues: “With a traditional petrol or diesel fleet, there’s a wealth of information available about the vehicles – a full-service history. Yet in the electric vehicle (EV) market, a crucial piece of information is missing – battery state of health – because it is commercially sensitive information.
“This can severely limit the ability of operators to manage fleets efficiently and cost effectively, and further down the line limit their ability to capitalise on the second life market.”
With an EV fleet it is possible to gather information from charging points installed at fleet depots, including the state of the battery charge; total charge time; charging start and end times; the total kilowatts per hour downloaded into the car; the maximum power download during charging; and from the car telematics, the total mileage recorded per charge.
Plugging the gap
All this is useful information, and fleet managers will be delighted with the fuel efficiency and low emissions which they will be able to enjoy so clearly with their electric fleet.
However, there is an information gap – it’s impossible to determine the battery state of health from these routes. This means where the battery is in its overall lifecycle. It is impossible to know how many charging cycles a battery has undergone and how many it may have left in it (due to its original design and the way it has been used).
“What many fleet managers may not know is that this information can be sourced through Altelium’s technology. A data logger would gather this information – the missing bit – and combine it with the other data coming from the charger and the car telematics,” says Alex.
Altelium was awarded a million plus grant from Innovate UK in 2018 in recognition of its importance in supporting the UK lithium ion market through applied data analytics.
Encrypted battery state of health data
Crucially, through Altelium, fleet managers and indeed other EV drivers, are able access information about battery state of health while respecting the intellectual assets of original equipment manufacturers.
Each vehicle battery installed with an Altelium data logger transmits information protected through quantum mechanic cryptography, including battery power, temperature history and charging cycles, to the company’s laboratory. This enhanced level of security means it is impossible to copy the data when encoded through this method.
These datasets are fed back into Altelium’s self-learning AI helping to give highly accurate predictions on battery state of health and the analysis is accessible by fleet managers through a bespoke dashboard.
Complete data = efficient management
Alex concludes: “Once fleet managers have a better understanding of battery state of health, they are more fully equipped to manage vehicles as time and cost effectively as possible.
“Data enables fleet managers of electric vehicles to really ‘sweat their assets’ with the complete picture of how the vehicle is operating. Everyone should be able to understand the state of health of their vehicles’ batteries and their second life value and this is within their grasp through Altelium’s battery data systems and extended warranties.”