The era of big data is here, and Georgia fleets are looking to stay current through their electric vehicle (EV) telematics systems.
For a number of municipal fleets, costs associated with starting a telematics program can be prohibitive on a limited, publicly funded budget. Through a project partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE) and Clean Cities-Georgia, fleets with EVs can now take a closer look at how their vehicles are performing and report cost savings associated with transitioning to electric with greater accuracy.
What is EV WATTS?
Clean Cities-Georgia signed on to partner with Energetics, Akimeka and more than a dozen other Clean Cities coalitions to create a national EV usage dataset. Electric Vehicle Widescale Analysis for Tomorrow’s Transportation Solutions, or EV WATTS, is addressing a growing need for practical information about EV and infrastructure use in the United States.
With the rapid increase in vehicle electrification, DOE acknowledges that there is a need for up-to-date, publicly available national data to understand end-user charging and driving patterns as well as vehicle and infrastructure performance to inform research planning.
Through EV WATTS, DOE is willing to subsidize the cost of starting up a telematics program to aggregate this information as part of the national dataset.
Cobb County Saves with EV WATTS
Cobb County, a metro-Atlanta municipality headquartered in Marietta, Georgia, has cemented their trailblazer status when it comes to alternative fuel vehicle adoption.
In the past decade, Cobb County has been able to save thousands in taxpayer money by switching 34 of their utility vehicles to fully electric Nissan Leafs.
In order to quantify just how much Cobb County is saving by switching to an EV fleet, their fleet management team needs to monitor a number of variables in order to calculate an accurate return on investment.
By using data loggers plugged directly into the vehicle via the on-board diagnostic (OBD) port, Cobb can closely monitor a number of key performance indicators—from battery state of charge to electric miles traveled and monthly savings.
“Cobb County is excited to be a part of the EV WATTS program as we help by providing useful fleet-related data from our plug-in electric vehicles,” Jeff Leonard, Business Manager for the Fleet Management department at Cobb County, said. “We benefit from the program through the provided telematic devices that allow us to receive useful data and tracking information from our EVs.”
The Importance of Data Collection
“Big data” has turned into a noteworthy buzzword in the past decade. While there are some organizations that track so much data they’re not even sure what to do with it, being able to track and measure certain key performance indicators can be invaluable—and for more than just reporting a purchase’s return on investment.
Through the EV WATTS program, data-sharing partners have access not only to their vehicle data but also a curated dashboard for each vehicle in their fleet.
Thanks to the work of Sawatch Labs and Geotab, this level of detail allows fleets to know how well their EV is performing. Fleets can also compare their vehicle’s performance to the EV WATTS national data set.
All data in the comparison analysis section is scrubbed of any personally identifying information and anonymized to keep data confidential between partners. This section can give a fleet manager in Georgia an inside look at how an EV’s charging rate, for example, compares to a similar EV in the Midwest US.
EV WATTS Continues to Seek Data Partners
Georgia fleets across the state have been purchasing EVs for a number of applications—from light-duty utility vehicles to 40-foot transit buses. If you manage a Georgia fleet that has a plug-in hybrid or fully electric vehicles as a part of the fleet, you are eligible to participate and receive free telematics and personalized fleet analyses throughout the EV WATTS project period.
“We are excited, and you might even say electrified, to participate in this grant opportunity,” Frank Morris, Executive Director of Clean Cities-Georgia, said. “We look forward to working with our members and EV industry stakeholders to advance the use and understanding of telematics in Georgia fleets.”
Join EV WATTS, or Just Learn More
The EV WATTS website includes project resources, partners and contact information. Its Facebook and Twitter pages provide up-to-date information on project-related developments. Those interested in sharing data or learning more about EV WATTS can email the project team at [email protected]
This project is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) under the Vehicle Technologies Office Award Number DE-EE0008890.