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  • Writer's pictureEmre Can Anlar

Fleet management meets emobility: Two industry experts in conversation

In a world where emobility is becoming increasingly important, companies face the challenge of adapting and expanding their fleet management systems. Nicolai Woyczechowski, managing director of the DACH-region for the Finnish solution provider Virta Oy, and Dr. Andreas Pfeiffer, industry insider and owner of the management consultancy greenventors GmbH, share their expertise and provide insights into the complexities and opportunities of integrating emobility into fleet management systems. Just over a decade ago, both were involved in laying the foundation for today's roaming system " &" in Europe. Today, this system plays a central role in the use of electrified fleets. With their extensive experience and expertise gained during the development phase of this groundbreaking system, both are well known and respected in the industry. In our conversation, they provide deep insights into the current challenges and opportunities arising from the integration of electromobility into fleet management systems.

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Dr. Andreas Pfeiffer (greenventors) & Nicolai Woyczechowski (virta Oy)

Dr. Pfeiffer, let's start with an overview of the general functions of a fleet management system. Could you explain the core components and their importance?

Dr. Pfeiffer: A fleet management system is a complex network that integrates various aspects of fleet operations to ensure efficient and smooth management. Among other functions, it includes, for example, real-time monitoring of vehicle movements through GPS tracking, planning and monitoring of vehicle maintenance to minimize downtime. In addition, appropriate management systems provide tools for driver management, route planning optimization taking into account current traffic information and supports compliance with legal regulations and safety standards. Also important for fleet managers are certainly functionalities for managing fuel consumption and controlling costs. Reporting and analysis tools to improve fleet performance and communication round out the world of fleet management systems.

Thank you for this overview. It shows that fleet management systems have a fairly wide range of functionalities and purposes. I could imagine that additions need to be made with electromobility?

Dr. Pfeiffer: Absolutely, electromobility brings with it a number of new challenges and opportunities that require an expansion of traditional fleet management systems. In the area of fuel management, for example, the focus is expanding significantly. It is no longer just about monitoring and controlling fuel consumption, but also about managing the consumption of charging services. This is where public charging stations from various providers as well as employee-owned charging stations at home and company-owned charging parks come into play. In the case of company-owned charging parks in particular, we are talking about completely new management systems that control and optimize electricity consumption and purchases. As you can see, emobility brings an additional layer of complexity to fleet management. It requires integration of systems that can manage not only the charging infrastructure at the depot, but also the ability to charge at employees' homes.

That sounds like a complex task. Mr. Woyczechowski can you tell us more about the specific requirements and solutions for managing company cars in employees' private homes?

Nicolai Woyczechowski: For company cars used in the private environment of employees, the solution design must ensure that simple and legally compliant accounting of charging processes is possible while at the same time respecting the privacy of employees. In Germany in particular, clear legal requirements must be observed here and there is a high demand for quality in terms of integration into existing systems and structures.

Could you explain how fleet management systems can effectively manage charging infrastructure to ensure optimal use of available energy while minimizing costs?

Nicolai Woyczechowski: Of course. Effective management of the charging infrastructure is central to advanced fleet management. Here, the aim is to ensure that the vehicles are ready to operate for their intended purpose while minimizing costs. A key aspect is real-time monitoring of the charging stations, which makes it possible to know the status of each station at any given time and respond accordingly. Automated billing systems for home charging are also an important component to simplify the billing of charging processes in the private environment of employees. In addition, intelligent charging systems play a crucial role. These systems can dynamically adapt the charging process to the grid capacity and current electricity prices to enable cost-efficient charging that is easy on the grid.

ensure grid stability and optimize energy costs.

Fleet management systems in the context of electromobility
Visualization of fleet management systems in the context of electromobility

You mentioned the integration of renewable energies. Could you elaborate on this and tell us how this can support corporate sustainability goals?

Nicolai Woyczechowski: The integration of renewable energy into the charging infrastructure is another important point that not only supports corporate sustainability goals, but also enables greener and more environmentally friendly mobility. Fleet management systems must therefore offer features that enable seamless integration and management of renewable energy sources. This can be achieved, for example, through the technical, as well as digital, integration of solar panels or battery storage into the charging system, allowing companies to effectively improve their carbon footprint. It is an exciting time with many opportunities for companies to make their fleets more sustainable and efficient by using innovative technologies and renewable energy.

Thank you very much for that detailed explanation. Mr. Woyczechowski, could you give us an overview of the features and importance of Virta's software solution?

Nicolai Woyczechowski: The Virta platform is designed to facilitate the entry and scaling of the electric vehicle charging business for companies. We offer a standardized end-to-end solution that includes pre-configured charging stations and charging services. The platform enables our customers to efficiently manage their charging infrastructure by providing features such as real-time monitoring of charging stations, automated billing and integration with existing IT systems. We also support companies with load management solutions to Interesting. In this context, could you tell us more about the Virta Capacity Maximiser and how it works in this context?

Nicolai Woyczechowski: Of course. The Virta Capacity Maximiser is an advanced tool that makes the charging infrastructure smarter. It uses algorithms to manage charging operations in a way that optimally utilizes network capacity while minimizing energy costs. The tool takes into account various factors such as the current network load, the number of vehicles charging at the same time and the individual needs of drivers to create an optimal charging schedule. This ensures that vehicles are always sufficiently charged while achieving efficient energy consumption and reducing peak loads on the power grid.

That sounds like a very well-thought-out solution. Dr. Pfeiffer, how do you see the integration of such functionalities into companies' fleet management strategies?

Dr. Pfeiffer: The integration is an essential step toward optimizing and future-proofing companies' fleet management strategies. They not only enable more efficient use of connected power, but also better planning and management of vehicle usage.

By using such systems, companies can significantly reduce their operating costs while achieving their sustainability goals. Furthermore, they also enable better integration of renewable energy into the charging infrastructure, which is an important step towards a greener and more sustainable future.

Dr. Pfeiffer, could you tell us how you help companies choose management systems and where they make the difference?

Dr. Pfeiffer: At greenventors, we place great importance on our customers not only finding the best solution for their specific needs, but also acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills to use these solutions effectively. We support companies in choosing the right IT solutions by contributing our expertise in digitalization and interface management. It is particularly important to us that the knowledge remains within the company and contributes to long-term value creation. Our aim is to create independence and a know-how advantage in the selection of systems and, through our consulting projects, to ensure that companies are able to maintain full control and understanding of the solutions implemented. Ultimately, in my experience, an IT system is only as good as the person sitting in front of it who has to make the right technology-based decisions.

Thank you both for your expertise and deep insights into the world of electromobility and fleet management. It's clear that the right technology and expertise are critical to succeed in this fast-moving industry

The conversation with Dr. Pfeiffer and Mr. Woyczechowski made it clear that fleet management systems face an exciting future. The integration of electromobility not only significantly expands the spectrum of fleet management systems, but also opens up new ways to optimize and increase efficiency in companies. The experts emphasized the importance of integrating renewable energy and smart charging systems to support companies' sustainability goals and promote greener mobility. Individually tailored solutions and the right expertise play a crucial role in supporting companies on their way to a more sustainable future. It remains exciting to see how quickly the technologies develop and what new opportunities will open up for fleet management.



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