The EV Road Map


Electric Vehicle Onboarding: The Keys to Success for Fleets

By Joe Jenkins, Zero Emissions Customer Onboarding Manager for International Truck and IC Bus.

Part of a successful electric vehicle journey for commercial fleets is guaranteeing that fleet managers and drivers are comfortable. To ensure just that, training is key.

In my role as Zero Emissions customer onboarding manager for International Truck and IC Bus, the training that we provide centers around the driver first and making sure the driver is operating the electric vehicle (EV) efficiently, particularly when it comes to regenerative braking and inspections.

Pre- and post-trip inspections and preventive maintenance, in general, for battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) look a bit different compared to their diesel internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts. The biggest difference is fewer fluids to worry about in a BEV compared to ICE application. For instance, we don't have engine oil leaks, exhaust leaks, or any kind of aging after-treatment components in EVs.

That said, EV cooling systems are critical to overall performance and the health of the vehicle, meaning vehicle operators and technicians need to know where coolant leaks could occur that drivers and technicians aren’t typically familiar with.

Pre-trips provide another opportunity to educate drivers, technicians, and fleet managers on high-voltage safety and how to inspect EVs without compromising their safety or the efficiency of the vehicle. Successful onboarding also involves training fleet management folks around vehicle management, telematics, and data on usage and efficiency.

It’s also worth emphasizing the importance of ongoing engagement with dealers. Our dealer network is critical throughout the entire EV transition process for both the fleet end user and original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Dealers are typically the first and the last contact for truck and bus fleets, and they're an OEM’s biggest ally in keeping the vehicles maintained and on the road.

For International Truck and IC Bus, the dealer network is a huge piece of the puzzle for success. We currently have the largest service footprint in North America for the EV product, and we anticipate it expanding out even further.

One of the biggest advantages of working with International Truck and IC Bus is that we have been working with early adopters in the zero-emissions space. These customers are not afraid to make mistakes and learn from them. Now, as an OEM, we can help our dealers and customers use those learnings to help others in the process avoid common pitfalls. At the end of the day, we are only successful when we work together.

Check out episode five of “The EV Fleet Road Map” podcast for more tips to successfully onboard EVs into your fleet. And stay tuned for episode six, which will cover EV charging needs and the amount of power fleets will need for today, tomorrow, and down the road.


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