October 21, 2021

Why EV Fleets Adopt Overnight At Home Charging for Drivers


4 Min. Read

A recent J.D. Power study showed that while the bulk of electric vehicle (EV) drivers will likely rely on home charging for the majority of their miles, they do not know it yet. Recent trends in electrification show a strong push for overnight at home charging. Fleet managers recognize the best time to charge EVs is when their drivers do not need them, usually overnight. Accordingly, savvy fleet chiefs planning to transition to EVs know that they need to rely heavily on at home charging at drivers’ residences, rather than on other available charging options.

Adapting for the EV future

More companies are seeking to de-carbonize their fleets. Passenger and commercial fleets are expected to include eight million EVs in the U.S. by 2030. This translates to 10-15% of all fleet vehicles. Powering those EVs will demand a lot of infrastructure and investment. According to the White House, the U.S. passed a milestone of 100,000 public chargers in March. That sounds great, but an estimated 13 million chargers will be needed to fuel fleets in less than 10 years.

A reliable public charging infrastructure is critical for the overall adoption of electric vehicles. However, for EV owners, at home charging is also vital, with 88% reporting to J.D. Power that they charge their vehicle “always” or “often” at home.

While those taking fleet vehicles home each night do not own them, they also recognize the advantages of at home charging. It is certainly more convenient for them to start the day with a fully charged vehicle versus having to return to the fleet yard or kill time at a public charge facility. Likewise, relying on residential charging helps your ROI by eliminating the need for infrastructure investments in centralized locations. It also allows you to take advantage of low overnight residential electricity rates.

Challenges to address

There are several challenges to, or concerns about, overnight at home charging that fleet managers must overcome. They include:

  • Concerns about accommodating charging at home: EV naysayers often cite an older study that implies most households cannot easily adapt to at home charging. However, that study did not take into consideration a simple modification. Adding a new higher voltage outlet or circuit to accommodate a Level-2 charger can make most residential settings EV-ready. Additionally, the transformation to EVs has lead to the development of new car models and newer charging stations for all sorts of home configurations.
  • Reliability of Level-2 chargers: Overnight at home charging at Level-2 stations is reliable and predictable. Level-2 chargers allow drivers to charge their electric car in hours while they sleep, work or enjoy a meal. While charge times vary based on charger amperages, vehicle type and other factors, a Level-2 charger typically produces 25-30 miles of range per hour.
  • Driver reimbursement and mile tracking: Employees do not cover fuel costs for company vehicles. So, it makes sense to reimburse them for the increased energy use for at home EV charging. Some companies choose to use dedicated meters or flat rates. If you are using EV telematics to monitor the fleet, you can use the technology to measure electricity use by vehicle, rather than by charger. Then you can set up reimbursement amounts based on rates at home locations. An advantage to this approach is that electricity use measurements are specific to the vehicle. This eliminates the risk of subsidizing non-fleet vehicles using the at home charger.
  • Project planning and budgeting money and time: Purchasing the vehicles may be the easiest cost for many fleet managers to budget. The real challenge is calculating the wide range of home installation costs and equipment needed. This will vary by each home’s unique configuration and available electrical load capacity. It is important to use a structured pricing model that ensures budget accuracy with ROI in mind. Additionally, you do not want drivers distracted by worrying about and dealing with the charger station setup at their residences. So, staff time, training and other items need to be factored into the equations.

Simplifying overnight at home charging for you and your drivers

Global demand for sustainability and the reduction of greenhouse gas pollution is accelerating demand for the electrification of vehicles. Moving to an electrified at home fleet is inevitable and can be a complicated process. However, you can simplify it. You can get help overcoming the complexities of planning, pricing, installations and more with Qmerit.

Experienced in supporting fleet managers throughout the U.S. and Canada, Qmerit provides a seamless installation experience with top-quality, vetted professionals you (and your employees getting home installations) can trust. Qmerit offers a structured, pre-negotiated pricing model to ensure fleet managers can budget and control costs while tracking every step of the process. Our network of certified installers, who handle a variety of home installation requirements, can ensure satisfaction for fleet managers and homeowners across 1,000+ service areas.

See how Qmerit can simplify your transition to overnight at home charging for your EV fleet and help you create a future-thinking, de-carbonized business, with professional support and assured satisfaction.

Contact us today to learn more.

Author: Ken Sapp

Ken Sapp

Qmerit- SVP, Business Development