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How one city electrified its fleet to benefit the environment and save in operating costs

As one of the first 12 cities to sign the European Pact to reduce carbon emissions by at least 40% by 2030, this large, Southern European city of 250,000 residents went a step further and pledged to cut their air pollution in half.

The first place its leaders looked to make an impact was its municipal fleet of 250 vehicles. In 2019, the city issued a call for fleet-management vendors with four main goals:

  1. Conduct a cost analysis of vehicle electrification, with a plan for determining which vehicles to transition.
  2. Deploy, track and manage fleet vehicles and charging assets.
  3. Centralize vehicle and charging data for ongoing performance improvement.
  4. Measure carbon emissions reduction and other sustainability-related benefits.

After the public selection process, the city chose a large, global vehicle-leasing company to supply and manage the vehicles, and GoWithFlow as the subcontractor to provide the technology platform that would deliver on the project goals.

To kick off the initiative, the Flow team embedded IoT devices within the client’s existing fleet to track vehicle usage, miles driven, routes taken, typical fuel usage and driver preferences. This data combined with other factors such as lease renewals, vehicle costs and anticipated fuel expenses was then used to create a Fleet Electrification Plan. 

Flow and the client determined the city could immediately convert 65% of its fleet to electric (EV) or plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) vehicles, in effect removing 163 gas- and diesel-powered vehicles from the roadways from day one.

porto carbon emissions reduction

With this fleet makeup, the team then developed a charging infrastructure that included 200 charging points. This provides not only ample resources to charge municipal vehicles on demand as well as employee-owned vehicles, but it also lays the groundwork to cost-effectively expand the charging environment for future growth of their EV fleet and for adding micromobility options such as ebikes and scooters.

Today, the city’s fleet management team uses the Flow SMM platform as a dashboard to manage and maintain its entire fleet of both traditional combustion-engine vehicles, EVs and PHEVs and the energy and fueling infrastructure on which it relies. 

The real-time visibility into every asset gives them the opportunity to do “what if” modelling on changes — for example, they can look at the impact of adding or changing a vehicle based on everything from vehicle charging to lease cost over time. 

And this includes not only the return on their financial investment in electrifying their fleet. They also can measure the ongoing carbon emissions reduction and impact from every trip, giving senior managers a unique view into the positive effects of their sustainable mobility solution along with the ability to make real-time decisions for cost savings or emissions reduction.

By taking this data-centric approach to sustainable mobility and transitioning away from traditionally fueled vehicles to EVs and PHEVs, this city has reduced its carbon emissions by 290 metric tons in the first year. And, based on Flow’s findings that an EV costs about 225€ annually less to maintain and fuel than an ICE vehicle, the city is saving about €37.000 each year.

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ABOUT FLOW

GoWithFlow and its Sustainable Mobility Management (SMM) platform help enterprises manage the transition of their fleet to low- or no-emission vehicles while reducing overall fleet and energy costs. Flow’s SMM provides an integrated view of vehicle and energy data, enabling fleet and facilities managers to plan and operate a heterogeneous network of combustion and electric vehicles along with managing fuel and electricity consumption. Named Portugal’s top cleantech startup in 2020, Flow’s majority shareholder is Galp, one of Europe’s energy companies leading the transition into renewable energy and sustainable fuels.

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