E-Mobility - Part 2: Electric Fleet for Municipalities

Published: 2022-09-01 Updated: 2023-11-10
Subject: Identifying spare parts Creating spare parts catalogs Ordering spare parts Tools and technology Networking service information

In Part 1 of this series of articles, we examined the status quo of electromobility in Germany. We also looked at the issues that companies need to address before they can electrify their vehicle fleets. Now we turn our focus to the vehicle fleets of municipalities.

This figure is surprising: municipalities in Germany are frontrunners in electromobility - already one-fifth of municipal fleets are electric. This means that municipalities easily outstrip commercial fleets, where the rate is only 8.6 percent so far.

Back to part 1

A special task: Electrifying special vehicles

However, these figures refer to company cars and other passenger vehicles. Today, municipal companies have many more types of vehicles in use. Sweepers, refuse collection vehicles, fire engines, ambulances, vehicles for winter services or for maintaining green spaces and parks - the list is endless, because every municipality has to tackle different tasks. In some cases, those responsible have to resort to creative tools.

For this reason, the vehicle fleets of municipalities are usually highly complex. For the special tasks in cities and municipalities, it is necessary, for example, to give all-wheel-drive vehicles an "upgrade" and equip them with special equipment and superstructures.

Off-the-shelf electric cars are therefore out of the question for municipalities. Instead, the fleet must be converted gradually and depending on the special vehicles available on the market. In addition, there are typical challenges of e-mobility, such as setting up a charging infrastructure, and the difficult operating conditions of commercial vehicles in municipalities must also be taken into account, such as weather conditions or working in shifts. But a look at the benefits shows: It's worth overcoming all these hurdles.

What are the advantages of an electric fleet?

  • Expressed per kilometer, electricity is cheaper than gasoline or diesel.
  • It is even cheaper if the electricity comes from renewable energy plants on the company premises.
  • Particularly in inner-city stop-and-go traffic, electric vehicles offer major advantages over internal combustion engines in terms of fuel consumption.
  • By using electric vehicles, municipalities send a strong signal for sustainability and improve their image.
  • Special vehicles such as garbage trucks pollute inner cities less with their emissions of greenhouse gases and noise.

Maintenance of special electric vehicles

In order for municipalities to benefit from all these advantages and more, their vehicles must function perfectly. As with fleets in companies, maintenance therefore also plays an important role for municipal vehicles. But this task often cannot be easily outsourced to service providers or manufacturers for the special vehicles already mentioned.

Instead, municipal utilities, communities and the like have to organize the maintenance of their fleets themselves. This is no easy task - because a special vehicle with a refuse disposal body differs not only in its function from a sweeper, but also in its spare parts.

Software simplifies maintenance of electrified fleets

To ensure that the maintenance and servicing of municipal vehicles does not degenerate into detective work and that the right parts can be found quickly when repairs are needed, municipalities can get support in the form of modern software.

One solution that has already proven itself in the municipal environment is the interactive spare parts catalog. This brings together relevant data for fleet managers and fleet operators that is necessary for fast and stress-free repair and maintenance - even for special vehicles with electric drives and individual superstructures.

In principle, a digital spare parts catalog offers various advantages in the fleet. This is especially true when it is integrated into a higher-level service information system.

Because thanks to such a networked software solution

  • provide companies with a 360° view of their vehicle fleet
  • Maintenance and servicing measures can be planned and organized more efficiently
  • Reduce the time and effort required to identify and order spare parts
  • cost savings in the three- to five-figure range are possible
  • companies improve the efficiency of their workforce, as service technicians, for example, have all the necessary information at their disposal
  • Downtimes in the fleet are reduced to a minimum.

In the third part of our series of articles on electromobility, we present a practical example of the use of spare parts catalogs in the municipal environment.

Read part 3