Urban Foresight worked with speacialist software company Route Monkey to develop a new commercially-focused software product that will enable companies to forecast the residual value and performance of electric vehicles (EVs) based on usage patterns.

The product will be aimed at de-risking investments in EVs, enabling planning to optimise fleet renewal strategies and supporting second-hand values by providing an indication of the remaining performance/ life of the battery.

The developed software will be interactive and allow behaviour change during ownership to ensure that the total cost of ownership (TCO) based on resale value, can be optimised.

The need for this product

EVs offer considerable potential for many fleets to reduce both costs and carbon. However, one of the biggest barriers to the deployment of these vehicles is the difficulty in evaluating the TCO, of which a key element is the residual performance and value of the battery. Other than indicative guidance offered by vehicle manufacturers on the expected lifetime of batteries, fleet operators currently have no method of assessing and planning for the expected degradation in performance. This has implications both for operational planning (i.e. how long will these vehicles be suitable for a given application/ route) as well as the residual value of vehicles (i.e. optimising the disposal/ resale value).

A further related issue is that leasing contracts and warranties for EVs are currently financed on the basis of cautious forecasts for the performance of batteries, which assumes a lower residual value. This risk increases the financing costs, making EVs more expensive for organisations and individuals. Accordingly, the provision of better forecast data on battery performance based on actual duty cycles will enable greater confidence amongst vehicle manufacturers and leasing companies to reduce the costs of finance and associated TCOs.