Interviews
26 Oct 22

Patrick Mitchell, Enel: Turning data into a pathway to savings

Focused on producing clean energy with renewable sources, Italy-based multinational energy group Enel employs more than 67,000 professionals in 30 countries.

Taking care of the company’s fleet in North America is Senior Fleet Manager Patrick Mitchell. He manages just over 400 vehicles which are primarily made up of light duty pickup trucks and SUVs. 

Boasting more than 110,000 EV charging stations and at least 4,500 customers, Enel North America has a Renewable Capacity of 8 GW and a Direct Response capacity of 4.7 GW.

“From a driver’s perspective, as we also have several employees that work in the office, I’d say that we are looking at approximately 750 drivers in our fleet,” says Mr. Mitchell.

Most of the vehicles are focused on supporting mobility at the company’s facilities currently under construction in both The United States and Canada, as well as those which are already operating (wind, solar, geothermal, battery storage). 
 

Company

Enel

Name

Patrick Mitchell

Job Position

Senior Fleet Manager

No. of Countries

Two (US & Canada)

No. of Employees

1,600+ North America (67,000 worldwide)

No. of Vehicles

400+ North America


“In terms of fleet management savings, the first thing that really comes to mind to me is data,” says the fleet manager. 

Global Fleet Editor Daniel Bland and Patrick Mitchell (source: Global Fleet - Daniel Bland)

You really need to understand where you're starting from so that you know what needs to be done to achieve savings. First acquire fleet information (e.g. fuel usage and the number of accidents) and then evaluate this information and recognize the trends at hand. 

For us, we work on developing a pathway towards savings (e.g. optimizing routes, reducing fuel consumption, preventing accidents) by recognizing opportunities, creating baselines, and knowing the areas that we really should be focusing on, says Mr. Mitchell.

Moreover, telematics is certainly key to measuring things like fuel purchase data, trip data, miles traveled by employees, and others. What we do is bundle this data and then identify if the right vehicles are being used in the right places. 

Path toward Electrification

Telematics can also be used for deploying electric vehicles and installing charging stations in the appropriate locations, considering range demand and vehicle usage data. We need to know if charging installations are needed onsite or if we can just depend on public charging infrastructure. 

And remember that it is not only a matter of calculating how many vehicles any one charger can handle (e.g. five cars per charger). You need to look at how vehicles are being driven and the distance they are traveling.

Considering weather temperature, keep in mind that what works in Texas (warmer) may not work in North Dakota (colder). For EVs, cold weather is more challenging than hot weather. Heating a vehicle takes a significant amount of energy so battery range needs to be optimized.

For Enel, we use percentages based on industry standards to calculate range loss and then calculate that against the usage of the vehicles themselves.

Hybrids today, EVs round corner

As light duty pickup trucks and SUVs are the craze for Enel right now, it is not seeing so many EV options. “We are more focused on hybrids, I’d say approximately 35% of fleet. However, we are highly focused on evolving to an electric fleet,” says Mr. Mitchell.

Although sustainability is key, the company also demands safe vehicles for its drivers. “TCO is certainly important, but I would say that sustainability and safety are priority, even if it cost a little more,” says the fleet manager, adding however that the maintenance and day-to-day management are significantly less for an EV over the mid to long term. 

For networking and best practice sharing through virtual meetings and live sessions with executive level fleet decision makers with global or regional responsibilities, join the Global Fleet Managers Club

 

top photo: Patrick Mitchell (courtesy of Enel)

Authored by: Daniel Bland
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