Multicycle rental of electric vehicles requires sophisticated software, says Sofico

Ghent-based automotive software provider Sofico says automotive OEMs need flexible and smart software as more and more of them seek to offer used car rentals on electric vehicles and keep the control over valuable batteries.

Sofico customer Volkswagen, for example, plans to offer used vehicle leases on its ID family as a strategy to conserve battery life, and believes that secondary or tertiary leases will enable it to recycle batteries for new uses, including home power centers and fast chargers. .

VW estimates the battery life could be around 1,000 charge cycles and around 350,000 km or around 215,000 miles, meaning it could outlast the car itself. This will keep RVs high, making secondary leases more affordable.

Leasecos want to control the value of the vehicle for longer

Leasing companies are also looking to retain control of vehicles for longer lease cycles. ALD Automotive’s “Move 2025” strategic plan (another Sofico client) uses a business model in which vehicles are leased (in some cases) for their entire lifetime, involving multi-cycle leasing, the sale of passenger cars used and multi-channel distribution.

However, this growing development brings its own challenges, including the need to manage multiple assets with different rental cycles and with multiple different users involved. Many software systems are too rigid to handle multiple rental cycles and multiple users on a single asset.

Sofico’s flexible and configurable cloud-native Miles Enterprise solution, which is used by multiple OEMs, captives and leasing companies, is capable of handling complex financing and mobility solutions, including multi-user leases of varying durations for a specific asset.

“While descriptive analytics can be leveraged to accurately track and monitor profitability for each cost center and for each individual cycle,” said Sofico Senior Product Manager Bram Wallach, “thanks to Miles supporting separate cost center accounting for vehicle and contract, we are also anticipating the use of machine learning in predictive analytics for decision support in contract management to optimize value at life of the entire portfolio.

“This could be done, for example, by combining internal cost information with external market data to highlight for which vehicles in the fleet a second cycle would make sense.”

Image of Sofico Senior Product Manager, Bram Wallach, courtesy of Sofico

Mary I. Bruner