Zeti integrated with Smartcar to give fleets simple and transparent financing to convert to EVs.
Zeti (Zero-Emission Transport Investment) is a FinTech platform that simplifies electric vehicle (EV) financing for fleet operators. Unlike traditional lessors and brokers, Zeti is changing the game by introducing a utility-like pay-per-mile financing model that doesn’t lock businesses into standard monthly payments and interest.
Zeti uses Smartcar’s vehicle API to automatically retrieve real-time EV odometer readings to calculate monthly billings for a vehicle or an entire fleet on a cost-per-mile basis.
Fleet electrification poses a big opportunity to accelerate emission reduction efforts. If urban fleets were made of clean vehicles, we could reduce up to 70% of carbon dioxide emissions from mobility in cities.
But as of 2021, only 1% of global fleets — about 12 million vehicles — were made up electric vehicles.
Electrification is unfamiliar territory for many fleet operators, specifically when adapting their business to the higher purchase price of EVs and understanding battery health.
“Our patent-pending ZERO platform enables pay-as-you-drive financing, whereby users pay a fixed per-mile cost recorded by telematics — think of it as a smart meter for the vehicle,” said Chelsea Dowling, Head of Operations at Zeti. “This provides the additional benefits of optimized cash flow and cost transparency to commercial fleet operators and drivers.”
Zeti uses Smartcar to automatically retrieve data from EVs and send that data to the ZERO platform so bills can be generated and sent to customers. This billing system is especially valuable for fleet operators with variable fleet usage.
For example, Zeti’s customers could leave vehicles parked during the COVID lockdown without losing money because those vehicles had no miles driven and, therefore, would not be charged.
Implementing EV telematics into a solution is complex because of unique edge cases for each brand. Zeti experienced this first-hand after using a telematics solution that drained vehicle batteries in their customer’s fleet and introduced unnecessary costs.
“We saw firsthand the complexity of the telematics market, given the newness of electric vehicles, and the lack of standardization,” said Dowling.
Zeti looked for an API-only telematics provider that could support their pay-per-mile billing solution, provide location tracking for investors, and give their operations team and customers a valuable contactless experience.
Developer experience was a big differentiator for Smartcar compared to other telematics providers.
“Our usual language isn’t Node, but because of our serverless architecture and the excellent Smartcar SDK available, we decided to create a standalone Node.js application which then integrates with the rest of our platform over API,” said Dowling.
Zeti could also easily use our API to connect to targeted brands and models across Europe and the US. They kicked off the partnership by helping a customer successfully track and bill a fleet of Jaguar I-Paces per mile with solely Smartcar data.
We expect the number of vehicles that we track through Smartcar to grow significantly. By combining our auto-scaling Azure Serverless architecture with Smartcar’s excellent infrastructure and API, we can cope with that increased demand without extra operational work.
— Chelsea Dowling, Head of Operations at Zeti
After implementing Smartcar as a solution for one of their clients, Zeti saw an improvement in that relationship. The client was especially satisfied with vehicles' easy setup and onboarding process, unlike the lost productivity experienced when installing a hardware solution.
This client's customer satisfaction (CSAT) score increased because this fleet operator saw more revenue, fewer vehicle disconnections, and higher bill accuracy.
“There are never any issues with the pay-per-mile billing [for this client] because we know the odometer readings being collected by Smartcar are accurate, and this gives the client more faith in us,” said Dowling.
Zeti uses Smartcar’s API to retrieve odometer and location data on an ongoing basis.
Fleet operators onboard vehicles using Smartcar’s OAuth2.0 flow known as Connect. All they need to do is select a vehicle brand, log in to the brand’s connected services account, and consent to the vehicle data permissions Smartcar lists on the screen.
“Over time, I’m looking forward to not only the cost savings associated with Smartcar for our customers but also the wow factor when our fleets realize we can remotely connect them,” said Dowling. “We could be closing deals on multiple continents and connect the fleets to Smartcar and our in-house technology, all with no travel involved.”
Since 2020, Zeti has already prevented 4 million kg of carbon from entering the atmosphere.
With more EVs onboarding on the Zeti platform, the team is excited to continue moving the needle for fleets, transport districts, and corporations by making vehicle payment as transparent and convenient as paying for any other utility.
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