In November, four experts in fleet electrification held a panel at the 2021 Fleet Forward Conference to share insights from their real-world experiences:
– Danita Park, director of EV and commercial development, NRG
– Chris George, executive director, EVolve Houston
– Michael Ambrose, manager of maintenance and construction, East Bay Municipal Utility District
– Yann Kulp, co-founder and head of business development, EIQ Mobility
These are the main takeaway points they brought up in their discussion.
There are New Questions to Answer When Building a Roadmap
Switching to electric vehicles requires planning outside typical combustion engine maintenance and fueling. How many chargers do I need, and where? How do I replace batteries, how do I recycle them, and their impact on the environment? What is the total financial effect of fleet electrification?
Hard Goals Add More Issues
86% of fleets consider electrification, yet only 7% have a set goal. Setting a date for switching to an all-electric vehicle fleet requires added planning for feasibility. Will suppliers be able to build enough vehicles? Will there be enough industry investment for charging, repairs, and other support?
Fleet Electrification is Disruptive
Due to the massive changes required to switch to electric vehicles, operational and financial reliability is a must. Risk profiles, finances, and operations must all be taken into account.
Everyone Must Be Onboard
Everyone who has a stake in the electric vehicle project must address their issues, including cost, facilities, and load capacities.
This is a Shift in All Infrastructure
Switching to an electric vehicle fleet isn’t just a matter of buying new vehicles and training employees. Acquiring fuel, managing infrastructure, and keeping vehicles charged are all part of making the switch. Local utilities must be a part of the discussion, so that fleet managers and other decision-makers understand how they’ll access power.
Charging locations also need to be considered. Do you need a separate electrical system to monitor power consumption for vehicle charging? Does it make sense to reimburse drivers who charge at home instead of using costly public charging?
Build-in Time, Flexibility, and Accountability
It takes time to build infrastructure and train employees, and there may be some bumps along the way. The plan should have built-in accountability, with options for changes as technology and implementation develops.