How to Transition Your Fleet to Electric Vehicles?
Those who earnestly follow automotive market trends can agree that the future of the industry seems to be going in the electric direction. As much as it sounds like a very bold statement, when diving deep into the courses of the e-mobility market, one can observe a massive shift into the pro-electric approach, a great deal of which comes from the biggest industry players and governmental units themselves.
Why is it happening?
Why will electric cars be the future?
Whether you are an EV enthusiast or an EV skeptic, one thing remains clear - mobility and transport are and will always be one of the greatest and most developing industries in the world. From urban mobility, which allows masses of big cities inhabitants access to work, school, health units, services, and leisure to international heavy transport that drives economics across the nations, people do not back down on movement and only travel more. Besides, rough estimations regarding the number of cars (including trucks and buses) in the world speak for themselves, with a whopping figure of approximately 1.32 billion. What’s more, this number is estimated to double every 20 years.
However, any industry of that scale comes with various consequences. Conversations about the detrimental effects of mobility on the environment have been circling around for years, to a point where some may call them cliche. Yet, there is nothing overdone about it. It is said that emissions from combustion engine vehicles grow by 2,5% year on year. Environmental issues are being taken more and more seriously not only by ecologists but also by state bodies of legislation, driving the change towards green mobility. Pro-electric attitude has also been reinforced through the Covid-19 outbreak as it changed the way people travel and work. With countless discussions on how to make the planet a safer place, entrepreneurs, politicians, and everyday citizens are more drawn towards eco-friendly solutions. Thus, all markets are known for their Earth-damaging side effects set on an ambitious venture of rewriting their goals and implementing new tactics in line with the global trends and regulations.
Speaking of which… state regulations and policies are being implemented on a regular basis across the world. Nearly every regulatory legislation taking on climate-bettering action aims at the transport industry at some point or another. Amongst the most crucial policies we can find:
The Paris Agreement - legally binding international plan (signed by 196 countries) obliging all parties to continuous commitments in order to slow down the detrimental effects of global warming and bring the average temperature down by up to 2 degrees Celsius. Due to its grandeur and worldwide inclusivity of participants, it paves the way for regulations to come.
The EU Green Deal - European action plan of going climate neutral (no greenhouse gases emissions) by 2050. Within the EU Green Deal, a fund of 55-65 billion Euro has been launched. The Just Transition Mechanism will aim to help those most touched by the upcoming regulatory changes and ameliorations implemented on the pathway towards more sustainable solutions such as
- creating new jobs in the green economy
- investing in public and sustainable transport
- investing in research and companies who are willing to lead the changes
Next Generation EU Recovery Plan - the largest stimulus package ever introduced in Europe. 1.8 trillion Euro will be allocated long-term in order to make post-Covid Europe a greener, more digital and more resilient place.
EU Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy and Action Plan - consists of 82 initiatives built on the strong foundations of the EU Green Deal with the sole purpose of transforming the transport industry. The project involves a few milestones plotted out within the span of the upcoming years.
- at least 30 million zero-emission cars will be in operation on European roads
- scheduled collective travel for journeys under 500 km should be carbon neutral
- automated mobility will be deployed at a large scale
- nearly all cars, vans, buses as well as new heavy-duty vehicles will be zero-emission.
- a fully operational, multimodal Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) for sustainable and smart transport with high-speed connectivity.
Worth mentioning are also the pledges and bans. Namely, various countries announced their own schemes of mass EV adoptions. The pack is led by Norway, which will ban internal combustion engines by 2025 and aim for net-zero emissions by 2050. Following in Norway’s footsteps, there's the UK, the Netherlands, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, or Singapore all planning on the ICE ban by 2030, next China and Japan by 2035, and France, Canada, Portugal or Spain by 2040.
It’s only the tip of the legislative iceberg. Experienced and profound market players already know that in order to stay afloat, an eventual transition to electric mobility is inevitable. Some have already put it to work.
Which companies change to e-mobility?
This may come as a surprise how many major companies are already somewhere in the process of electrifying their fleets. Ceres, a non-profit organization fighting for a sustainable future, has even launched an alliance bringing together the transitioning companies. Among The Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance, one can find:
Ikea North America
Within the project, the companies come together to identify challenges and finding solutions on the meandering road towards zero emissions. As per Ceres’ official statement, the alliance enables:
- Production of new and increased volumes of EV models,
- EV market growth and economies of scale,
- Adoption of supportive policies and the removal of policy barriers, and
- Peer-to-peer learning with regard to industry best practices
Looking at the brand examples or the strategies introduced by governments, it is no exaggeration to claim that the transition to electrified fleets is slowly but steadily already taking place. However, since it is a massive shift, requiring inordinate amounts of work, many people ask what the benefits are other than the environmental ameliorations.
What’s in it for me? (That’s not for the environment)
Starting off with a popular misconception about how expensive electric cars are. EVs reached the times when their cost, in many cases evened out with their ICE equivalents, and - what’s essential - it gradually lowers. According to Bloomberg's data, battery cost noted an unprecedented decrease of 89% and is projected to go even lower. While the overall purchase cost evens out, it is estimated that EV maintenance cuts the expenses by up to 70%. With minimized noise and simple operation (reduction of one pedal), electric cars come to help professional drivers to a better working condition. Finally, as an old saying goes, the sooner the better. With incoming legislation targeting the polluting combustion engines, it might slowly become inevitable that such changes will come as a must rather than a fashionable pipe dream.
Electrifying your fleet - first steps
The process of transitioning to electric vehicles is a daunting task for many operators. With the abundance of available models, it can be hard to know which one best suits your needs and budgeting structure. The first step in this journey should entail learning about local grid capacity or reliability then comparing performance between different EV's evaluating focus areas such as price point versus efficiency vs range per charge cycle to make sure that you are making an informed decision before committing any capital investment into new equipment. Fleet managers will want an EV deployment plan that minimizes the cost and maximizes management benefits. Spread new EV acquisitions across a number of years to avoid any major backlog in-vehicle replacements, with subsequent budgets benefiting from lower prices over time as well as higher resale values. Avoiding large-scale adoption at once may also help fleet managers identify fiscal impacts each year for better budgeting, which is especially important given heavy infrastructure investments often required for EVs like charging stations or hydrogen filling stations.
In order to prepare for the future, it is important to think about your long-term plan and identify when vehicles will charge. Make sure that you do trenching and wiring required in advance for whatever type of charger infrastructure might be needed down the line so as not to have any unexpected surprises with installation later on. It is also very beneficial if staff members are trained by EV manufacturers or dealerships before they come into contact with customers who may want information during their purchase process; this way all employees can handle questions easily without having someone's job change unexpectedly due to lack of experience related specifically to EVs themselves.
Things to consider when transitioning to e-mobility
There are many factors that need thorough consideration before making the leap into an all-electric program, including weather conditions of various areas in which these cars would be used, length of routes on which they are driven, staff availability as well as fleet housing options near the workplace - all must be taken into account when considering this transition. This also touches upon smart time slotting. When shorter periods of time between recharging sessions are possible, high-voltage chargers may be required; whereas if there are longer intervals before charging again can take place (for example, overnight and early morning hours), slower voltage chargers should suffice.
Statistical study and industry research including energy efficiency
The first thing an organization should do when considering a complete shift over from its current fuel source, typically gas or diesel vehicles, into electric vehicles (EV) is conduct thorough market research about what types they need among other things like how much power each car requires (i.e., charging rate). It's also important for them to take note if there are any specific requirements regarding driving distance.
Charging infrastructure is difficult to find and decide on because there are many different charging standards. When converting a fleet of cars to electric, it's daunting if the company can't upgrade equipment down the line or attach themselves with one specific vendor for all their needs. Market research should be done before settling on any type of charger so that you'll know how soon new industry-wide changes will happen in this area.
Also, EV power consumption needs to be factored in. Simple or complicated calculations depend on the latitude of operations: for example the number of days it's hot and sunny vs rainy will affect how much solar energy is available (or not). When discussing an electric vehicle’s electricity usage we must take into account factors such as miles driven per day, route selection that can vary depending upon what time you are driving along a given road segment during any given week due to different traffic conditions at those times. It also should take things like weather into consideration when analyzing this data - if there has been heavy rainfall then less sunlight might reach photovoltaic panels which could reduce their output efficiency.
Charging and infrastructure assessment
Understanding a fleet’s energy consumption and charge times can help organizations optimize chargers based on operational needs. High-powered chargers are needed to charge an electric car quickly. But when you have limited time, it may be more efficient and cost-effective to use a charger with lower power levels because they're cheaper than high-powered ones. The downside is that the low-power chargers might not provide enough energy for your car during periods of operation
The future is uncertain, but it's never too early to start planning for the next generation of electric vehicles. A company needs a plan on how it will keep up with EVSEs in order to make sure that its investments are not lost before being exploited. The key is carefully selecting more future-proofed equipment so your organization has something ready when needed and can avoid investing in an outdated piece of technology right now.
With the increasing amount of EVs coming out and being put into service, it is important that facilities are ready to accommodate this change. There's a few steps you can take in order to prepare for an influx of electric vehicles (EVs). One way would be by reviewing existing electricity infrastructure on-site and assessing if there will be enough capacity for such charging demand. Estimating final state costs will then help determine whether or not upgrades need to happen before initiating any changes.
Transitioning an entire fleet is quite a task and requires thorough research. It is no use spending money on technology that will soon go out of the market. Smart spending scheduling is also the key to efficiency without going bankrupt. Financial analysis is an important part of EV implementation and a consideration that should not be overlooked. For example, while the initial cost may seem very high in comparison to traditional vehicles with conventional fuels like gasoline or diesel fuel, EV infrastructure can last for decades if well-maintained due to their reliance on cheaper energy sources such as electric power. It's also worth considering how your area offers incentives related to taxation, utility rates etc., which will affect your overall financials over time.
E-mobility software implementation
The right software is the key to a seamless operation on many levels. One such way is through driver reimbursement systems which are now automatic with home chargers and time-of-use tariffs that allow drivers to optimize charging times while receiving reimbursements accordingly. Companies can provide flexibility by allowing private charging as well as software that automatically identifies non-work-related travel, so they don't receive a refund on those charges The importance of real-time visibility and status has become increasingly important in the world today. With so many electric cars on the road, it becomes even more necessary to have a tool available that will deliver your charger's performance uptime. This way, you'll be able to know whether or not there are any issues with charging stations nearby as soon as they happen while also providing detailed information about how much revenue is earned from each station based on hourly usage rates for all days during operation since data analytics can detect potential defects at this stage too.
While looking for the best software (like CPO platforms or EMSP apps) it is crucial to check its scalability and comprehensiveness. That is i.e. the integration with Open Standards or functionality of RFID-based charging. Namely, such core features are later to define an effectively-operating charging maintenance solution.
Fleet electrification - post scriptum
Planning is a crucial part of the EV fleet strategy, from purely technical issues to an entire network of interconnected factors such as financial analysis or grid capabilities. Certainly, this wouldn't be an overnight occurrence. It's more of a multi-dimensional major shift from the ways of operating as we know it, to the next level, sustainably advanced solutions that will inevitably become the future of transport.