EV Fleets are beginning to gain traction in the industrial, enterprise and supply chain worlds, and green strategies like this are leveraging smart technology to drive smart strategy. Around the globe, major changes are underway as whole industries begin to more heavily focus on sustainability when making business decisions.
The automotive sector in particular is being greatly impacted by the sustainability movement, as the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) intensifies. EVs are one of the fastest growing technologies currently available, as the rising fuel prices and a push for greener initiatives have led many consumers to give EVs a try. Statista projects revenue in the Electric Vehicles market to reach USD 61.18 billion by the end of 2023, and predicts growth at a CAGR of 22.79 percent, and a market value of USD 139.10 billion by 2027.
Every day, more automotive organizations are releasing EV fleet vehicles that are capable of large-scale transportation capabilities. For instance, Ford recently launched a new all-electric commercial vehicle, the E-Transit Courier, and expanded its line-up of innovative electrified and connected cargo vans, giving enterprises yet another EV fleet option.
The decision by many automotive enterprises to begin focusing on specifically commercial EV production is not that shocking, as it’s the most logical next step for organizations looking to become more sustainable. Apart from the obvious environmental benefits, like lower carbon emissions, an EV fleet can actually offer an enterprise a wide variety of advantages.
Transitioning to EVs can help businesses reduce the total cost of ownership of fleets, transportation networks and public transport fleets. By reducing fuel costs and taking advantage of government incentives and tax benefits, organizations can see significant savings. Furthermore, maintenance costs are reduced as EVs are inherently more reliable than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles due to fewer mechanical parts prone to failure and often provide better data to enable more proactive maintenance. In addition, implementing ‘at work’ charging, where charging happens while employees are at work, can improve productivity and fleet drivers always start the day fully-charged – enhancing savings across your whole organization.
While the transition to EV fleets seems like something where transportation organizations should have already got the ball moving, many enterprises blame infrastructure challenges for their hesitation. This is because fleets that choose to incorporate EVs into their operations must consider factors like demand, duty cycles, garaging locations, vehicle models, and availability of off-site public charging stations when planning for EV implementation.
These concerns are already being dealt with, as public agencies and private enterprises prioritize the development of EV infrastructure. Currently, there are already more than 130,000 usable charging stations across the U.S, with more on the way thanks to the $7.5 billion from the recent infrastructure bill allocated towards building 500,000 more charging stations by 2030.
Of the 130,000 existing stations, 93 percent are publicly accessible, and 17 percent are on non-urban roads, which includes highways and other arterials. Yet, while only about six percent of charging stations are located along the interstate highway system, they account for 16 percent of the total number of DC fast charging points, reflecting the needs of EV fleets that more commonly use these roads.
Apart from an increase in charging stations, microgrid technology is also expected to play a pivotal role in the creation of EV necessary infrastructure. Microgrids are able to help maximize the potential of transportation electrification, especially in the case of EV fleets. The reason is because microgrids most commonly include some form of generation, load and storage, all of which must be locally defined within an electrical boundary, and typically controlled by a microgrid controller.
This means within microgrids an electric vehicle can operate as a controllable load or even function as energy storage. This helps offer advantages for EV fleets in three primary value streams, including resilience, carbon reduction, and the most important aspect for many enterprises, cost savings.
Overall, the emphasis on adding charging stations and using microgrids will help drive the transition towards EV fleets, as finding viable and effective solutions that minimize grid impacts are essential to the growth of the transportation electrification sector. For transportation enterprises, this innovation will continue to push the adoption and implementation of EV fleets, meaning the time to transition is sooner rather than later for organizations looking to remain competitive. With sustainability efforts in mind, along with the variety of other benefits provided, transportation organizations should make it an urgent priority to go electric, before the rest of the world around them does.