Advancements in Fleet Electrification

October 7, 2020 10:51 pm

We’ve noticed a number of positive trends in the area of fleet, bus and medium- to heavy-duty vehicle electrification recently. While environmental issues may be of significant concern to EV drivers, businesses are still focusing first and foremost on their bottom lines. Thankfully, several case studies have emerged that demonstrate the significant cost savings of owning an electric vehicle fleet versus a diesel-powered one, which speaks directly to cost-conscious business owners.

Southern California Edison (SCE), which has put out several of these studies, has also been heavily promoting their Charge Ready Program, which subsidizes EV installation for any California business that allows for lengthy vehicle dwell time (such as fleet operators and trucking companies). In fact, the program has been so successful that they’ve had to place a temporary moratorium on new applications. Here’s how their program works:

We’re excited because it offers EVCS a chance to participate in revolutionizing one of the most crucial means of transport in the country: commercial vehicles. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (a division of the US DOT), nearly 12.5 million commercial trucks and buses were registered in 2016 alone with a combined 300 billion miles driven (see data here): 

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/ourroads/large-trucks-and-buses-numbers

While the program is specific to California, providing charging infrastructure to this critical transportation segment allows us to incidentally expand our “zero-emission mission” across the country since many commercial vehicles engage in interstate travel. Moreover, EV fleet operators are in a position to directly benefit from our state-of-the-art networking software that allows them to maximize factors like access control, demand response, peak load management and real-time performance monitoring.

Moreover, SCE isn’t the only game in town, evidencing a broader desire for fleet electrification. Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) offers their own EV fleet program, which includes incentives of between $3,000 and $9,000 per vehicle on up to 25 vehicles, stating in promotional literature that “companies in California whose primary function is to sell or transport goods… are well positioned to benefit from significant total cost of ownership savings by electrifying their fleet.”

PG&E also notes that this is the perfect time to take advantage of such incentives, as new state regulatory proposals like mandating emission-free transport refrigeration units (TRU’s) could become law as early as 2025. More on PG&E’s program can be found here:

https://www.pge.com/pge_global/common/pdfs/solar-and-vehicles/your-options/clean-vehicles/charging-stations/ev-fleet-program/PGE_EV-Fleet_Program-Overview_Distribution-and-Delivery.pdf

More on the status of TRU regulations here:

https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/our-work/programs/transport-refrigeration-unit/new-transport-refrigeration-unit-regulation

Our next goal is to get EVCS added to both SCE’s and PG&E’s lists of approved vendors, as we believe our turnkey solution and world-class customer service is an ideal fit for commercial customers who need a knowledgeable ally throughout the entire process, from design consultation to charger procurement and installation to maintenance and repair.

As the commercial EV sector continues to expand and innovators facilitate a conversion to carbon-neutral mobility solutions – with companies like Green Power Motor Company and their zero-emission EV Star minibus or EVCS sister company Green Commuter’s all-electric vanpool fleet – the requisite infrastructure will need to be in place as a material form of support. We, of course, believe EVCS is best positioned to lead in this space and look forward to working with progressive power companies like SCE and PG&E to help business owners simultaneously better the environment and their bottom lines.

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