Don’t Jump The Gun On Purchasing A Vehicle
When beginning the transition to zero-emission fleets, there’s a common misconception that purchasing the vehicle
is a one-and-done solution.
To ensure you have everything you need to make a worthwhile investment, start with infrastructure research—energy needs (daily kWh), charging times and locations, operating hours and range requirements.
Ultimately, installation may require planning by both the utility and fleet operator years in advance. Taking the time upfront to understand and plan infrastructure logistics, like utility upgrade costs and timelines for charger installation, will help optimize your transition.
Evaluate Site Infrastructure And Utility Grid Needs An important next step in the transition process is understanding how ZEV charging infrastructure can fit into your existing sites. While it may seem trivial, things like charger location matter. Managers should think about equipment placing based on driver behaviors, like where they exit the vehicle, access the bathroom or punch out.
Companies need to understand their existing infrastructure and how to integrate EV equipment to support efficient operations, maximize equipment lifecycles and limit costs. This allows you to anticipate potential scaling needs should your fleet transition from 10 to 100. Consider charging placement and electrical upgrades that allow for the addition of trucks in the future. By thinking through all of these steps from the start, you’ll be able to create a cohesive ecosystem for the vehicle when you make the purchase.
Learn About Existing And Forthcoming Resources If you’re located in California, there are a number of existing resources and websites that can help you plan for and implement infrastructure requirements. Other resources include:
- Capitalizing on state funding: Pacific Gas and Electric’s EV Fleet Program, Southern California Edison’s Charge Ready Transport Program, San Diego Gas & Electric’s Power Your Drive for Fleets and Sacramento’s Municipal Utility District Incentive Project
- Identifying your utility provider: Electric Service Utility Maps
State and local governments are also investing in charging infrastructure as part of their economic-stimulus programs, from direct investments for public charging stations to subsidies for the installation of private charging stations at homes and workplaces. In fact, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes $2.5 billion in funding for publicly accessible electric vehicle charging and hydrogen fueling infrastructure that for medium and heavy-duty commercial trucking.
The Road Ahead To Electric Vehicle Transition Most discussion of EVs today is centered upon the vehicles themselves and whether they offer the same kind of benefits as traditional fueling—but infrastructure ultimately plays just as important a role in paving the way to widespread adoption. There’s still much work to be done to make EV infrastructure more comprehensible and accessible to fleet owners and managers and to develop a more shared charging infrastructure. Fleet managers and owners can take the time now to understand and plan for infrastructure to position themselves for long-term success.