It’s time to plug in your company fleet, however the place precisely?

Rising up, individuals typically advised me that it’s good to be distinctive, have my very own opinions and never at all times comply with the lots. I’m grateful for this mindset, because it has pushed me to seek out my manner in life and develop as knowledgeable and particular person. However on the subject of the electrical automobile trade, it’s changing into more and more tough to have a distinct opinion than “EVs are nice!” 

Whereas EVs are nice, match many driver and fleet use circumstances, and prospects lastly have quite a few EV choices to select from, public charging infrastructure remains to be scaling.

No query, charging an EV is changing into simpler every day, as charging suppliers set up new public charging stations and develop progressive options. It has at all times been tremendous straightforward for those who cost at residence, the office or a fleet depot. Nevertheless, on the subject of utilizing public EV charging stations, primarily fast-charging stations, finding a public fast-charging station that works as supposed can nonetheless typically really feel like discovering a needle in a haystack. 

A fast Google search illustrates the extent of the issue. Within the final month alone, quite a few tales throughout Enterprise Insider, The Drive and California Globe have showcased simply how tough and unreliable the U.S. public fast-charging infrastructure could be — with stations which are damaged or that don’t work as supposed. The scenario is just not significantly better in different components of the world.

Now we have not considered public EV charging networks as a result of it is just too a lot of a variable to really feel assured in assembly customer support stage agreements …

Fortunately, the Biden-Harris administration not too long ago launched the long-awaited Discover of Proposed Rulemaking for proposed minimal requirements and necessities for EV charging tasks funded by the Nationwide Electrical Car Infrastructure (NEVI) Method Program. These minimal requirements are designed to turbocharge the EV trade and instantly deal with the hurdles recognized within the articles linked above, equivalent to requiring a minimal variety of charging ports per location and mandating a minimal of 97 p.c uptime for all federally funded public charging stations.

With all that in thoughts, I used to be curious to find out how company fleets use public EV charging stations and whether or not they’re experiencing comparable points as on a regular basis drivers. In talking with trade executives from Siemens and Iron Mountain, I discovered how every firm is leveraging the general public EV charging stations of their geographic area — or on this case, not utilizing it for essentially the most half, which says quite a bit proper there.

For each firms, like for a lot of EV drivers and fleets, residence charging is the easiest way to cost their EV fleet. That use case is adopted by work/depot charging, after which — perhaps, simply perhaps — public EV charging comes into the image.

[Interested in learning more about the electrify-everything movement? Join leaders from the private and public sectors, utilities, solution providers, investors and startups at VERGE Electrify, online July 25-26.]

Each firms have made a dedication to impress their fleets by the Local weather Group’s EV100 initiative, and I labored with them in my prior function because the EV100 Program Supervisor. Every firm’s dedication and progress is tracked within the annual EV100 Progress and Perception Report. 

After I spoke with Kevin Hagen, vp of environmental, social and governance (ESG) technique at Iron Mountain, he stated Iron Mountain’s fleet consists of a mixture of light-duty passenger autos, medium-duty cargo vans, last-mile supply autos and conventional fleet autos.

Iron Mountain operates a worldwide fleet of over 5,000 autos, and as a part of its fleet electrification journey, Iron Mountain is dedicated to electrifying 1,110 of its autos as much as 7.5 tons in curb automobile weight by 2030. That interprets to 100% of their firm passenger vehicles and 50 p.c of their vans. Iron Mountain operates fleet autos world wide together with within the U.S. and within the U.Okay., the place it not too long ago deployed 12 new electrical vans bringing the corporate’s complete EVs on the highway to roughly 50 autos globally. 

For passenger autos, the sentiment throughout Iron Mountain is that folks need to cost at residence, whether or not that’s at an condominium constructing or standalone residence. Iron Mountain is offering residence chargers, by a partnership with Enel X, to all workers with an organization automobile to assist this broad curiosity.

In talking with Katie Keeton, fleet supervisor at Siemens, she shared an identical opinion that 80 p.c of Siemens’ passenger automobile charging takes place at residence. Siemens is putting in its personal residence chargers to assist this. The opposite 20 p.c of charging occurs utilizing the general public EV charging community. This 80/20 cut up in charging for Siemens follows a long-standing notion throughout the trade that 80 p.c of charging occurs at residence.  

Siemens has a world dedication to impress greater than 43,000 of its autos as much as 7.5 tons in curb automobile weight by 2030. About 3,000 EVs, lots of that are passenger autos, have been already deployed throughout the globe as of Marc, based on the latest EV100 Annual Progress and Perception Report.

Siemens employee vehicle charging using a Siemens home charger

Ideas on public charging networks

Even for bigger autos, equivalent to cargo vans and last-mile supply autos, Iron Mountain doesn’t depend on the general public EV charging community. “The group has designed driver routes without having to cost outdoors of the office/depot setting,” Hagen stated, noting that autos come again to a depot to cost.

“Now we have not considered public EV charging networks as a result of it is just too a lot of a variable to really feel assured in assembly customer support stage agreements (SLAs)… For us, it’s all in regards to the buyer SLA,” Hagen stated. A variable may imply the station is getting used when an Iron Mountain driver urgently wants it or the charging station is just not working as supposed, inflicting a delay. 

Within the case of Siemens, a lot of the fleet that Keeton is electrifying is made up of passenger autos, whether or not the autos are for gross sales representatives or executives. The primary set of service fleet autos (Ford F-150 Lightnings) are coming within the subsequent couple of weeks, and Siemens is branching out into different EV manufacturers.

Keeton stated that for the 20 p.c of charging actions that occur on public networks, drivers have skilled few charging points referring to malfunctioning charging stations. Lots of these autos are Tesla fashions, which may use the notoriously extra dependable Supercharger community. Nonetheless, even the non-Tesla autos haven’t skilled many points, Keeton stated, though she famous there isn’t a lot exercise utilizing public EV charging stations, as drivers cost largely at residence. 

Full circle, drivers love EVs

After I requested each Hagen and Keeton to share one thing they didn’t anticipate occurring of their firm’s transition in the direction of EVs, each stated they have been shocked by simply how a lot drivers need EVs. 

“It’s a meals struggle for who will get to drive an EV at Iron Mountain,” Hagen stated, including that EVs are an enormous perk for worker retention and driver satisfaction.

Keeton stated she didn’t anticipate simply how a lot drivers would recognize Siemens’ fleet electrification technique and the way they’re part of it. Drivers assume it’s “so cool how they’re on the forefront of this transition,” Keeton stated. She famous {that a} main motive for that success is as a result of Siemens has concerned its workers and drivers throughout the entire transition, offering instructional assets and guaranteeing drivers really feel snug and conscious of what automobile fashions exist.

On the finish of the day, a company fleet electrification journey is nothing with out the workers who drive the EVs. Among the many many choices an organization should make as they set out on this journey, none could be extra essential than guaranteeing workers really feel concerned and part of the highway forward!

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