How to prepare your heavy fleet for a zero emission transition

Environmental objectives permeate through every industry and logistics is no exception. Currently, macroeconomic factors such as high fuel prices, economic uncertainty and supply chain disruptions are adding to the already complex job of fleet managers. Suppliers of the industry, such as truck manufacturers, are struggling to provide products and services, and the real competition isn’t for the best value for money anymore but who can get you the much-needed product sooner, driving transaction prices up.

Comparatively, customers have increased demand for cheaper, faster and more predictable deliveries to minimise overall costs. These issues are driving internal reviews of operational and financial metrics of fleets as they seek productivity improvements through optimisation. 

At the same time there are technological advancements on several fronts in zero-emissions vehicles appropriate for the industry. Lighter, cheaper and more efficient batteries, faster chargers and fuel cell technology are rapidly reaching commercialisation maturity. Major OEMs have announced the launch of 500+ kWh vehicles that could potentially replace 100+ litres of diesel journeys, and wide availability is expected from 2024 onwards. 

Hydrogen, deemed by some as the future fuel, will play an essential role in decarbonising many industries, long haul included. R&D for most truck manufacturers is still in early phases,  however, and widespread availability isn’t expected until later in the decade, particularly given the challenges with Green Hydrogen production and distribution.

With many pressing short-term challenges, how can heavy fleets prepare for the transition to EVs without consuming scarce bandwidth inside businesses? As the journey to overcome the new-normal challenges and optimise operations, from route planning to asset replacement management, an opportunity presents to baseline and optimise the transition of each asset in your fleet with the following steps:

  1. Create a fleet transition framework
    • Understand the needs of your existing assets as they relate to current alternative fuel technologies. This requires data collection and tracking.
    • Understand your depot infrastructure and garaging requirements. This again requires good data.
    • Use tools such as BetterFleet to establish a suitable platform for analysis for your whole fleet transition – map how and when assets can be transitioned in your replacement cycles and how to ensure there is the appropriate infrastructure to support them.
  1. Engage with OEMs
  2. Do internal stakeholder engagement to create alignment
  3. Look for grants and subsidies to secure early pilots

Knowing where assets sit in the transition pathway to zero emission transport solutions can set operators up for economically optimal and sustainable transition of each asset group ahead of competitors without compromising financial results and the quality of service provided to customers.

Do you want to know more about the right questions to ask your enterprise in preparation for the common goal of a clean transportation future with net zero emissions? Reach you to our team. At Evenergi, we’ve been helping fleets and governments to collect the right information, interpret data and model economic and leadership transition pathways to a carbon-neutral future of people and goods movements using our advisory services and BetterFleet platform.

EV Fleet

Vehicle fleets that run on petrol or diesel fuel are among most significant factors behind the current climate crisis. That’s why governments and companies around the world are taking steps to limit the carbon emissions produced by fleet vehicles such as buses and cargo trucks.

The rise of electric vehicles represents an enormous opportunity. Fleet electrification is an increasingly popular solution for corporations as well as local and national governments. The electric bus market alone is projected to grow from 112,000 units in 2022 to over 671,000 units in 2027.

Transitioning to an EV fleet has the effect of dramatically reducing your organisation’s carbon footprint. Moreover, when done properly, it will boost efficiency and sustainability while ultimately bringing down total cost of ownership. 

We at Evenergi are experts at helping you secure the financial and environmental advantages of fleet electrification. From planning and procurement to optimisation and long term management, we provide you with the data based insights you need to identify opportunities and capitalize on them. Our services simplify the decision making process, preventing costly mistakes and limiting overall risk.

EV Buses

Bus fleets—whether commercial or municipal fleets—are obvious candidates for electrification. In addition to harming the environment, their substantial tailpipe emissions pose a direct threat to public health by polluting the air we breathe. They also contribute to noise pollution.

The potential upside of bus fleet electrification is immense. With that said, EV transition is generally complex, and buses are no exception. It involves numerous variables that must be individually understood before being integrated into a broader transition framework.

Beyond selecting and procuring zero emissions vehicles, bus operators must factor in things like:

  • Charging infrastructure
  • Depot configurations
  • Electricity capacity
  • Battery management
  • Battery range
  • Route optimisation
  • Driver upskilling
  • Upfront costs

With regard to charging infrastructure, two options exist: depot based charging and on route charging. In the case of depot based charging, vehicles are recharged on-site overnight. With on route charging, vehicles are recharged via designated charging stations along the route.

Depending on the specifics of your network and operational environment, one option may be clearly preferable to the other. In some cases, a hybrid model could be the optimal solution.

Regarding upfront costs, it’s important to note that EV buses have a high purchase price relative to diesel buses. They are also heavier due to the weight of the battery, which decreases passenger capacity. Evenergi will help you develop comprehensive costing models to arrive at an accurate overall price.

EV Fleets for Logistics

Operators of long haul freight trucks and other heavy transport vehicles stand to gain just as much from fleet electrification—especially as the demand for logistics services continues to go up.

As with buses, diesel trucks are a major source of the transport sector’s carbon footprint. Transitioning to EV truck fleets will sharply curtail tailpipe emissions which in turn has a favorable effect on air quality, noise pollution, and public health.

While planning an EV transition, truck fleet operators must consider many of the same factors as bus fleet operators. That means extensive modeling to account for charging infrastructure (depot vs on route), route optimisation, driver upskilling, total cost of ownership, and more.

That said, complexity is heightened by the fact that freight vehicle fleets have substantially higher energy requirements than buses. This presents specific challenges, although new developments in battery technology are making the job of powering electric trucks easier and more cost effective.

Evenergi is here to make your zero emissions vision a reality. Armed with insights generated by our sophisticated software programs, you can plan, adopt, and optimise an EV fleet with minimal risk and maximal reward.