Commercial Fleet Operators Leading the Charge

April 8, 2019

By Vic Shao

Sponsored by: AMPLY Power

Today’s fleet managers have a lot on their plates. They have to manage their fleet’s performance day in and day out, keep up with vehicle maintenance, and monitor fuel costs, among other responsibilities.  Now, fleet managers are increasingly being tasked with also meeting emission reduction targets and sustainability goals, which has led many fleets to begin evaluating electric vehicles as a solution to meet these objectives.

By researching local electricity rates across the country, AMPLY Power has found that in 19 out of 25 major metros in the US, it is less expensive to operate an electric fleet versus a gasoline or diesel equivalent. However, that is only true when the vehicle charging is well managed. Even with clear cost savings like this, choosing to go electric, and even selecting the right vehicle, may prove to be a fleet operator’s easiest decision.

Many critical factors can be extremely expensive if not implemented correctly and planned for accordingly, resulting in significant sunk costs, unexpected down time, and under-performing vehicles.

Unexpected Infrastructure & Operational Challenges

No matter the vehicle type or size of the fleet, fleet operators who consider transitioning to electrification are soon confronted with an onslaught of technical, financial, and operational decisions to make. Procuring electricity as a fuel is often completely new territory, even for seasoned fleet managers—and a very unforgiving one at that. Many critical factors can be extremely expensive if not implemented correctly and planned for accordingly, resulting in significant sunk costs, unexpected down time, and under-performing vehicles.

Infrastructure requirements, and the resulting CapEx investment, is oftentimes the first challenge fleet operators are confronted with when electrifying. Infrastructure upgrades, equipment installation, increased power demands, charging stations, permits, property requirements, software, hardware—all while trying to future-proof this investment—are significant hurdles for fleet operators overcome.

The Risk of Electricity as a Fuel

From there, fleet managers are tasked with mastering the complex and completely unfamiliar concept of procuring and pricing electricity as a fuel. Without a sophisticated and comprehensive charging strategy in place, fleet managers are at the mercy of their local utility and the wildly varying electricity costs.

There are about 3,300 local utilities in the US, each with its own tariff structure, demand rates, and time-of-use energy charges. With California’s investor-owned utilities, the highest 15 minutes of energy throughput (or kW reading) in any given billing period sets the watermark and registers the demand charge. Up to 80% of a fleet’s monthly bill could be attributed to the demand charge accrued during just a single 15-minute window—that’s 0.035% of the billing period. Demand charges can easily increase fuel costs up to three times and eliminate any savings fleet operators were banking on.

It’s understandable why a commercial EV project could soon become stalled or abandoned completely. But with increasingly strict emission reduction mandates in place and corporate sustainability goals in sight, fleet operators may be left scrambling for answers.

AMPLY is working to transform the commercial transportation sector by eliminating the challenges, hassle, and expensive surprises that fleet operators face when transitioning to electricity as a fuel.

Zero Emissions, Zero Worries

AMPLY is working to transform the commercial transportation sector by eliminating the challenges, hassle, and expensive surprises that fleet operators face when transitioning to electricity as a fuel.

AMPLY is not a hardware provider or a software platform but a service that takes on all of the complex logistics and pricing variability associated with operating a commercial EV fleet. Whether a fleet operator is just starting to consider electric vehicles as an option, or already operating an electric fleet, AMPLY can step in and start working.

AMPLY covers the large majority of the upfront capital expenditures and fully manages the infrastructure installation process. AMPLY then works with fleet operators to develop an optimal charging strategy based on their drive cycle and duty cycle. By optimizing a charging strategy, costly demand charges and price spikes are avoided. Instead, fleet operators can rest assured that they will experience the lowest cost of electric fueling possible. AMPLY interfaces directly with local utilities and manages infrastructure upgrades and permitting so fleet operators can focus on their operations instead of paperwork.

With AMPLY, fleet operators can invest in zero emissions with 100% confidence.

Pay-per-Mile Pricing

AMPLY offers a fully managed charging solution that allows fleet operators to purchase electricity the same familiar way they would purchase natural gas or diesel fuel. AMPLY’s pay-per-mile pricing model lessens the learning curve and eases the transition to fueling an electric fleet. And, as the utility meter account holder, AMPLY assumes the full financial responsibility in order to produce a fleet’s optimal charging strategy.

AMPLY’s Charging-as-a-Service Model

As a service partner, AMPLY keeps working with fleet operators once operations are up and running, ensuring every vehicle has a 90% state-of-charge every 24 hours. Because AMPLY owns, maintains, and operates the charging infrastructure, fleet operators can focus on their own operations, not troubleshooting and placing service calls. Plus, with real-time monitoring and on-site energy storage options, fleet operators never have to worry about their mission-critical vehicles being unavailable.

AMPLY’s unique charging-as-a-service approach delivers a scalable solution for EV fleet charging to help fleets transition to electric vehicles and maximize the benefits year-over-year.

 

About the Author:

Vic Shao is a Cleantech Industry CEO and Entrepreneur. As Founder and CEO of AMPLY Power, Vic leads the company on their mission to simplify commercial fleet electrification. Prior to AMPLY, Vic founded Green Charge Networks, which he built into the leading distributed energy storage provider in the world, and in 2016, positioned the firm for acquisition by ENGIE.

Visit AMPLY Power to learn more about their charging-as-a-service model and their mission to simplify fleet electrification.