Fleet electrification is nothing new to the industry, but there are challenges along this sustainable pathway that are still being addressed. For Henrik Holland, global head of Prologis Mobility, these challenges can be simplified with the proper partner.
Holland is not new to the vehicle charging industry, having spent two years as chief operating officer of Greenlots, as well as spearheading the Electric Mobility Corporate Development activities for Shell New Energies. He will be discussing fleet electrification during the 2022 ACT Expo Charging Event: From Planning to Wide-Scale Deployments session on May 12, 2022. Holland took time to sit down with ACT News to discuss how fleets can overcome some of these challenges.
ACT News: Could you give us some background on Prologis Mobility and its footprint in the electric vehicle (EV) space?
Holland: Prologis operates a billion square feet of logistics real estate globally and counts the largest ecommerce companies as core customers. To maintain these strong relationships, we have always been laser-focused on our customers’ evolving needs and making things simple for them to succeed. Prologis Mobility is rooted in the same passion and focus on our customers, who are at a pivotal crossroads due to the unprecedented changes impacting logistics.
Prologis Mobility was launched in 2021. We are currently supporting our customers globally with a variety of different retrofit and build-to-suite vehicle electrification projects across last-mile and heavy-duty applications. As EV adoption accelerates, we expect EV charging to be ubiquitous across our portfolio of 4,750 sites in 19 countries around the world.
“To maintain these strong relationships, we have always been laser-focused on our customers’ evolving needs and making things simple for them to succeed.”
ACT News: While there are several fleets interested in purchasing EVs, many are hesitant. What some of the pain points fleets face when purchasing clean vehicles and their necessary infrastructure?
Holland: Working closely with our customers our team has identified several challenges. The top three key challenges are charging infrastructure, operations and maintenance, and real estate.
When it comes to charging infrastructure, you must think about all the elements that power the vehicle, as well as the new, necessary skills that come with unknowns, the cost of infrastructure, and how long utility service upgrades will take. Our vast construction and utility experience can leverage the relationships we have to speed up this process and reduce uncertainty.
Operations and maintenance of this infrastructure is business critical and requires 24/7 proactive monitoring and support. Maintenance needs to be both reactive and proactive to ensure the equipment is ready to charge when you are. We offer a solution that provides robust maintenance and operations capabilities that customers have come to expect from Prologis.
And finally real estate — this is one of the largest burdens in the process. Many fleet electrification projects have been either abruptly stopped or severely delayed due to an inability for fleet operators to come to terms with their landlords. In my experience in project development, this can terminate 20-30% of projects. As a real estate logistics leader, we are there to remove that challenge for our customers both within and outside our footprint.
ACT News: How does Prologis Mobility’s approach to EVs and EV infrastructure differ from other providers?
Holland: Our commercial terms are unique compared to other providers, as we own and operate both the EV charging infrastructure and the building itself. This translates to a solution that customers source from us for as long as they are within the lease, without long-term obligations, difficult indemnifications, and challenging negotiations.
We provide a true charging-as-a-service solution, which means there are no upfront capital expenditures. We take care of everything from design and acquisition to operations and maintenance, all for a simple variable kilowatt per hour fee.
What makes us truly unique is that our interests align with our customers. We own and operate the infrastructure for the long term, and we guarantee service to our customers. In short, if it doesn’t work, we don’t get paid.
We care about our relationships with customers beyond the building and beyond a single EV infrastructure project.
Finally, our strong relationships with utilities provide major benefits, as we operate hundreds of buildings in specific utility footprints across the country and globally. This translates to seamless planning and deployment of projects.
“In most cases, we can structure a project such that there are no long-term commitments or regulatory compliance obligations beyond customers’ existing lease term.”
ACT News: How do you simplify the process for fleets?
Holland: We provide a complete solution, from conceptual design through operations, with a simple service agreement. This reduces the number of parties that need to come to an agreement to make a project happen.
In most cases, we can structure a project such that there are no long-term commitments or regulatory compliance obligations beyond customers’ existing lease term. Meaning once the lease is complete, customers can walk away from the property without having to worry about the infrastructure.
Lastly, we have taken away the burden of heavy capital expenditure costs and procurement complexities by providing our complete solution with no upfront costs through a simple variable kilowatt per hour fee.
ACT News: What about fleet operators who don’t lease a property with Prologis, how can they leverage this offering?
Holland: While working on several projects within our footprint, our customers have flagged the need for our support across other properties they are leasing, as they have faced pushback from landlords who are unwilling or uncomfortable with the prospect of changes/alterations to their sites to support EV charging and they are looking for a holistic solution across all of their locations, with Prologis as their anchor real estate partner.
As a leader in logistics real estate, we are in a unique position to provide insights to property owners on the long-term benefits of updating properties to support electrification.
We are committed to supporting our existing customers through the energy transition, therefore, we have also extended our complete solutions offering to be implemented for customers outside our footprint.