The Big 3 [thoughts] from AFLA 2021
AFLA 2021….Wow, where to start?
As we take some time to reflect on our 3 day trip to San Antonio, Texas, it was truly amazing to learn stories, hear ideas, and have conversations with industry leaders. We were extremely fortunate to be invited as a thought leader in the EV space on the closing day, talking about EV assets and total cost of ownership (TCO). We were grateful to share the stage with a brilliant group of people as well, Sara Sweeney (Wheels, Inc), Travis Buholtz (Electrification Coalition), Maria Neve (Donlen), and Joe Stergios (Motorq). We talked about many ideas, had great conversations, and had a plethora of great Q&A from the audience.
With all of these conversations, ideas shared, and sessions, we had some thoughts emerge. Here are the big 3:
1.) Fleet Vehicle Remarketing is important.
Perhaps one of the biggest questions emerging from the week was the state of remarketing used electrified fleet vehicles. With the advent of EV adoption into fleets, many companies are unsure of the role battery usage history will play.
ZappyRide’s take: This is rightfully a concern as there is not an abundance of data yet, but with any vehicle, there are undisclosed problems that a CarFax or any other report won’t include information on. After all, there are on average, 150 more moving parts to break in an ICE vehicle anyway.
Another issue that remarketing companies are worried about: vehicle storage. With EV sedans and other class vehicles joining fleets, it’s inevitable that people will need to turn them in (job termination/promotion/end of lease). Current storage facilities don’t have the charging infrastructure for EVs, and some major companies tend to lease the space and can’t justify spending the money on permanently upgrading a facility they rent from.
ZappyRide’s take: Typically, returned fleet vehicles stay on the lot for more than a day. This gives ample time to trickle charge (120v, wall plug in) to garner enough range to make it to a Level 2 or DCFC if need be. By using traditional wall outlets, this can provide a bridge to vehicle hand off to the next party. Outside of the wall outlet scope, companies like FreeWire are building solutions that can bypass rewiring an entire facility to support fast-charging. This technology is based strongly on energy storage, and can be transported to a new facility if the need ever arises.
2.) Companies are pledging to go ‘Net Zero Emissions by year 20xx’. There is not a clear path on how to get there.
Net Zero Emissions is one of the hottest topics amongst corporations that are looking for sustainability programs. Seriously, look at the news from today alone:
What is it though? Net zero refers to a state in which the greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere are balanced by removal out of the atmosphere, and it’s no longer a pipe-dream. In fact, it is quickly becoming a reality for many CEOs and their companies. With a routine-breaking goal such as this one, changes must be made on every scale of the business.
For many companies, removing fossil fuel-powered vehicles from their fleet is a huge start, and rightfully so.
ZappyRide’s take: First of all, this is amazing. Our planet is nearing irreversible damage if we don’t start to make changes. Keep this up, major corporations. Secondly, we are noticing a trend amongst FMCs and fleets in that, while a promising term, is mostly buzz until they can find a way to get there. People are starting to realize that EVs are a cleaner option, but have no clue how to measure a vehicles carbon output correctly. Luckily, we have built in tools in our platforms to give an idea of what that looks like in your fleet. We are also able to talk about Co2 emissions reduced and even the number of trees planted.
3.) Utilities can (and do) play a huge role in electrification.
A wonderfully informative keynote by our friend Sean Gouda at DTE provided some insights on how utilities are helping FMCs and fleet managers plan how to electrify their fleets. It goes back to the concept of knowing that EVs are cleaner and very cost-effective, but not knowing the entire scope of program administration. They’ve developed a 7 step program to helping fleets begin the process of electrification:
- Operational Assessment
- EV Recommendation
- eFleet Fueling Requirements
- Charging & Facility Needs
- EVSE Interconnection To Grid
- Financial Analysis
- Project Implementation
ZappyRide’s Take: Couldn’t be more spot on. DTE has been a thought leader in the space for some time now and they are helping Michigan quickly become a leader in the electrification space. We have worked closely with them in helping implement their 7 step process and strongly consider connecting with the folks there to see how they’ve done it. They are truly pioneering the space.
Overall, this event was amazing! AFLA has emerged in promoting thought leadership in fleet electrification, and we are in ecstatic to see this. See you in Phoenix next year!