Get to Work: How We’re Driving Fleet Electrification at ChargePoint

Inside ChargePoint |

Fleet electrification starts here

I’ve been working with the fleet team at ChargePoint for only a few months now, but we’ve already accomplished so much that it feels like longer. I’ve been impressed by the level of fleet expertise in the team and the company’s willingness to make a major commitment to fleet electrification. As we build out the solutions needed to electrify all types of fleets, I’m excited every day by the opportunity to learn new things while helping showcase the need for scalable, future-proof charging solutions that will power electric fleet vehicles wherever they go.

By now, it’s clear that all types of fleets need to electrify to meet sustainability goals and reduce fueling costs, but the fueling needs of different types of fleets will vary widely. Some fleet vehicles can be served by depot charging alone, while others will need to charge on route, and take-home fleets will need to charge at home as well. No matter the size of a fleet or where the vehicles need to charge, ChargePoint can deliver a complete set of solutions designed with seamless scaling, cost savings and a great experience in mind.

My deep understanding of fleet vehicle needs stems from 25 years at Ryder, a 90-year-old transportation company with a global fleet encompassing all types of rental vehicles. At Ryder, I was lucky enough to work on a variety of projects, from exploring alternative fuels and connected fleets to digitizing communications and even launching an asset-sharing division, COOP by Ryder. I have experienced firsthand the economic and environmental opportunity that commercial vehicle electrification presents to the transportation industry, and I’m proud to be building the essential infrastructure for electric fleets at a time when a lot of the EV industry buzz is focused on passenger vehicles.

All kinds of fleets must electrify

Our CEO, Pat Romano, likes to say that it takes a long time to become an overnight success. More than two decades of fleet experience have prepared me well to hit the ground running with fleet electrification at ChargePoint. This industry is still young, and many electric fleet vehicles are still under development. Traditional OEMs and startups alike are putting a lot of effort into creating vehicles that meet a variety of fleet requirements, starting with light- and medium-duty vehicles for last-mile delivery and eventually building into heavier classes for larger loads and longer trips. No matter what vehicles become available when, we’ll be ready with expertly designed solutions to keep them charged and ready to complete the essential work of transporting goods and people on electricity.

ChargePoint stands out for many reasons, including our focus on offering a great experience for both EV drivers and charging station managers. This involves going the extra mile (or kilometer) to ensure that we’ve thought about every aspect of charging and looked for all the ways we could make it easier and more intuitive. It starts at the beginning with expert design and build services from team members who’ve helped many other fleets electrify. By designing depot charging for scale from the start, we ensure a seamless experience for electric fleets as they grow. For fleets that need to charge away from the depot, our full range of solutions, including residential charging, and robust roaming partnerships ensure these needs are met.

Light duty fleets

Creating a more enjoyable experience for drivers and customers on three continents by digitizing communications was a highlight for me when I worked at Ryder, and it has parallels at ChargePoint. From swing arms that help charging cables reach vehicles to helpful real-time alerts sent if vehicles won’t be charged on time, we are constantly refining every aspect of the fleet charging experience in our solutions and services. Simply getting behind the wheel of an electric vehicle is also a much better experience for fleet drivers, as there is less noise and vibration and no gas or diesel fumes. I have talked to enough fleet drivers personally to know that the switch to electric can meaningfully improve their quality of life at work.

I admire the achievements of many companies that have already chosen to electrify their fleets, including FedEx, PepsiCo and Walmart, and I appreciate the early investments by many OEMs to electrify commercial vehicles. Still, electrification is poised to take off rapidly, and fleets must start to prepare now if they haven’t already. I know that ChargePoint is the company best positioned for and most committed to helping electric fleets succeed with a complete solution that delivers visibility, access and control, no matter what vehicles are being charged or where: in the depot, at homes or on route.

I see my role at ChargePoint as facilitating fleets in learning about electrification, and it's a joy to see the light go on in someone’s eyes when they realize how electrification can not only save big money over time but also make a fleet more efficient, more enjoyable for drivers and better for the planet. I'm here to help make this realization happen over and over again, and to share what I learn as we go. In the next few months, we'll discuss how visibility, access and control are the key ingredients in successful electrification, as well as provide technical details on our fleet solutions.

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