How to start electrifying logistics fleets on the right foot

The EV Industry |

How to start electrifying logistics fleets on the right foot

The logistics sector is prime ground for fleet electrification.  With the surge in online shopping and deliveries during the COVID-19 pandemic, last-mile has been growing tremendously in urban areas and further. Clean transport policies and an increasing and urgent focus on more sustainable, liveable cities mean that the last-mile is going fast towards EV fleet adoption, with companies like online supermarket Picnic already delivering 100% zero-emission. Retail giant Amazon has also committed to becoming carbon-neutral by 2040.

But many logistics and delivery fleets are just starting up with this process, experimenting with their first electric vehicles and charging strategies. This means they are now in the perfect position to look at best practices in the electrification of fleets and start their electric journey on the right foot and with a smart, scalable strategy for the future.

What are some of the most important things to keep in mind before kick-starting an electric logistics fleet operation? Let's take a look below.

Integrating charging infrastructure into your site

One potential pain point seen across various fleets that are just starting to go electric is not giving enough thought in advance to the charging infrastructure. The logistics sector sees the same pattern. While purchasing the first electric vehicles is an important step, it's essential to look at the existing depot and grid infrastructure, to plan any potential upgrades in a strategic, multi-year manner.  This is the moment to consider all the factors that will affect your site electrification — such as grid connection, parking spots, driveways, and the best-suited charging infrastructure spots.

Integrating charging infrastructure

It can take a few months to a few years before the new electric vehicles arrive at the depot. This means the needed charging infrastructure must be already set in place so that the new logistics and delivery e-fleet is operational.

It's therefore especially important to think about when the charging infrastructure must be implemented. It implies more than just buying and installing a charger. Grid infrastructure needs to be dimensioned properly and in case a grid upgrade is required, it can take a very long time. Therefore, planning the infrastructure in advance and clearly understanding the operational needs are key to a successful EV rollout.

To think about the charging infrastructure, the fleet charging process must also be considered. Unlike an ICE equivalent, an electric vehicle cannot get to a full 'tank' in two minutes. Perhaps the new EVs are also going to be used on new routes, or existing routes need to be adapted so that the operator can make the best out of their new vehicles. 

Choosing the right partner to design and build your EV fleet depot

Many operators will start their electrification process without prior experience in setting up a charging site for an electric fleet. And that is totally normal. 

But this makes it even more important to choose the right electrification partner that has extensive experience with designing and building electric depots, including site planning with electrical equipment, charging infrastructure, energy management and fleet processes. It's additionally helpful if your chosen partner also has experience navigating the complexity of coordinating different engineering companies. 

Deciding on the right hardware and fleet management software

Furthermore, you should find a reliable partner that can combine an individual charging solution with integrated management software. 

First, you want to be able to choose from a varied portfolio of charging hardware that is best suited for your needs, be it AC or DC charging. You should also consider things like build quality, warranty, and how fast you can integrate new chargers as you scale up your operation. 

Deciding on the right hardware and fleet management software

Furthermore, fleet management software is essential for an efficient logistics operation. Most operators in this vertical are already familiar with planning tools. With both vehicles and chargers that need monitoring, a centralized operation, with IT tools that can exchange change data, becomes essential. This allows operators to perform energy management with ease, improve the accessibility of charging points, and use smart charging processes to fully utilize the existing infrastructure while minimizing costs and increasing vehicle time on the road.

ChargePoint: your partner for fleet electrification

Logistic fleet operators that want to start this exciting e-mobility journey are not alone. At ChargePoint, we have helped hundreds of fleets across all industries to electrify strategically, with effectiveness and a long-term vision in mind. From consulting and design & build to selecting the proper hardware and software to fit their specific use case, we are excited to support the electrification of logistic fleets and accelerate the transition to e-mobility on a global level.

How do we do it?

ChargePoint - your partner for fleet electrification

  1. Fleet assessment

    A good partner does more than get you started. Your path to long-term EV success depends on getting it right the first time. That’s why we work with you to examine your fleet’s operational footprint and strategize every step of your electric charging solution.

  2. Integrated software

    We help your fleet become smarter. Our integrated, state-of-the-art software gives you the intelligence to monitor vehicles, optimize charging, and manage fleet operations in one simple, seamless solution. 

  3. Charging stations

    ChargePoint is your infrastructure ally. We guide you toward the fast, efficient charging hardware that best fits your fleet’s needs. Once you get moving, we have your back with charging station monitoring, maintenance and life cycle support. 

  4. Design and build

    You can count on us to manage your project’s bidding, vendor selection, and permitting processes to get your charging stations in the ground on time and within budget. Our years of experience in the field help us keep things easy.

  5. Incentives and EV fleet grants

    There are many options out there that make it easy for you to finance your EV future. We'll also work with you to navigate complex networks of financial incentives, so you can modernize your fleet operations in the most cost-effective way possible.

  6. As-a-service

    With a range of as-a-service offerings, we have you covered with turnkey solutions and easy-to-understand financing support. Whatever you need, we have it — and it all adds up to confidence in a smooth electric operation. 

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