Category: Electrification of Vehicles and Buildings
Solar took off into the mainstream once the effort to finance, and manage solar installations was turned into a service known as the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). This meant all owners had to do was pay lower prices by actual units of energy produced. The same innovation is needed for municipal and commercial electric transportation, where managing charging operations and energy bill structures are too complex for fleet managers who’ve built their expertise on diesel.
Commercial fleet vehicles - buses, garbage trucks, delivery vans - make up 23% of GHG emissions on US roadways. This can be dramatically reduced by converting delivery vehicles, utility service trucks, and buses to electric. In fact, California is requiring mass transit agencies to transition all of their new bus purchases to electric by 2029. If the commercial transportation sector accelerates progress from one-off pilots to full implementation, we can make the reductions we need in GHG and CO2 to turn back the worst effects of climate change faster than most people expect.
But even before this scale is reached, early adoption is uncovering glaring issues. First, fleet operators understand diesel, but not electric, and the learning curve is high. Second, operators have to manage charging systems, syncing with utilities and upkeep the data necessary to ensure costs, timing and logistics are aligned. Third, when it comes to fast-charging EV fleets, the difference between controlled, balanced charging versus unrestrained EV charging could equal three times the energy cost from the local utility. Beyond the costly electricity bills, unbalanced charging load could result in operational delays, and damage day-to-day business functions.
In this session serial entrepreneur Vic Shao (who funded and sold Green Charge Networks to the European utility giant ENGIE) will discuss how a Charging-as-a-Service business model that mimics the solar PPA holds the potential to advance fleet electrification faster than its current pace.
He will cover how to remove the complexity of charging by offering end-to-end fleet management services, from financing and installing the charging hardware, to working with the utility to upgrade electrical service to various buildings, in exchange for a price-per-mile-driven fee. Through this business model, Vic believes its service will accelerate the adoption of electrifying commercial fleets times ten in the coming decade by making electrification simple and easy to adopt.