Tue. Oct 26th, 2021
New group of leading fleets leverages collaboration to overcome barriers to truck electrification

Electric trucks are one of the most important climate investments companies can make today. These vehicles are increasingly available, capable of doing the work required of them, and fleets are embracing them.

As fleets make the transition to a zero-emission future – especially the pioneers – they are forced to develop solutions to many of the challenges that electrification presents today. This includes (but is not limited to) optimizing routes, designing billing systems that can fit into your current facility’s operations, and engaging drivers around this new technology. It’s a difficult task.

To support fleets in coping with this unprecedented pace of change, EDF has partnered with the North American Council on Freight Efficiency, RMI and CALSTART and created the Electric Fleet Preparation Group.

This group is comprised of leaders from major private fleets that are deploying or operating Class 6-8 zero-emission electric trucks in their operations, including: Dependable Highway Express, Manhattan Beer Distributors, NFI, Pitt Ohio and Anheuser-Busch, among others fleets. Collectively, the companies participating in the fleet readiness group operate more than 50,000 trucks and have deployed more than 50 electric trucks with plans announced for hundreds more.

Members of the Electric Fleet Preparation Group are working to accomplish four things:

  1. Advance the deployment of zero-emission vehicles within member fleets.
  2. Gather critical insights and learnings these leaders are gaining through deployments and share them with fleets in the early stages of their electrification journey.
  3. Inform the design of public policies that will influence the pace and success of electrification in the road transport sector.
  4. Influence market offerings for heavy electric trucks and support equipment.

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Last year, this group of industry leaders developed guidance from a fleet perspective on how to design effective incentive programs that drive electric vehicle purchases; and the key steps that utility partners must take to enable truck electrification in their service territories.

Success is led by collaboration and this Fleet Readiness group provided a strong platform for industry leaders to collaborate with other pioneers and allowed fleets to learn from each other and move collectively faster. We appreciate that these fleets also help us learn about the challenges and possible solutions.

In addition, EDF, NACFE, RMI and CALSTART are helping to share these learnings across the industry and leading the effort to get more fleets started on their electrification journey.

Based on the electric truck Guidance Report series, NACFE and RMI recently hosted Run on Less – Electric, a technology demonstration that showcased real-world zero-emission freight movement, sharing the stories and key metrics of 13 pairs of OEM fleet participants who are operating electric trucks across the continent today. The Run also included an educational series of Electric Truck Bootcamp online seminars that introduced various fleets to the critical steps and challenges involved in electrification.

CALSTART, a nationally recognized non-profit organization focused on accelerating clean transport solutions, has created resources and tools that design and break down barriers and solutions for commercial fleet electrification, emphasizing how zero-emission trucks can contribute to achieving goals corporate climate. They also formed the national Zero Emission Truck coalition focused on driving greater investment in advanced zero emission technology solutions. Through its global Drive to Zero initiative, CALSTART aims to accelerate the growth of the global zero- or near-zero emission commercial vehicle space, with the goal of making ZE technology commercially competitive by 2025 and dominant by 2040 in specific vehicle and vehicle segments. regions.

And EDF was able to deploy Climate Corps® members with leading fleets such as Houston Metro and Iron Mountain to help these organizations advance fleet electrification projects. We also work with fleets to demonstrate how managed charging, battery storage and on-site electricity generation can reduce the cost associated with scaling EV charging in fleet depots.

What stands out most in conversations with these leaders is the excitement they have about the future of electric trucks. Despite being at the forefront of deployment with all the headaches that leadership entails, these fleets are committed to unlocking the potential of zero-emission trucks.

We are happy to be on the tour together. Together, we can help transform the trucking industry.

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