Smart Grid Observer

New Report Shows Key Actions Utilities Can Take to Accelerate Corporate Transition to Electric Vehicles

Source: Smart Grid Observer

Companies are eager to electrify their vehicle fleets, and agree on the specific actions that utilities, regulators, and policymakers can take to drive accelerated electrification, according to a new report released this week by Ceres. The report is based on key findings from a survey of companies with significant transportation and logistics fleets.

The report identifies the challenges fleet operators face when working to electrify vehicle fleets and actions that can be taken by utilities and policymakers to make fleet electrification easier, faster, more affordable and better for the environment. The guide finds that while continuous improvements in electric vehicle (EV) technologies are producing lower costs, greater range, and faster charging - the industry still faces many challenges. Navigant conducted the research, which was commissioned by Ceres and the California Trucking Association, and funded by Amazon.

'It's encouraging to see that, even in light of the current challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, companies continue to plan for fleet electrification. Given the opportunity electric vehicles provide companies to both lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce operating costs, it's no surprise that many are eager to electrify their fleets - and fast,' said Sara Forni, senior manager of Clean Vehicles, and head of the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance at Ceres. 'This new analysis brings attention to companies' needs and sends a strong signal to utilities, regulators, and policymakers.'

EVs present significant benefits to companies-including reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, cost savings on fuel and maintenance, freedom from reliance on volatile oil and gas prices, improved passenger safety, enhanced company reputation, and improved workforce recruitment and retention. The cost of EV batteries has also decreased by as much as 80 percent in the last eight years, and further declines of up to 50 percent are expected in the next decade, putting upfront costs of many EVs below those of internal combustion engine vehicles by 2030. However, the transportation sector is currently the largest and fastest growing GHG-emitting sector in the U.S. economy, and transportation decarbonization is critical to addressing climate change in the U.S. and globally.

The long-haul trucking sector is also keenly interested in tapping into the cost and emissions savings of using EVs and is eager to work together with utilities to help facilitate the transition.

'As operators of commercial medium and heavy-duty vehicles, California truck drivers have a unique set of needs that must be addressed to ensure any transition to EVs is as efficient, safe and cost-effective as possible,' said Shawn Yadon, chief executive officer for the California Trucking Association. 'We are confident this report will communicate the perspective of our members and the trucking industry to the electric power sector so that we can work together to accelerate the use of commercial EVs.'

In an effort to support the need for corporate fleet electrification, Ceres launched the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance in early 2020 alongside flagship members Amazon, AT&T, Clif Bar, Consumers Energy, DHL, Direct Energy, Genentech, IKEA North America, LeasePlan, Lime, and Siemens. The Alliance helps member companies make and achieve bold commitments to fleet electrification, boosting the EV market and policy landscape by signaling the breadth and scale of corporate demand for electric vehicles to automakers and policymakers.

To download the full report, click here.


Upcoming Events of Interest from SGO: 

5th Grid Modernization Forum, May 19-20, 2020 – 100% Online

3rd Utility Cyber Security Forum, July 21-22, 2020, Oklahoma City

Microgrid Global Innovation Forum – EMEA, September 8-10, 2020, London

7th Annual Demand Response & Distributed Energy Resources Forum, October 12-14, 2020, Los Angeles

EV Charging Infrastructure Summit, November 12-13, 2020, Chicago