It's becoming increasingly clear that the fastest path in electric vehicle growth is going to come in the form of large corporate EV fleets. With UPS ordering a massive 10,000 EVs from relative unknown Arrival, Tesla raking up massive pre-orders for its Semi, and even the steady growth of electric busses show that corporate fleet operators are starting to see the real benefits of owning EVs.
Fleet vehicles typically put a ton of miles on the road in a short time. They burn through fuel, wear down breaks, and put heavy strain on just about every moving part in the vehicle. It's because of this that electric vehicles make so much sense for fleets. They simply don't have that many moving parts, brakes last longer due to regenerative braking, batteries can last well over 100,000 miles, and electricity costs are usually a third that of gas prices and far more stable. Add in the fact that you can start reducing these costs with solar panels and large battery arrays make EVs highly sought after in the fleet vehicle industry.
All of these things make electric vehicles ideal for fleet purposes and many companies are starting to look into what electric vehicle fleets require, but one thing that's often overlooked is just how many chargers these fleets will need.
A Charger For Every Vehicle
The first thought when it comes to adding chargers to an EV fleet usually starts with DC fast chargers capable of rapidly charging vehicles in roughly 45 - 60 minutes. While this seems like a good idea it can add some fairly prohibitive costs as the power infrastructure required is extensive. Just like multi-family housing fleets require hundreds of charging stations in places that simply were never designed to power those vehicles.
Simply put, adding a sufficient number of charging infrastructure is difficult and expensive. Many have assumed that a larger build-out of public charging stations will meet this need but for fleets that doesn't work. Look at existing fleet vehicles and you'll notice many never appear at the local gas station. Do you ever see a bus waiting in line at the local gas station? Probably not, and the reason is pretty simple it's cheaper and faster to have your own gas depot for refueling needs and its the same with EVs.
Unfortunately, having a field of high powered DC stations would make EV fleets cost-prohibitive. Instead, the best solution is to have a dedicated charger for every vehicle and although this sounds like it's far more expensive, there are actually companies that have already solved this problem.
Building The Right Solution
As stated previously for fleets (and consumers) it makes far more sense to build out your own system where the vehicles are stored, but how do you go about building it?
Fleet vehicles require an intelligent system that is capable of utilizing the buildings existing infrastructure to its maximum efficiency, allowing for the largest number of installs and avoiding the high costs of upgrading the existing infrastructure.
EverCharge has already solved this problem at a number of facilities, by adding hundreds of charging stations to garages that could only support a handful. All while avoiding seven-figure electric infrastructure upgrade costs. Utilizing smart systems like this make EV fleets far more affordable and have the ability to scale with the fleet as it grows. If you need to add in a few supercharge stations you can, if you need to bring in 100 more chargers for your fleet it's possible, and moreover won't handicap the business through high install and infrastructure costs.
Adding a field of charging stations is more than possible, but thanks to intelligent charging systems its also budget-friendly too.