Charging Forward Fleet
Discover why electrification is the way forward for every fleet.
Charging Forward: Fleet
Electrification Is the Way Forward for Every Fleet
Fleets are the lifeblood of business. Often unseen by end consumers, fleet vehicles move everything from the food we eat to the clothes we wear. Whether they’re light-duty vehicles handling the last mile or last meter of delivery from warehouses to homes, or heavy-duty semi-trucks pulling large loads across the country, fleet vehicles are essential to everyday life. An unprecedented combination of sustainability goals, cost savings and government regulations make now the time for fleets to electrify. This report covers these trends and opportunities, showing that the future is electric.
Automakers and large fleet operators are taking long-term decarbonization targets increasingly seriously.
BNEF, 2020 EV Outlook
Twice As Many Models
The number of available medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicle (EV) models available is expected to double between 2019 and 2023, ensuring that all types of fleets can find the vehicles they need.
25% Lower Costs
Early adopter fleets have realized 20 to 25 percent cost savings from greater efficiency, more affordable fueling and reduced maintenance. While savings will vary by fleet, the opportunity is hard to pass up. Rapid reduction in battery costs will lead to vehicle cost parity as soon as 2025 for light-duty vehicles.
Sales Will Skyrocket More Than 100%
The number of medium- and heavy-duty electric fleet vehicles sold is expected to grow by more than 100 percent from 2020 to 2021, validating that the electrification of fleets is happening on a broad scale.
50% Lower Emissions
Going electric can lower greenhouse gas emissions by half or more, depending on how the power used to charge the fleet is generated. Estimates will vary by vehicle type, local energy source and miles driven.
1 in 3 Commercial Vehicles
By 2040, more than one in three commercial vehicles operating in cities worldwide will be electric. Read on to learn why electrification represents the way forward for fleets.
What’s Driving Electrification?
Consumer Demand and Sustainability Requirements Are Key Factors
What’s Driving Fleet Electrification?
A convergence of cost savings, sustainability goals and regulations makes now the time for fleets to electrify.
Sustainability and Savings Lead the Way
According to a study from UPS and GreenBiz, sustainability goals and a lower cost of ownership are the leading reasons for large organizations to go electric. Many companies have established sustainability goals, and fleet electrification offers a measurable way to help meet them. Electric vehicles also unlock reduced operating costs that become even more essential as fleets grow.
Cost Savings Are Paramount
Large fleets can be expensive to fuel and maintain. Electric vehicles offer significant advantages when it comes to fueling and maintenance costs.
Electricity is less expensive and offers more predictable pricing than fossil fuel. It also allows fleets to optimize charging activity for the most efficient and least expensive use of energy, including renewable sources. EVs are much more efficient than combustion engine vehicles as well, getting more out of the fuel they use.
Due to fewer moving parts, EVs require significantly less maintenance: no oil changes and almost no part replacements. This not only cuts costs, but also allows EVs to spend more time working and less time under repair orders in the workshop.
Transportation is a leading source of greenhouse gas emissions, and medium- and heavy-duty vehicles generate a disproportionate share of these emissions. Electrification allows any fleet to reduce emissions in a measurable, scalable way.
A growing number of organizations have established ambitious sustainability goals that are driving new business choices. The increasing availability of electric vehicles for all kinds of fleets enables organizations to meet sustainability goals through electrification.
Consumer Demand Is Growing
Consumers increasingly expect fast delivery and sustainability: 80% of shoppers want same-day shipping (Temando) and 81% of consumers feel strongly that companies should help to improve the environment (Nielsen). Electrification offers companies the opportunity to combine sustainability with efficiency and cost savings.
The global coronavirus pandemic has shifted shopping habits, with weekly online purchases growing nearly 30 percent. Even when the pandemic fades, consumers may remain entrenched in new habits and continue to make online purchases that must be delivered quickly.
Last mile or last meter delivery is well suited to electric vehicles, which recover range through regenerative braking and are more efficient for city driving than gas or diesel vehicles.
Health Reasons Are Underrecognized
Health is an underrecognized factor driving the need for electrification. Greenhouse gas emissions can exacerbate respiratory conditions like asthma, endangering the health of individuals and increasing healthcare costs for society as a whole.
|Health Benefits of Electrification
|Premature Deaths Avoided
|Asthma Attacks Avoided
|Lost Work Days Avoided
Source: American Lung Association
American Lung Association research finds that EVs can help save thousands of lives while delivering US$72 billion (60,8B€) in health benefits and US$113 billion (95,5B€) in climate benefits. The opportunity to contribute to community benefits may be particularly important to many municipal fleets.
Government Mandates Expand
Around the world, local and national governments are mandating electrification for sustainability reasons.
Cities, countries and regions around the world have established ambitious goals for electrifying all types of fleets. The breadth of these goals will likely affect every fleet at some point.
Many electrification requirements are accompanied by attractive financial incentives that help accelerate the transition to an EV fleet. Here are just some of the incentives and commitments driving fleet electrification.
Car and van manufacturers selling in Europe must sell at least 15% zero- or low-emission vehicles by 2025 and 37.5% zero- or low-emission cars and 31% vans by 2030.
The EU Clean Vehicles Directive defines “clean vehicles” and sets national targets for public procurement. Member states aim to deploy up to 15% clean trucks and 66% clean buses by 2030.
The European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive requires existing non-residential buildings with 20+ parking spots to have at least one charging spot by the end of 2024. This requirement will be reviewed in 2021 in light of stricter CO2 targets.
In the UK, the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) provides grants. Germany will begin a €500 million grant program for workplace and fleet in the first half of 2021. France aims to roll out 100,000 public charging stations by the end of 2021 by providing up to €9,000 in subsidies through ADVENIR.
Many European countries are eliminating sales of new internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Norway's ban starts in 2025, followed by Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands and the UK in 2030.
France and Spain plan to eliminate new ICE vehicle sales in 2040.
EVs already outsell diesel in Norway thanks in part to financial incentives such as no road or purchase/import taxes for EVs, reduced ferry and parking fees, bus lane access, lower company car taxes and more.
If Germany moves its date from 2050 to 2035, affected sales from 2030-2040 will add up to more than 9 million vehicles in an area where roughly 250 million people live.
European Energy Providers
Several European utilities have made major commitments to electrification. The UK Electric Fleets Coalition has called for 100% EV sales by 2030 and includes many utility members. Several European utilities are also members of the Climate Group EV100 agreement, most notably those highlighted at right.
The UK Electric Fleets Coalition will show policymakers the appetite for ambitious EV policies and inspire outcomes that will make the transition to electric vehicles faster.
Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group
Canada has made a variety of commitments to electrification at the city and province level. The federal iZEV program allows businesses to choose between a financial incentive for purchasing up to 10 eligible light-duty vehicles or a tax write-off covering light-, medium- or heavy-duty vehicles.
The Canadian government, along with provincial governments in British Columbia and Quebec, and the City of Vancouver have all signed the Drive to Zero commercial vehicle pledge.
British Columbia, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal and Laval transit agencies have committed to stop purchasing diesel buses between 2020 and 2025.
Major commitments to electrification among cities, states and regions will drive growth in electric fleets in the U.S. over the next decade and beyond. States and utilities are offering billions of dollars in funding to incentivize fleet electrification. A 30% federal tax credit for installing EV charging infrastructure was recently extended through 2021.
Climate Mayors EV Purchasing Collaborative
Nearly 200 collaborative members have committed to purchase more than 3,500 EVs by the end of 2021, avoiding nearly 28 million tons of CO2 emissions and 1.7 million gallons of gas per year and investing US$123.5 million (104,3M€) in EVs.
Multi-State Medium- and Heavy-Duty ZEV MOU
The Multi-State Medium- and Heavy-Duty ZEV MOU has 16 signatories aiming to make at least 30% of all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales zero-emission vehicles by 2030.
Signatories (pictured below) include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington DC, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
Electrification Commitments from Cities and Counties
Several regions have agreed to fully or mostly electrify their fleets, paving the way for their experiences to inform other heavy-duty fleets:
- Broward County, FL: ZEV-only electric fleet and transit vehicles by 2030
- Chicago, IL: 100% electric bus goal
- Denver, CO: 100% of light-duty fleet vehicles will be electric by 2050 and 100% of public transportation will be carbon free by 2050.
- Los Angeles, CA: 100% electric buses
- New York, NY: 100% electric fleet commitment (500 vehicles by 2024, all-electric by 2029)
- Sarasota, FL: 90% electric by 2024
- Seattle, WA: fossil fuel–free fleet commitment by 2030
California has been setting the pace for all-electric fleets for years. Beyond leading the way for the multi-state medium- and heavy-duty ZEV MOU already mentioned, here are some notable commitments the state has made toward promoting electric fleet vehicles for various uses.
The California Clean Miles Standard creates new requirements to help curb emissions among transportation network companies (TNCs) as new forms of mobility continue to emerge.
The Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) Rule is California's Clean Truck Standard and creates fleet reporting standards and requires zero-emission truck sales to rise to 55% of Class 2b–3 truck sales, 75% of Class 4–8 straight truck sales, and 40% of truck tractor sales by 2035. By 2045, every new truck sold in California will be zero-emission.
By 2045, every new truck sold in California will be zero-emission.
Governor Gavin Newsom has also announced that California will sell only zero-emission new light-duty and off-road equipment by 2035, and zero-emission new medium- and heavy-duty vehicles by 2045.
The California Department of General Services will purchase only zero-emission vehicles for its fleet, and only purchase from manufacturers that have committed to California's clean fuel requirements.
North American Utility Commitments
EVs are an important area of focus for utilities due to the increased demand for energy they will generate. Utilities can both make their own fleets run on electricity and support fleet electrification more broadly by building out charging infrastructure and offering incentives for businesses that want to electrify.
American Electric Power (AEP) will replace 100% of 2,300 cars and light-duty trucks with electrics by 2030, leading to a 40% electric fleet in under 10 years. AEP serves Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.
In North Carolina, Duke Energy announced it will electrify 100% of its nearly 4,000 light-duty fleet vehicles and convert 50% of its roughly 6,000 medium- and heavy-duty and off-road vehicles to electric and other zero-emission vehicles by 2030. The planned fleet electrification targets will reduce carbon emissions and petroleum usage by 60,000 metric tons/year and 10 million gallons/year by 2030, respectively.
Xcel Energy aims to transition 20% of vehicles in its service area (Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin) to electric by 2030.
FirstEnergy (serving northern Ohio, most of Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey, eastern West Virginia and western Maryland) expects to electrify 30% of its approximately 3,400 light duty and aerial fleet vehicles by 2030, representing 1,034 vehicles, with the goal of reaching 100% electrification by 2050.
Georgia Power plans to electrify portions of its own public fleet as part of a Southern Company initiative to convert half of company fleet vehicles, including auto, forklift and ATVs, to electric by 2030.
Portland General Electric (PGE) in Oregon has committed to go 60% electric by 2030, including going 100% electric for Class 1 vehicles by 2025.
In August 2020, the California Public Utilities Commission approved the nation’s largest utility program for charging infrastructure: $437 million for Southern California Edison to fund 40,000 chargers. Half of the investment is for low-income communities and 30% is dedicated to multi-family residences. The program demonstrates the leadership of utilities in bringing charging to underserved communities.
What Is a Fleet?
Fleets Take Many Forms; All of Them Can Benefit from Electrification
Every Fleet Can Go Electric
All types of fleets are electrifying to reduce operating costs and meet sustainability goals. There are already more than 500,000 eBuses and 400,000 electric delivery vans in use globally (BNEF), and electric fleets are expected to grow rapidly as more medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles become available.
Fleets of passenger EVs paved the way for widespread electrification, but large, scheduled logistics and delivery fleets are the starting point for true fleet electrification and will set the standard for the entire fleet industry. Any fleet can benefit from electrification. Let's look at the many different types of fleets in operation.
Commercial and passenger fleets in the United States could include as many as eight million EVs by 2030.
Electric Vehicles Are Available for Every Fleet
Passenger EVs may have led the way, but advances in battery technology have supported electrification across vehicle classes needed for every fleet, including buses, vans, tractors and medium- and heavy-duty trucks. As more and more vehicles become available across all classes, every type of fleet will be able to electrify.
Replacing fossil fuel–powered heavy-duty fleet vehicles with electric vehicles will support innovation, clear the air and save money, no matter what type of fleet is being electrified. Some common fleet types include:
- Company vehicle and motor pool fleets
- Delivery and logistics fleets
- Passenger transportation fleets
- Service and work fleets
- Shared mobility services
Company vehicle and motor pool fleets tend to be made up of light-duty vehicles that can be assigned to specific drivers. These vehicles are often used primarily to transport people and may be kept in a central depot or taken home by individual drivers.
Delivery and logistics fleets are responsible for moving goods from place to place. This could include pickup and delivery, last mile or meter, short-haul and, ultimately, long-haul delivery, and may require many types of vehicles, from light-duty delivery vans to long-haul semi trucks.
Passenger transportation fleets include electric buses and shuttles used in public transit, as well as for local transportation such as airport shuttles. Buses are well suited for electrification due to their predictable defined routes and schedules. These fleets typically operate out of a depot and can recharge overnight.
Service and work fleets include light- to medium-duty vehicles used to provide or support services such as trades, government services or telecommunications. Work vehicles may also include yard tractors, forklifts and other vehicles used in a freight yard. These vehicles typically charge in a central depot.
Electric is currently the best available technology. We’re always looking for the best technology available on anything we replace. We’ve done that for the 25 years I have worked for the city.
John Seevers, Superintendent of Acquisitions in the Fleet Services Bureau, City of Long Beach
Shared mobility services include services like Lyft, Uber and other transportation network companies (TNCs) that serve many riders.
Electric Vehicles Are Available in Every Class
Different types of fleets require different types of vehicles. Fleet vehicles are organized into classes, typically by vehicle weight or purpose. In the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) governs vehicle classes.
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While the specifics of vehicle classes vary by region, overall classification of vehicles into light-, medium- and heavy-duty provides a useful way to think about which vehicles are appropriate for which purposes. These tables show vehicle classifications for the U.S. (NHTSA) and European Union (EU).
|NHTSA Vehicle Class
8,501–10,000 lbs (3,855–4,535 kg)
10,001–14,000 lbs (4,536–6,350 kg)
14,001–16,000 lbs (6,351–7,257 kg)
16,001–19,500 lbs (7,258–8,845 kg)
19,501–26,000 lbs (8,846–11,793 kg)
26,001–33,000 lbs (11,794–14,968 kg)
> 33,001 lbs (over 14,968 kg)
Carries passengers; has up to 8 seats.
Carries passengers; weighs < 5 tonnes (11,023 lbs).
Carries passengers; weighs > 5 tonnes (11,023 lbs).
Carries goods; weighs < 3.5 tonnes (7,716 lbs). Also known as Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV); includes pick-ups.
Carries goods; weighs between 3.5 and 12 tonnes (7,716 to 26,455 lbs).
Carries goods; weighs more than 12 tonnes (26,455 lbs).
Motor vehicles with < 4 wheels and some lightweight 4-wheelers.
A 4-wheeler weighing less than 350 kg (772 lbs), not including battery, with top speed up to 45 km/h and power < 4 kW.
A 4-wheeler < 450 kg or 992 lbs (650 kg or 1,433 lbs for those carrying goods), not including batteries, with power < 15 kW.
Commercial Vehicle Availability Is Set to Double
CALSTART, a nonprofit working to advance clean transportation, has developed a Zero-Emission Technology Inventory (ZETI) tool to showcase the rapidly growing availability of electric vehicles for commercial applications.
By 2023, 195 commercial EV models will be available, opening up the logistics and delivery fleet markets to more rapid electrification. No matter what type of fleet needs to be electrified or what type of vehicle is needed, the technology is increasingly available to support the shift to electric vehicles.
Fleet Vehicles Use Standard Connector Types to Charge
All fleet vehicles will use a standard connector type to charge. The graphic above shows the most common connector types that fleet managers can count on to keep their vehicles charged and ready. The use of standard connectors enables the development of EV charging solutions that will work for a variety of fleet vehicles.
Many lighter-duty vehicles are able to rely more heavily on AC charging, which uses a universal J1772TM connector in North America or Type 2 connector in Europe.
DC fast charging may use a CHAdeMO or SAE Combo connector (available in CCS1 in North America or CCS2 in Europe) and is suitable for heavy-duty vehicles or vehicles that travel high-mileage routes.
Fleet purchases (including taxi, digital ride-hailing and car sharing vehicles) made up about 29% of new passenger EV sales in 2019.
BNEF, 2020 EV Outlook
Electrification Saves Money
Fleets Go Electric to Lower Fueling and Maintenance Costs
Cost Savings Is a Top Reason to Go Electric
Fleets are cutting fueling and operating costs by electrifying.
Cost savings is a major driver for fleet electrification. Electric fleets are less expensive to fuel due to the lower cost of electricity. Simpler mechanics also reduce maintenance needs so EVs can spend more time working and less time getting repaired, extending their useful life.
Fuel Savings Add Up Fast
Electricity is less expensive than fossil fuels at baseline, but electric fleets also bring with them the benefit of sophisticated energy management tools that enable additional savings.
Because electric fueling is easily connected with other systems such as telematics and route planning tools, fleet managers can optimize fueling timing and power use to lower costs. Charging can be scheduled when electricity rates are low and fleets can set power ceilings to avoid expensive utility demand charges.
Smart charging blends cost optimization with peace of mind, ensuring that electric fleets are always charged and ready when needed at the lowest cost possible.
Scheduled Charging Saves Money
Electric fleets are estimated to have a 15-25% lower TCO than those with ICE vehicles by 2030.
New York City estimated that EVs reduce maintenance costs by 80 to 75 percent.
According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, electric vehicles typically require less maintenance than conventional vehicles for several reasons:
- The battery, motor and associated electronics require little to no regular maintenance
- There are fewer fluids to change
- Brake wear is significantly reduced due to regenerative braking
- There are far fewer moving parts relative to a conventional gasoline engine.
Reduced maintenance can keep vehicles in service longer and extend their utility, reducing total cost of ownership.
New York City analyzed maintenance costs and found that EV maintenance costs were only 20-25% of the costs of maintaining vehicles with combustion engines. In other words, going electric could reduce a fleet maintenance budget by 75-80%.
Global Fleet Charging Trends Toward Growth
As vehicle availability continues to expand, we continue to see steady growth in charging activity across our fleet customer base. We expect this growth trend to accelerate as more fleets electrify, bring the right EV charging partner on board and grow their electric fleets to meet savings and sustainability goals.
As shown in the chart, from 2018 to 2019, ChargePoint saw 30% growth in fleet EV charging, and is keeping close to this pace in 2020. This growth should continue to reflect the expected global growth in EV sales for fleet categories.
Growth in Fleet Charging Activity
Fleet Charging Behavior
How do fleets charge? As you might expect, the peak charging time for fleets is early in the morning, between 5:00 and 7:00 AM, so that vehicles are ready to tackle their routes when the day begins. As fleets grow, charging activity can be spread across a longer period of time.
Fleet vehicles charge on average for about 2.5 hours before rolling out. This suggests there is ample time to charge fleet vehicles and, importantly, to do so at times that typically have lower energy costs. The opportunity for smart savings far outpaces that of fossil fuel vehicles.
Smart Charging Technology Unlocks Additional Savings
Beyond the fueling and maintenance savings offered by electric vehicles, smart charging technology can help fleets save even more by reducing energy costs and optimizing fleet operations. By scheduling charging at off-peak rates or setting a power ceiling to reduce utility demand charges, fleets can fully optimize their electricity use to save money.
Here at ChargePoint headquarters, we aimed to accommodate more EV drivers without generating demand charges for spikes in energy use. We used our own energy solution to optimize energy use across EV charging spots and were able to save more than US$8,000 (6,759€) annualized on our energy bill for charging passenger vehicles. The larger the vehicle and longer the route, the greater the potential for savings.
As more fleets continue to electrify, we can look at how these money-saving trends and charging behavior translate into electrification commitments from big brands.
Big Brands Lead the Way
From Amazon to UPS, Major Corporate Fleets Are Electrifying Fast
Major Corporate Commitments
When big brands electrify, there’s no turning back.
Even when they are not required to do so, many companies have made substantial commitments to fleet electrification for sustainability purposes. Let's take a look at a few global electrification initiatives and the companies leading the way.
The Climate Group EV100
The Climate Group’s global EV100 program brings together 82 companies committed to accelerating the transition to EVs and making electric transport the new normal by 2030.
Notable participants include AstraZeneca, Baidu, Bank of America, Biogen, BT, Genentech, Goldman Sachs, several airports including Heathrow, HP, IKEA, Lyft, NTT, PG&E and Unilever, showing that electrification is everywhere.
The Climate Pledge
The Climate Pledge has brought companies on board to reach Paris Agreement targets 10 years early. Founded by Amazon, the pledge has attracted commitments from many high-profile brands.
Amazon has committed to 100,000 electric delivery vehicles, the largest-ever order. Mercedes-Benz will provide more than 1,800 electric vehicles for Amazon’s delivery fleet in Europe. Large organizations such as Verizon, Infosys and RB have also signed on to The Climate Pledge agreement.
Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance
The Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance, led by Ceres, is a collaborative group of companies focused on accelerating the transition to electric vehicles. It supports companies in making and achieving bold commitments to fleet electrification. The Alliance also aggregates corporate demand for EVs to expand the business case for production of a more diverse array of EV models. Members include Amazon, AT&T, Best Buy, DHL, Exelon, Hertz, IKEA, JLL and Uber.
Other Global Commitments
Beyond industry organizations, many international companies have made impressive commitments to electrification. Let's look at a few.
BT Group is an EV100 member and has committed to convert its commercial vehicles to electric where it is the best technical and economic solution by 2045.
DPD has electrified 10% of its fleet ahead of schedule and is helping develop the next generation of electric vehicles, including cargo bikes and vans.
FedEx has purchased 1,000 electric trucks.
IKEA has committed to zero-emission deliveries as part of a quest to be climate-positive by 2030. Deliveries may already be emission-free in Amsterdam, Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Shanghai.
La Poste uses 39,696 electric vehicles, including 16,260 lightweight utility vehicles and 23,436 bikes and trolleys. It claims the world's largest EV fleet.
Lyft has committed to 100% EVs by 2030.
PepsiCo has 70,000 trucks delivering both heavier weight liquids and lightweight snacks. The company is currently using four Class 6 electric delivery vehicles out of Modesto, California.
Total has committed to 20,000 EVs for the Metropolitan Region Amsterdam Electric, as well as other ventures in Germany, France and the UK.
Uber has committed to electrify 100% of its rides by 2030 and transition to a 100% zero-emission platform by 2040.
UPS has invested in Arrival and committed to 10,000 electric trucks.
Volvo will launch a full range of electric heavy-duty trucks in Europe in 2021.
Walmart has committed to 100% renewable energy by 2035 and zero-emission global operations and electrifying long-haul trucks by 2040.
EV Sales Growth Forecasts
Electric vehicle model availability is expected to contribute to substantial sales growth across the medium- and heavy-duty vehicle categories that make up crucial components of delivery and logistics fleets. This sales growth has the potential to radically transform the face of these fleets.
As even more models become available across all vehicle classes, sales will continue to grow and electric fleets will be able to reduce costs, meet regulations and achieve sustainability goals.
The financial and sustainability advantages of electrification are leading to major corporate fleet commitments and significant sales growth for electric fleet vehicles. As more companies choose electric vehicles for fleet and other purposes, they will need to rely on smart EV charging solutions that can keep electric vehicle fleets in service at low cost with optimized energy use.
ChargePoint has the expertise to deliver smart, comprehensive charging that works for any fleet depot or destination, expertly supporting the transition to electric mobility while reducing emissions and total cost of ownership for fleets and businesses worldwide.