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Here's How Electric Vehicles Will Evolve

By Auto Tech Outlook | Monday, May 25, 2020

Electric vehicles will soon be ubiquitous, but organizations have to provide the infrastructure for effective charging.

FREMONT, CA: Electric vehicles are deepening their roots in the transportation industry. Medium and heavy-duty electric vehicle manufacturers are finding innovative ways to achieve their sustainability goals, increasing choice, and reducing costs. Major market players such as Amazon, UPS, FedEx, Pepsi, and Anheuser Busch are taking active steps to electrify their fleets. The New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is going to spend $1.1 billion on electric buses. Similarly, by 2040, the State of California has committed to zero-emission buses.   These continuous commitments increase the scale and decrease the costs that will lead to more electrification of the vehicles in the future.

However, it is not as easy as it sounds. It is more than just replacing gas pumps with charging stations. Organizations have to develop full-scale solutions, which include charging infrastructure, battery storage capabilities, and onsite power generation.  Such systems provide an energy source for EVs and allow businesses to operate fleets that are resilient to any grid disturbances.  Currently, transitioning to an electric vehicle is expensive than purchasing a traditional vehicle. However, factors such as low maintenance, fuel costs combined with incentives can lower the cost of an EV as compared to internal combustion engines. Onsite energy infrastructure reduces the fuel cost or cost of electricity. The power generated for EVs from the onsite solar installation can save more money if the power is drawn from a grid. This holds when during peak hours when rates are highest.

Organizations with comprehensive EV plans can benefit from credits and tax incentives for using clean energy. Oregon and California offer Low Carbon Fuel Standard, which can be even higher if the onsite solar installation generates the power for charging these vehicles. To take further advantage of these incentives and achieve higher sustainability, businesses could enter into PPAs. Upgrading from a conventional to an EV fleet is a significant undertaking. However, it is not as challenging and does not require hiring specialized staff to build and manage. Third-party providers are ready to install onsite power generation, batteries, chargers, and interfaces that tie it all together. If businesses want sustainability, then managers need to think beyond and place an adequate charging infrastructure.

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