The future of mobility is here

Five ways to future-proof your fleet

The mass adoption of Electric Vehicles (EVs) is happening much faster than anyone expected. Right now, the market share of EVs is just over 1% of new cars, but according to recent research by J. P. Morgan this could soar to 30% in just six years[1].

As EVs become more common, their cost will decrease. They are already cheaper to run than conventional vehicles. The US Department of Energy calculates that for every $2.62 you spend on fuel you could deliver the same energy to the wheels of an electric vehicle for just $1.21[2].

For commercial fleet operators, there are a myriad of reasons to make the switch to electric. Beyond the direct economic case, the increasing imperative to address climate change is an important consideration. While today electric vehicle investments are incentivized by governments around the world to encourage adoption, a future scenario could well also see governments impose CO2 penalties.

For fleet operators, the energy transition represents both an opportunity and a challenge:

  • The opportunity: cutting costs and reducing emissions by investing in EVs.
  • The challenge: providing those EVs with the electrical charging infrastructure they need today and making sure it’s also ready for the future.

How to go electric with maximum benefit 

The good news is that advanced, affordable and scalable infrastructure is already available. With the right grid connection, the right technology and the right partner, organizations can turn their depots into intelligent energy hubs, where vehicle fleets can charge quickly, efficiently and cost effectively.

Better still, adopting intelligent EV charging enables an organization to benefit from a wide range of other emerging technologies which the most advanced EV charging technology either supports, enables or integrates with.

Here are five ways in which adopting electric vehicles along with intelligent EV charging and related technologies can help fleet operators:

  1. Charge flexibly and smartly
    By varying the rate of charging for each vehicle and at the same time using a charging-schedule that, when possible, optimizes charging times to access lower electricity rates, fleet operators can cut their power costs by more than 50 percent, helping to maximize ROI. ABB also found evidence that by varying the rate of charging the fleet, operators can extend the battery life for their EVs, reducing upkeep costs. With the right schedule and charging infrastructure, they can automatically start and stop charging to keep costs down.
  2. Optimize site performance with load-control technology
    In some sites, electric vehicles may not represent the only significant load on the electrical infrastructure. Many sites are not yet optimized, or even capable of coping with the heavy demand generated by a whole fleet of EVs. This makes load control even more important. To avoid disruption to supply and other costly problems — such as charging at peak times, when power is most expensive — EVs should be able to dynamically vary the amount of power they draw based on other demands from the site.
  3. Invest in energy storage
    Another way to benefit from lower energy costs is to use on-site energy storage. This is particularly useful for fleet operators with vehicles in use throughout the day, some of which cannot feasibly be on site to charge at times when the electricity tariffs are lowest. Despite entry into the market by giants such as Tesla and Shell, prices for battery storage are still high. Even so, by ABB’s calculation, fleet operators can make the cost of their batteries back in just four years.
  4. Generate energy on site
    Cut costs by using solar power plus energy storage and other forms of electricity to generate power on site. This is most relevant and useful to commercial organizations for whom the failure to have their fleet fully operational would mean a breakdown in supply chains and lost revenue, and so also need to build in resilience of supply to guard against outages and other disruptions.  For those that do invest now, on-site generation also lays the foundations for a future in which micro-grids are connected to give extra security of supply. 
  5. Invest inelectrical infrastructure that’s futureproof
    Protect the returns of any EV investment by making new infrastructure future-proof. Do this by ensuring that electrical infrastructure is:
  • A plug-and-play solution for seamless startup
  • So safe it meets the IEC62271-202 arc safety requirements for public installations
  • Modular and therefore easily scalable
  • Ready to cope with the much higher electricity demands of next-generation EVs with higher power requirements and longer battery ranges
  • Digitally connected to optimize e-mobility charging operations

The right technology and a scalable, modular electrical infrastructure are the foundational building blocks enabling fleet owners to reduce their emissions while also cutting costs and demonstrating to consumers that their company is serious about sustainability. Arriving at the best solution requires collaborative planning and a laser focus on safety, reliability and connectivity. But with these building blocks in place, investing in electric vehicles and charging technology gives fleets a competitive advantage now and puts them in a better position from which to adopt emerging transport technologies in the future. Learn more at

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About the author

Danel Turk

I work as Data Center and e-Mobility segment leader within the Distribution Solutions business. I joined ABB more than 17 years ago where I have worked to develop and maintan the broad ABB portfolio for new industrial segments. It is my current aim to position and support Distribution Solutions product and solutions sales into dedicated segments.
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