As the nation accelerates its transition to a clean transportation future, the spotlight on electric vehicle (EV) adoption is widening beyond personally-owned vehicles. A critical focus now lies on a sector integral to achieving the nation's emission goals — fleets.
Bolstered by federal tax incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act and programs like California’s Advanced Clean Fleets regulation, fleets will begin to rapidly electrify in the coming years. However, navigating the challenges hindering fleet electrification and advancing policies to overcome them is crucial for sustained, widespread progress. An important part of the solution is solving the charging infrastructure problem.
Charging Infrastructure Barriers to Fleet Electrification
Before delving into solutions, it is essential to identify the key electrical infrastructure challenges fleet operators face when transitioning to electric:
The Importance of Load Management Technology to Helping Remove Barriers
One innovation that is increasingly poised to help pave a clearer path to successful fleet EV adoption is load management technology. This is a system that dynamically distributes available power to accommodate charging needs—minimizing the site’s total demand on the grid and protecting power availability for other on-site loads. Most fleet environments have specific, well-known vehicle energy requirements and departure times, which can be maximized with an effective load management system.
At EV charging solutions provider EverCharge, load management technology has been central to our offerings since we were founded in 2013. EverCharge’s proprietary load management technology, known as SmartPower, dynamically allocates power throughout the entire charging system of a site based on the needs of each vehicle. When any vehicle completes charging or decreases its charging rate, power allocated to that vehicle is released and the system automatically re-allocates that power to other charging stations.
Dynamic load management, and particularly EverCharge’s unique SmartPower technology, enables customers to power more vehicles within the site’s existing electrical capacity while avoiding the costs and delays of utility upgrades. And by optimizing the site’s existing electrical infrastructure, load management helps set fleet operators up for a more seamless, efficient expansion process.
The Role Policymakers Can Play
While Congress made major investments in public charging infrastructure with the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), those funds do not address commercial fleets’ need for dedicated “behind-the-fence” charging infrastructure integrated within private fleet logistics facilities. Moving forward, policymakers can play a pivotal role in mitigating barriers to fleet electrification by adopting and ensuring the rapid implementation of policies and funding mechanisms tailored to the needs of fleets, including:
Ultimately, as the nation propels towards a cleaner transportation future with a heightened focus on fleet electrification, technologies like load management emerge as indispensable solutions to address the unique challenges faced by fleets. This tool not only facilitates the more seamless integration of electric vehicles into fleets but also positions fleet operators for long-term success—by optimizing existing building infrastructure to support more stations and allow for future scalability as needed. Policymakers can further expedite this transition by advancing tailored incentives, tax credits, and regulations that address key business barriers to electrification and support rapid deployment of charging infrastructure by commercial fleets.