By: Shawna Laird, Business Manager
Are you trying to “green” your fleet? Thinking of acquiring electric vehicles? These are all great ideas to reduce your fleet’s carbon footprint. But the question remains: How do I fuel these electric or hybrid vehicles?
It seems that every day there is a new press release, news story, or ad that finds its way into your inbox or mailbox touting new electric vehicles or hybrids. Some critics say as more electric vehicles take to the road, that our current electric grids will not be able to keep up. There are approximately a quarter of a billion vehicles on our roads today and estimates are that two-thirds of these vehicles would need to convert to electric before the grid is overtaxed. The top automotive manufacturers and independent start-ups are rushing to unveil and sell their EVs. Toyota, Ford and GM have announced new or improved “green” vehicles being released in the next 1 to 2 years. Bright Automotive (based in Anderson, IN) has unveiled a 100 MPG hybrid fleet van. As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, there are now block grants available to help purchase these vehicles. However, none of the manufacturers are offering a plan to “fuel” their vehicles. Therefore, it is up to you to figure out how to do it.
There is also new technology available today, at a relatively low cost, which can help you fuel your next generation of electric vehicles. This technology is not only for government fleets, but has a price point that is attractive to private fleets as well. The new smart charging stations offer the standardized electric vehicle plug-ins and technology that eliminates cord theft. Two types of charging stations are available, 110 volt and a new generation 240 volt station. This technology allows fleet managers to monitor usage via internet portals and export the data into their current fleet or fuel management systems. It also requires authentication which eliminates theft. This network allows for complete shutdown of the stations remotely in cases of extreme weather, or dangerous situations (such as fire). The charging stations do not require an extensive preventive maintenance program, and software upgrades are done remotely and at this time have no associated additional costs. .
EV-Charge America, a Southern Nevada renewable energy infrastructure company and a distributor of Coulomb Technologies, has developed and recently launched this industry-leading networked smart station. They also have a grant writer on staff to help you apply for block grants that could help offset the initial costs. If no grant funds are available to you, they have a purchase or lease option. For more information about this concept and a full service company to help you implement it and “Green” your fleet, visit www.ev-chargeamerica.com.
If you and your fleet are using other products and concepts for “Greening your fleet” and would like to share the information, please send it to Shawna Laird at firstname.lastname@example.org . This will be an ongoing topic in the newsletters and on www.fleetpros.org website.
Note: Article updated to reflect the new domain for FleetPros
The FleetPros Blog is written and moderated by the Business Manager with contributions from the membership and Business Services Team.