If you’re under 30, chances are your children will never own a gasoline of diesel car or line up to fill their tank at a gas station. And it’s possible that your grandchildren will only ever travel in an electric vehicle.
The transition to Electric Vehicles (EV) is happening faster than expected as we reach a ‘tipping point’ where it’s economically viable to make the switch from gasoline and diesel. Edison Electric Institute (EEI) predicts that by 2030, an estimated 18.7 million EVs (7% of total car stock) will be on U.S. roads. This transition has big implications. Not just for the vehicles themselves, but also for the infrastructure required to charge them. 9.6 million charge ports will be required to power this growing class of vehicles, EEI forecasts.
The acceleration towards EV is being driven by businesses and public bodies. These organizations are committed to improving sustainability, but they also have the resources and economies of scale across their commercial fleets to make EV stack-up financially.
At Centrica Business Solutions, we are at the heart of building the energy infrastructure of the future. In this article, we set out what we are doing to support this transition for business, and the challenges and opportunities it presents.
There are exciting opportunities for these organizations to capitalize on the benefits of EV, but developing and implementing an EV strategy is complex. It’s not simply a case of taking delivery of your new zero emissions vehicles – the supporting infrastructure also needs to be carefully planned. That’s why we have created our EV Enablement solution to provide the complete end-to-end support needed to make the transition simple and easy.
In the U.S., the transport sector accounts for the largest proportion of carbon emissions, which many experts believe is accelerating climate change. As we continue to make progress in decarbonizing the electricity supply, transportation is the next big sustainability challenge. Organizations can make a huge contribution to reducing the threat of climate change by transitioning to electric fleet vehicles, providing at-work charging for employees or turning parking lots into EV friendly spaces.
The drive towards EV
Research by Centrica Business Solutions shows that 77% of the 1,500+ international organizations we surveyed are exploring EV options, while 58% of the most sustainable businesses already have at least one EV or hybrid vehicle. 68% of these organizations see EV as a path to reducing fuel costs associated with fleets. Clearly, EVs are not something to plan for the future, but something to act on now.
Overcoming the challenges of shifting to EV
There are great commercial and environmental benefits to shifting to EV, but this comes with complexities and challenges. For example:
Centrica Business Solutions understands these challenges. Our new EV Enablement simplifies the complex end-to-end process of electrifying your transport. This modular package of solutions can provide support at any stage of your transition, or across the entire process – from design to long-term operation and maintenance. We enable you to roll-out at scale and future-proof your EV infrastructure using a single supplier, which is unique to the market.
There are three major compelling reasons to making the EV transition:
1. Be a sustainable, environmental forward-thinking business leader – According to the EPA, the U.S. transport sector is responsible for 29% of all carbon emissions. Gasoline and diesel vehicles also cause air quality problems that affect public health. Electric vehicles are key to decarbonizing transport and improving air quality. American cities, counties, and states are making commitments to transition their energy infrastructure to 100% renewable energy by no later than 2050. Some communities have already fully transitioned, as demonstrated by Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 list.
By demonstrating leadership in providing EV charging infrastructure and transitioning fleet vehicles to EV, businesses, organizations and local governments can play a major role in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and inspire wider EV adoption across society.
2. Reduce costs and generate revenue – With the economies of scale of fleet management and falling technology prices for batteries, and charging infrastructure, the cost of EVs is reducing. Long-term cost savings can be made by making the switch from gasoline and diesel. But electrifying transportation also unlocks opportunities to integrate your EV infrastructure with renewable on-site distributed solutions such as solar and battery storage, which can further reduce energy costs and enhance sustainability across your entire business.
You can also earn money from your EV strategy by selling any excess on-site generated power capacity back to the grid via lucrative Demand Response (DR) and Advanced Optimization programs. Our EV enablement solutions ensure that you optimize the full flexibility of your on-site energy generation assets to maximize value from your investment. This is an attractive option for return-to-base fleets, where vehicles may be plugged in for longer periods.
3. Improve your brand reputation, customer experience and add value to your business – Growing public concern about the threat of climate change demonstrates an urgent need to take action on sustainability and improve your environmental credibility. This urgency has been underlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which warns that the world must take ‘unprecedented’ action to limit the devastating impact of global warming.
While regulatory targets matter, pressure from your stakeholders can often be a more powerful motivator to make the shift to clean transport. Green and responsible businesses are attractive to shareholders and employees, who want to invest in and work for sustainable organizations. Customer expectations are growing and they will value the convenience of using on-site charge points, while workplace EV charging also offers an attractive addition to your employee’s benefits package. Moving your fleet to EV is an effective way of expressing your corporate social responsibility (CSR) and succeeding through delighting all your stakeholders – and a robust EV charging infrastructure provides energy security for your business and an interrupted supply of energy for your fleet.
By integrating your EV infrastructure into a distributed energy strategy you will add value to your business in three ways. You can reduce costs and monetize energy assets, but also help to stabilize and decarbonize the grid by using your flexibility to balance supply and demand. In this way, you can enable more intermittent renewable power from solar and wind to be used in the electricity system.
Centrica Business Solutions’ integrated package of charging infrastructure and software, together with on-site energy solutions provides the expert support required to capitalize on the opportunity to move to emissions-free transport. We can provide the end-to-end support organizations need to use EV to benefit both the environment and their competiveness.
With a global network of more than 15,000 engineers and technicians, and expertise in designing, managing and financing complex solutions, Centrica Business Solutions has already installed more than 17,000 EV chargers and is uniquely positioned to provide a holistic solution that addresses the challenges of EV adoption.
By combining our global expertise and technological expertise, our new EV enablement solution provides a single supplier solution for the electrification of entire fleets, and charging facilities at workplaces, bus depots, and in public spaces. We can provide complete life-cycle infrastructure and energy support – from charger procurement to optimization services.
Our modular package can meet your precise needs and integrate with your existing energy infrastructure to optimize your renewable on-site generation and battery storage assets. We can also finance additional energy infrastructure for enhanced sustainability and cost savings. Our EV support is designed to be fully scalable as your EV charging and infrastructure needs grow so it’s easy to start small and build up when you’re ready.
Find out more about our solution, or get in touch to speak to one of our experts.