The EnTech Solutions e-Mobility team recently attended the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Long Beach, California. New technology, impressive vehicles and innovative partners from across the industry were in full force as the industry collectively looks to implement cleaner energy solutions in the transportation sector. There were a few key trends from the event that are worth exploring further as companies begin their departure from fossil-fueled vehicles.
Infrastructure is as Important as Vehicles
Electric vehicles are only part of the clean-energy equation. The infrastructure to support those vehicles must be considered early on as lead times on projects and equipment are often longer than anticipated. While the long lead times are not ideal, given that vehicles are also rolling off the line later than expected, now is the perfect time for fleets to start considering their charging infrastructure needs. EVs bring a new, substantial, sustained load, and there’s more than just hardware and software that goes into a charging solution. You don’t need to have all the answers, but it’s important to start on this journey with a reputable partner and work together to determine the right approach for your situation.
What’s Driving the EV industry?
Energy experts anticipate a perfect storm brewing in the auto industry as it repositions itself to face one of the most significant changes in its history with the replacement of internal combustion engines with electric vehicles. More than 500 grants and incentives are available in the US and Canada, along with millions of dollars in funding from utilities. State regulations are also moving toward an EV future. California is starting to regulate diesel with a goal to reduce emissions by 90% in 5 years.
Develop Infrastructure with the Future in Mind
It’s important to start your electrification journey with the future in mind; developing a scalable framework that will allow for future growth is critical. You may only have five EVs on order today, but what will the impact be on your operations if you have 50 electric vehicles five years from now? Utility power may cover the load of a few vehicles, but being able to seamlessly integrate renewable distributed energy in the future is something you should consider, as developing it now can avoid future rework and additional costs. Renewable energy microgrids can also support those who need power soon and are facing utility upgrade delays. EnTech Solutions can support your distributed energy needs today and down the road.
Partnerships are Key
Electrifying your fleet requires collaboration from charger manufacturers, charger management system providers, infrastructure partners and utility providers. Many vehicle manufacturers are creating this ecosystem as extensions of their offerings to provide clients with turn-key solutions, and EnTech Solutions can provide a full-solution EV infrastructure offering. Finding the right partners to support your goals is paramount to success; don’t feel like you have to have all the answers. EV charging infrastructure is an evolving space, and everyone is learning together. It’s important to build relationships and trust while problem solving for the future.
It’s a Marathon Not a Sprint
A key takeaway from ACT was that there is no playbook on vehicle electrification, and getting started can feel overwhelming. Exactly how quickly charging infrastructure will be developed and what it will look like is not entirely certain. Start with what your business needs right now and take it one day at a time with a focus on the future. Learn and adapt as you move along in your journey with the right partners by your side.
ACT Expo 2022 was filled with positive energy and insights on where the industry is headed, and no one is certain as to what the future holds. The best advice is to buckle up – it’s going to be a fun ride.
To learn more about how to get started on your infrastructure journey, contact a member of our e-Mobility team.