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Navigating Fleet Electrification: DIY vs CaaS

Should you electrify your fleet yourself or opt for Charging-as-a-Service solution? Explore the pros and cons to make an informed decision for your business.

Navigating Fleet Electrification

Transitioning your fleet to electric vehicles (EVs) requires substantial business and operational work. However, ensuring these vehicles are fully charged doesn’t have to be equally daunting.

Fleet managers are navigating a period of profound change in transportation, shifting from internal combustion engines (ICE) to EVs. It mirrors the leap from horse-drawn carriages to the Ford Model T more than a century ago. Apart from the change in fuel type, EVs demand an essential adjustment in the refueling location and timing.

Fleet Managers Face a Range of Complexities When Electrifying

With electrification in its infancy, class 3-8 fleet managers must suddenly gain expertise in electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), with a keen eye on scalability and futureproofing. They must grapple with electricity pricing, availability, and procurement. Traditional EVSE companies may not prioritize asset utilization, and their interests often diverge from the fleet’s needs and budget constraints. From determining the suitable charging station (L2, DCFC) to deciding the number of charging stations required, there’s a multitude of factors to consider. Moreover, various charging station options (smart load management and load shedding, retracting cables, connector and dispenser types, standards, and so on), only add to the complexity.

The Critical Factors for Electrifying Your Fleet

Just as fleets don’t operate their own gas stations, why should they handle the nuances of charging infrastructure and electricity management? Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution or industry-wide blueprint for fleet electrification to follow or adopt. Each fleet is unique, with its own set of variables – fleet type, vehicle duty cycles, depot location, utility rate structure.

Electrifying a fleet involves several critical considerations, including:

  1. Allocating internal experts to aid in electrification while maintaining business operations.
  2. Designing and implementing a personalized electrification project, including renewables, energy storage, and incentives.
  3. Equipping oneself with appropriate tools and methods for ROI analysis for the finance department.
  4. Selecting and deploying EV charging infrastructure that accommodates current operations while also being future proof.
  5. Managing risk for underperforming assets and negotiating contracts with hardware and software providers.
  6. Forecasting load growth and negotiating utility rates to counter energy price fluctuations.
  7. Ensuring routine maintenance to keep operations efficient and within utility uptime targets.

What is Your EV Fleet Transition Plan?

So how can fleets transition to electrification efficiently without disruption and financial strain? The labyrinthine and ever-evolving nature of fleet electrification isn’t conducive to a DIY approach. Fortunately, more fleets are turning to electrification experts offering innovative solutions such as Charging-as-a-Service (CaaS). However, not all providers are created equal.

When selecting an electrification partner, fleet managers should consider the following aspects:

  1. No upfront capital expenditure
  2. A well-financed partner
  3. Uptime guarantee
  4. Service Level Agreement (SLA) to mitigate risks
  5. Consistent and predictable pricing from the onset
  6. Lower electrification costs than fossil fuels from day one 
  7. A single point of contact for all issues, rather than multiple vendors
  8. Experience in handling fleets
  9. Assignment of reliability/performance risk
  10. Long-term partnership vs. transactional sales 
  11. Custom, location-specific electrification solutions 
  12. Experience and contacts in related industries—utility, energy, microgrid, transportation, and asset development

Electrada’s 360 CaaS: Electric Fuel Made Simpler, Safer and More Affordable Than DIY

For fleets seeking a low-risk transition to electrification, reducing fleet fuel cost per mile from the onset, Electrada can be your ally. We expedite fleet electrification with 360 CaaS, our complete end-to-end electric fuel solution covering all costs (charging infrastructure buildout, implementation, operation, and maintenance). We provide an industry-leading performance guarantee ensuring 99% utility-grade uptime, keeping fleets moving forward.

Here’s a glimpse into Electrada’s 360 CaaS in a snapshot. Collaborating with a fleet of 50 medium duty EVs, we found that the DIY route would have cost our customer around $1M more vs. utilizing our 360 CaaS model over five years. This overspending would have come from overbuilding the infrastructure, allocating resources to monitor and maintain the charging program, and excessive spend on energy and maintenance. Electrada’s 360 CaaS combines our engineering acumen—to optimize infrastructure while ensuring 99% uptime—with our expertise in energy management and utility services. This enables us to lower fleet fuel expenses while continuously monitoring the charging infrastructure to guarantee that fleet vehicles are charged when needed.

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Graphic caption: The +$1M cost premium of DIY in a real-world use case.

With Electrada, feet managers can enjoy predictable fuel pricing, guaranteed to cut cost per mile compared to fossil fuels from the start, and eliminate tail-pipe emissions entirely. A fixed, monthly electric fuel bill allows better financial predictability without the burden of taking on EVSE maintenance and obsolescence expenses. That’s sustainable ROI for your fleet.

Elevate your knowledge to action with Electrada’s 360 CaaS—your complete electric fuel solution for fleet transformation. Contact us to discuss how we can power your EV fleet.

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Graphic caption: Electrada’s 360 Charging-as-a-Service is a complete electric fuel solution for fleets.

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Fleet electrification doesn’t have to be costly and complicated.

Regardless of where you are on your fleet electrification journey, let us guide you through a seamless, 360 CaaS fuel solution that works best for your fleet.