Business View Magazine - Feb 2024

The ADS-TEC Energy executive says a potential charging infrastructure solution could include a private-public-use split for the charging points.“That way, the infrastructure does not need to only be financed through internal use, especially when usage is low, but it could also provide charging opportunities to members of the community. Here, different degrees are imaginable, e.g., a weekday/weekend-split where chargers would be only available to government fleets during the week, but also available to the public on weekends or outside operating hours.” Spurr says it’s crucial to train fleet staffers on both the use of electric vehicles as well as the charging function. And he urges fleet managers to start the training early in the vehicle acquisition process. He says fleet workers need to be aware of the overarching goals in electrifying the fleet. “As an example, fleet managers can organize EV and charging days to encourage education on the topic, as the earlier the involvement, the better.” Several shifts take place when local government fleet managers move from internal-combustion-engine units (ICE) to EVs, Spurr says.“It’s not just a transition in terms of the powertrain, but also in terms of ‘refueling’ patterns and needs. The latter will actually be the more impactful change.” He says as they plan the fleet transition to electric vehicles, “Government fleet managers need to be mindful of driving patterns and recharging needs from the get-go and set it up, in a future-proof way, so that the recharging of vehicles does not become a bottleneck.” CHARACTERISTICS OF CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE Spurr says that in most cases, the charging station setup for a fleet will consist of a mix of slower AC chargers as well as fast-charging DC stations to serve different charging needs. “The installation of DC fast chargers is, in many cases, hindered by grid power constraints or lengthy upgrade timelines from the utility. Here, battery-buffered fast chargers can be an interesting solution as they minimize installation time and total cost of ownership while serving the fleet’s charging needs.” He says battery-buffered solutions offer an additional potential benefit: “Battery-buffered assemblies provide an opportunity to integrate renewable energy sources. As a result, local governments can act as a role model in their community, not only by transitioning to EVs but also by taking a more holistic approach to energy transition.” Local governments can tap into several tools, according to Spurr. “These tools can aid fleet managers in assessing their specific fleet electrification potential and get started. One example is the DRVE tool from the Electrification Coalition.” 12 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE VOLUME 11, ISSUE 02