A new report published by Charles River Associates (CRA) aimed at fleet operators highlights the key role of fleet electrification in supporting the energy transition.
The consultancy, which supports the decarbonisation of energy systems, examined the challenges and opportunities of the transition to electric vehicles (EVs), finding that fleet vehicles account for 50% of emissions within the transportation sector, and constitute 25% of the total European road population.
Fleets encompass a wide range of vehicle types, like emergency services, rental cars, taxis, long haul transport, buses and business vehicles, with each category having distinct requirements for charging infrastructure. This means different considerations for adapting business operations depending on the type of vehicle.
The report also notes that fleet electrification is being driven by a number of factors like technological advances, Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) advantages, regulatory and policy pressures, and environmental concerns.
In our latest #CRAEnergy whitepaper in collaboration with @dynamonanalytic, we explore the challenges, opportunities, and considerations that face fleet operators, investors, and grid operators. Read the whitepaper here: https://t.co/4BBqpQmzpH. pic.twitter.com/8YUOfF4GYz— Charles River Associates (@News_CRA) September 26, 2023
Robert Stocker, senior associate at CRA and co-author of the paper, said: “While fleet electrification holds immense promise and some operators have made good initial progress, our report highlights that progress remains at a nascent stage. Currently, less than 2% of fleet vehicles across Europe are electric. To meet the ambitious Fit for 55 targets set for 2030, which aim for 55% electrification of passenger and Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs), and 30% electrification of trucks and buses, the pace of electrification must accelerate significantly.”
“However, several barriers stand in the way of widespread fleet electrification. These challenges include operational complexity and potential productivity losses, initial capital costs and financial risks, limited vehicle availability, charging infrastructure accessibility, consumer apprehensions, and perhaps most notably, grid constraints. Our paper aims to talk to various stakeholders, from the fleet operators themselves, to utilities and even investors in this space to lay out the challenges ahead,” Stocker added.
New research by Cornwall Insight also reveals that the growth in EV adoption in the UK is lagging behind most of Europe, with growth in sales at only 31% from July 22 to July 23, compared with 60.6% growth in the EU.
The CRA report states that electrification should be part of a broader energy strategy, incorporating energy storage and on-site renewables to more effectively manage energy consumption. Using fleet vehicles as flexibility assets through Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) and smart charging solutions can also enhance the sustainability and resilience of energy systems, the report notes.