If you pay attention to automotive commercials, the transition to electric vehicles involves a huge number of people switching from gasoline-powered sedans, pickups, and hatchbacks to battery-powered corollaries. It’s all good. But in the fight against climate change, the electric vehicles that have the most impact will not necessarily be purchased by everyday consumers, but vehicles that travel in fleets such as rental cars, buses and delivery trucks.
The argument for fleet electrification is simple. Fleets of vehicles are purchased collectively by institutions, businesses, public school systems, and governments. He can move far more in a week than he can in a day with a regular car. So replacing his one of these vehicles with an EV could have a huge impact on reducing carbon emissions. Since these vehicles often travel on fixed routes, it is also easier to set up a network of EV chargers to keep them powered. The overall idea is that by migrating a fleet of vehicles at once, the fleet can reduce overall costs and lay the foundation for large-scale electrified transportation.
Katie Robinson, Vice President of Programs and Operations, Electrification Coalition, explains: “This shows the commitment of local governments, state governments and these private companies.”
Car rental companies such as Avis and Enterprise are at least partly working on this transition, giving more people the chance to actually drive an electric car before they buy it. These companies often sell their vehicles to the secondary market after only a few years, so this shift could increase the number of pre-owned EVs available to consumers over the next decade. Hertz, in particular, has already pledged to buy 100,000 Teslas, along with his 65,000 EVs from Polestar and up to 175,000 EVs from General Motors. These vehicles are a key part of the company’s plans to not only electrify its fleet, but also establish new business models for the electric age. This includes everything from renting an electric car directly to his Uber driver to renting his EV to a business traveler whose employer is looking to reduce emissions and meet his ESG goals. It is included.
“We are really starting to see a significant impact on ICE. [internal combustion engine] miles,” explains Steve Shur, vice president of government relations for Hertz’s electric vehicle strategy. “His Uber driver, who works full time in this position, spends a lot of time on the road.”
The electrification of delivery vehicles can also provide disproportionate benefits. These medium and heavy vehicles accounted for less than 10% of vehicles registered in 2020, but accounted for 26% of the transportation sector’s greenhouse gas emissions. Since last-mile deliveries tend to occur throughout the day, replacing these internal combustion engine vans and trucks with other vehicles reduces tailpipe emissions into the community and improves local communities. Noise pollution may also be reduced. (EVs don’t have internal combustion engines, so they’re noticeably quieter).
For example, FedEx is aiming to have its fleet fully electric by 2040, and UPS has pledged to invest in and buy delivery vans from UK electric car company Arrival. Meanwhile, Amazon is pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into his EV startup, Rivian, from which he will eventually buy 100,000 electric vans. This transition could become even more promising as companies take advantage of new federal credits for medium and heavy-duty electric vehicles and larger electric delivery vehicles enter the market. PepsiCo is expected to receive the first Tesla Semis, the EV maker’s as-yet-unreleased Class 8 truck, later this year. German company Daimler Truck, which makes trucks under the Freightliner and Mercedes-Benz brands, is testing its own hydrogen-powered truck.
“Our bottom line is batteries first. Small trucks, then big trucks. “Then we can see how hydrogen fuel cell heavy trucks and electric heavy trucks mix.”
One of the main bright spots is the electrification of government-owned vehicles. Electrification of public transport will result in significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, as it will allow people to get around without having to buy a car at all. Electrification of public transport and school buses can also significantly reduce people’s exposure to air pollution. The Biden administration plans to spend about $1 billion to expand the fleet of electric and low-emission school buses in the country, and by 2027 will ensure that all new light vehicles purchased for government fleets are electric. promised to The U.S. Postal Service planned to make his 40% of the company’s new vehicles electric vehicles earlier this summer.
There are still challenges. Companies and governments buying EVs for their fleets are not immune to problems in their supply chains that have made buying electric vehicles of any kind more difficult and more expensive during the pandemic. These vehicles may also require expanded new grid capacity that requires new infrastructure. Also, buying new vehicles, securing access to chargers, and ultimately convincing fleet operators that fuel savings are worth it can be costly.
“Fleet buyers are really economically driven. They use cars a lot and they are great tools. increase. “There are a lot of vehicles that the mechanics, the drivers, the whole system recognizes and understands….That’s a big hurdle.”
At the same time, it’s important to think about how to use EVs most efficiently, especially when automakers are still ramping up production. EVs have clear environmental advantages over internal combustion engines, but they also have downsides. Electric vehicles rely on his chain of supplies of toxic raw materials that could create “neocolonial” ties with countries such as the United States, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Bolivia. Continued reliance on cars over other modes of transportation means that a significant number of vehicle fatalities will continue. This problem can get worse as cars get bigger and heavier. Prioritizing the infrastructure that primarily serves these vehicles means leaving behind those who cannot or do not want to use them.
Fleet is a bit of a reminder that some of the biggest benefits of electric vehicles can come at a communal level rather than an individual level. Already he owns two other cars, a Tesla purchased as a symbol of his status by the high-income class, but active he is not as effective as the Tesla an Uber driver uses throughout his day. Collective electrification would be much more effective, indicating that switching engines to batteries is probably not enough for the transition to EVs.
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