What is involved in owning an EV fleet?

As demand for electric energy over fossil-fuels continues to charge up throughout the UK, many businesses are now considering switching some – or even all – of their existing fleets to electric vehicles (EV). 

This sweeping change also brings with it the question of what is involved in owning an EV fleet, and what are the benefits? 

Besides the evident environmental perks of owning a zero-emission fleet, owners are being further swayed by the guarantee of reduced fuel and maintenance costs, consumer profile advantages, and the growing number of Low Emission Zones.

However, many are unaware that their businesses' existing on-site private wire networks and electrical infrastructure will likely not be sufficient to power an EV fleet and so they will need some EV fleet support. In order to make an efficient, safe switch and reap the benefits of going electric, it is often necessary to upgrade or renew grid connections to support the additional power demands of EV fleet chargers.

Ev fleet solutions: managing the change

As the use of electric vehicles increases, quicker, more reliable and higher power charging infrastructures are essential to guarantee a fleet’s future security. And as the UK approaches the ban of sales of petrol and diesel-powered vehicles, there will be increasing competition to secure the required power for electric vehicle fleets. The technology has also matured, and regulations promoting e-mobility are growing.

Electric vehicle fleet requirements

The first step is to assess the size of your existing grid connection to determine if it will be suitable to cover the additional electrical loads from EV charging.

If you need more power you will need to secure a new connection, or upgrade your existing grid connection via: via:

1. Your local Distribution Network Operator (DNO) - Find your DNO, or

2. An Independent Distribution Network Operator (IDNO).

Working with an IDNO can reduce the cost of a new or upgraded grid connection, making them an ideal solution for fleet managers with limited capital for large infrastructure investments. IDNOs can provide businesses with cash- back, in the form of an Asset Adoption Value (AAV) – an attractive rebate that DNOs are not able to offer.

The next thing to consider is the private wire network that will transform and distribute the power that is needed on your premises. This can include new substations and the high and low voltage infrastructure required to deliver power to electrical vehicle charge points.

Designing, building, owning and operating EV fleet infrastructure requires extensive specialist knowledge and experience, as well as large investments to accommodate for upgrades or new equipment. Specifying the right number of Ev fleet chargers now and allowing suitable capacity for the future e adds further complexities, making it essential to conduct thorough planning in order to avoid costly upgrades in the future.

For those requiring EV fleet support but lacking the required funds, knowledge or expertise to manage their own infrastructure, or those concerned about being burdened with responsibility, Power-as-a-Service (PaaS) is an attractive option. Via PaaS, an experienced

energy professional like Vattenfall will provide the EV fleet support to help you through the process of switching to an EV fleet and shoulder all electrical, environmental and legislative risks, as well as  managing all compliance and regulatory issues – leaving fleet owners to focus ontheir core business.

The outsourcing model offers the unique advantage of having an energy expert invest in electrical infrastructure, freeing up CAPEX for a business. It also includes comprehensive EV fleet support, including upgrades or replacements and to high voltage electrical infrastructure (such as energy efficient transformers); EV fleet chargers; and can also include solar panels and batteries – both proven to boost energy resilience.