Last mile fleets risk delays to electrification plans

Mer works with delivery fleets to solve conflicts between ambitious electrification goals and challenges around power availability. The company is seeing that many businesses are focused on whether existing vehicle fleets can be switched to EVs, but are omitting to factor in the challenges of charging them all.

Mer has produced a new guide to help last mile logistics managers properly understand the process and ensure that their fleet electrification plans don’t get stuck in a bottleneck.

Natasha Fry, Head of Strategic Accounts at Mer, says, “Delivery fleet managers are very data-driven when it comes to identifying which vehicles can be electrified and the best way to optimise those assets. However, they need to start taking the same analytical approach to charging infrastructure and planning for how vehicles will be charged, how much power it’ll require and establishing where that power comes from.

“Final mile fleets are among those driving electrification, and many have set ambitious goals to go even further. But without a true understanding of the power availability at each depot, and the cost implications of upgrading those grid connections, their rollouts of EVs risk being delayed while budgets are revised upwards.”

Mer’s free guide covers the importance of including each depot’s energy capacity as a metric when setting fleet electrification targets. It also explains how to calculate power availability and the solutions to overcoming grid limitations. Other steps covered in the guide include:

  • Identifying whether fast or rapid chargers will best suit a last mile operator’s needs.
  • Managing the procurement process.
  • Getting installation right the first time.
  • How to minimise charger downtime for mission critical EVs.

Mer recommends site surveys at every depot to properly understand the implications of corporate electrification objectives on each site.

“Upgrading your grid connection comes at a price and takes time,” adds Natasha. “But understanding that in the early stages means you go into it with your eyes open. Some last mile logistics operators will be prepared to increase budgets to meet existing targets, while others might prefer to take a more phased approach.

“To run an effective last mile logistics business, data is king. Being armed with the right information on EV charging will ensure you make evidence-based decisions on electrification, rather than make costly mistakes.”

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