Advance Planning, Future-Proofing Key to Unlocking Worldwide Fleet Electrification

Jan 19, 2022 3:00 PM ET

As calls for sustainability and global decarbonization rise, the electrification of commercial fleets — many from high-profile companies like Amazon and FedEx — has become commonplace. But as medium- to heavy-duty vehicles continue their transition away from the combustion engine, concerns are rising that power utilities will be unable to meet the increasing demand for electricity supply.

According to the second article in a two-part series in T&D World, written by Black & Veatch’s Leslie Ponder, Paul Stith and Alex Bettencourt, one way utilities can address these concerns is through careful planning and preparation. If utilities begin to adapt and expand their infrastructure and supply now, with the future of large-scale electric transportation in mind, they can employ advance planning for site selection, power requirements, scalability and resiliency to ensure continued sustainability in both cost and supply as the grid faces skyrocketing demand.

These considerations will only become more imperative in coming years, as countries around the world look to speed the proliferation of electric fleets in an effort to meet sustainability and decarbonization mandates. Paris and Madrid, for example, will have banned all diesel-powered passenger vehicles by 2024, with several other major European cities following suit. In Canada, the government continues to raise the carbon tax, which will sit at USD$ 50/ton by next year, increasing by US$ 15/ton each year until 2030.

As these factors drive electrification, fleet owners must begin to act now to ensure they can keep up with the rapid transition, especially as the movement will expand across markets to applications in mining, marine, air and more, explain the writers.

As the global economy increasingly embraces electrification, propelled by climate change policy, decarbonization and sustainability goals, opportunities arise for utilities to obtain greater control over investments and cost certainty through future-proofing and advance planning.