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Going electric is feasible if you know what you’re doing

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Going electric is feasible if you know what you’re doing

Electrification is accelerating as the model range expands and governments provide considerable incentives. Charging is still perceived as a big hurdle, but together with ChargePoint, ALD Automotive offers solutions that make electric life very feasible.

Since the beginning of this year, companies have been adopting electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in far greater numbers than before. That is the logical consequence of several factors. Pushed by the European CO2 targets, carmakers are launching a plethora of new EV and PHEV models. Electric driving has become accessible thanks to a better electric range on the one hand, and increased government incentives in countries like Germany and France on the other. “Also, people are more concerned than ever about air pollution and climate change. Finally, companies have their own CO2 reduction targets, meaning they cannot do without EVs anymore,” explains Benjamin Huvé, Business Intelligence & Consultancy - EV expert at ALD Automotive.

Despite appearances, switching to EV could actually save you money

One might think that the current economic context puts a brake on companies’ plans to integrate electric vehicles in their fleet. After all, going electric is still perceived as being a costly ordeal. “In fact, the contrary is true in many cases. You’ve got to look at the bigger picture : the TCO (total cost of ownership) is more than just the depreciation of a car. Bottom line, if you consider the lower maintenance and repair costs, as well as lower taxes and smaller ‘fuel’ bills, switching to an EV can be cost neutral or even a cost-saving decision. Of course, no two fleets are the same and every situation is different, making the exercise quite complex, but that is where ALD Automotive fits in,” Benjamin Huvé adds.

Take the charging hurdles with an expert

A question often raised by corporates is whether home charging is a prerequisite. “From a technical or practical point of view, not as such, as long as there are charging possibilities at the office and/or public chargers close to the home of the employee. Yet, charging costs put a lot of weight in the car’s TCO – and they vary a lot between domestic power and electricity sold at a public charger. Up to 80%  of all charging sessions are done either at home or the workplace where the cost of electricity is by far the lowest. Providing a wallbox at home allows corporates to better control TCO while reimbursing the electricity directly to the employee,” says André ten Bloemendal, VP Commercial Sales Europe at ChargePoint.

What about charging at the office? Should infrastructure be built on a 1-to-1 basis in relation to EV fleet growth? “Fortunately, no. That would require tremendous investments and put a huge strain on the grid assuming that most employees arrive at the same time and then would all start charging. The solution resides in intelligent charging management and a common solution is to increase charging station utilization by using cloud solutions like a wait list. To reduce any anxiety of having to enlarge the grid connection at the workplace, dynamic load balancing provides the ability to maximize power to the charging stations while remaining within the grid limit at all times. In the near future, we should see sustainable energy sharing within the parked fleet itself at the workplace, resulting in even better availability of energy and a lower TCO,” he explains.

The answer to what type of infrastructure and how many chargers you need looking forward is quite complicated. That is why ALD Automotive has partnered with ChargePoint. Starting from charging needs analysis based on a company’s fleet constellation, fleet renewal and vehicle use, ALD Automotive and ChargePoint project what a company will require and work out scenarios to make sure fleets retain optimum operability while offering maximum driver convenience and keeping costs at bay.