“To reach these ambitious climate goals, we have to look at transportation” – ABB’s Stephanie Medeiros on fleet electrification

“To reach these ambitious climate goals, we have to look at transportation” – ABB’s Stephanie Medeiros on fleet electrification

  • On World EV day, the latest episode of ABB Decoded discusses importance of fleet electrification, focused on heavy-duty vehicles
  • Explores challenges of charging these vehicles and how ABB is helping drive progress in infrastructure to address these
  • As part of the EV100, ABB has committed to electrifying its fleet of more than 10,000 vehicles by 2030

Today marks the second annual World EV Day, of which ABB is headline partner. The global event celebrates e-mobility, while also encouraging the transition to sustainable transport. With CO2 levels at an all-time high and continuing to rise, it’s vital that emissions are reduced and this transition to electric transportation is a key way to achieve this. Stephanie Medeiros, E-mobility Global Account Manager and electrical engineer by training, works on fleet electrification projects all over the world. In this podcast episode, she shares her knowledge and insight into the challenges and solutions for this important element in creating a low-carbon society.

The importance of fleet electrification

Fleet electrification is very important given that 25 per cent of emissions come from transport, and fleets are a large element of this. Within fleets, it is also crucial to look at heavy-duty vehicles as Stephanie explains:

“Even though heavy-duty vehicles constitute about 1% of the total fleets and vehicles, they actually contribute over 25% of global emissions for road transport. So, if we replace one conventional, internal combustion engine truck, it will save about 22 tons of CO2 or 500 liters of diesel per year. So, they’re big numbers, and if we add all that up there's a lot of emissions that we're cutting around the world.”

“When we're looking at fleet electrification, there are really good projects already in progress around the world. For example, Amazon is planning to operate 100,000 electric delivery vans for last mile in the U.S. and all over the world, and that's going to happen over the next 10 years.”

Driving progress in charging infrastructure

When it comes to the charging infrastructure for heavier vehicles, higher charging power is required due to larger batteries and smaller charging windows. This is a big consideration when a fleet operator is going electric as both the installation and operation costs are going to be significant, and they don’t want all vehicles coming in and charging at the same time. There are, however, ways to work around these challenges.

The latest episode of ABB Decoded discusses the importance of fleet electrification.
The latest episode of ABB Decoded discusses the importance of fleet electrification.

“So, the first thing is smart charging, to spread out charging throughout your available window and maximizing your asset as much as possible. There are software solutions and tools that are available to facilitate this and make sure that your vehicles are charged when they need to be. And then, there’s other solutions, too, like battery energy storage and solar and renewable integration to help out with the peak demands.

“On the charging side you can charge heavy-duty trucks from 25 or 50 kilowatts all the way up. We have the CCS (combined charging system) standard that will charge these vehicles up until 350 kilowatts, depending on the amperage. What’s really interesting is that the industry is coming together and looking at megawatt charging – one megawatts and higher. So, that is going to be the new standard and ABB is part of making that happen.”

ABB’s fleet electrification project

ABB is not only helping customers around the world transition to electric transportation, but is also making this change itself, in line with its 2030 sustainability strategy and to help enable a low-carbon society.

“As part of the EV100, ABB has committed to electrifying its fleet of more than 10,000 vehicles by 2030. In addition, there are already projects that ABB is doing around the world such as in Sweden where ABB has started to convert its fleet of around 700 company cars to electric. And in the U.K., ABB announced that it was going to transition its 500 fleet company cars to electric by 2025.

“If we’re looking at great examples of electrification of heavy-duty vehicles, ABB also has an e-truck pilot project that’s in operation in Switzerland. From this we learnt that it’s very possible to have electric vehicles where the charging is seamless and there is little impact on operation. We also got great feedback from the drivers that it is fun to drive, super responsive and then the fact that there’s less noise really helps to reduce stress and just make things a lot calmer around the drivers.”

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a leading global technology company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by about 105,000 talented employees in over 100 countries. www.abb.com

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