Accelerating the Adoption of EVs as DERs through Fleet Procurement

MyFleetBuy mitigates uncertainties for fleet managers by providing clarity on cost savings offered by EVs and smart charging, and verifying the range viability of EVs.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Recipient

Berkeley, CA

Recipient Location

9th

Senate District

15th

Assembly District

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$1,000,000

Amount Spent

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Active

Project Status

Project Update

The agreement term for this project ended in December of 2021 and the final report is in the publication process. In 2021, the recipient continued business development efforts and partnerships to scale MyFleetBuy (MFB) to government and commercial fleets. These efforts included marketing at industry events and collaborating with non-profits, direct sales pitches to more than 200 fleet customers, and exploring go-to-market partnership opportunities with consulting companies, electric utilities, and other vendors. The recipient found MFB could be used by these organizations to complement existing products and launch new fleet electrification services. In 2021 the recipient also developed Electrifyze, an EV learning management system to help employees learn about electric vehicles and prepare for electrification of their fleet.

Throughout this project, the researchers evaluated the travel data from more than 12,000 fleet vehicles and secured contracts with fleet consultants as well as fleet owners. The MFB team developed a functional software platform that empowers fleet managers to create, save and share multiple vehicle electrification simulations. This flexible data modelling approach allows users to prepare multi-year transition reports and/or provide recommendations for a small subset of their fleet.

The Issue

Corporate and government fleets across California operate hundreds of thousands of vehicles. Fleet managers face a wide range of uncertainties while considering a switch to an electric vehicle fleet. This stems from an overall lack of awareness and data on issues such as payback time from energy savings, fleet operating costs and whether EV technology, including advancements in range and smart charging, are adequate to meet fleet needs. These uncertainties create formidable barriers for fleet managers making purchasing decisions and inhibit market pull of EVs. This results in most fleet managers choosing to keep conventional vehicles, since they are the familiar choice.

Project Innovation

The MyFleetBuy fleet procurement system developed in this project will mitigate uncertainties for fleet managers by providing clarity on cost savings offered by EVs and smart charging, and verifying the range viability of EVs. MyFleetBuy will leverage the sophisticated vehicle physics models underlying the LBNL-developed MyGreenCar technology, analyzing individual fleet vehicle duty cycles and translating the analysis into easy-to-understand graphics. MyFleetBuy will provide fleet managers with a low cost, highly scalable data collection and analytics system with which to compare their options when investing in new vehicles. The platform will accelerate fleet procurement of EVs by raising awareness of options while mitigating the uncertainties that limit their adoption in fleets.

Project Benefits

MyFleetBuy will raise fleet managers' awareness of EVs while mitigating the risks and uncertainties that inhibit their adoption of EVs. MyFleetBuy will (1) collect high-resolution data on individual fleet vehicles, including driving distances, traffic, terrain, driving style, and more, using low-cost data loggers; (2) analyze these data with sophisticated vehicle physics models; and (3) provide fleet managers with a decision-support tool to compare fuel costs of conventional, hybrid, or EVs; compare overall operating costs for all vehicles; and, calculate the difference in costs of uncontrolled vs. smart charging for EVs.

Lower Costs

Affordability

By encouraging fleet procurement of EVs with smart charging, fleet entities will minimize expensive demand charges and maximize charging during periods where time-of-use rates are lower.

Greater Reliability

Reliability

MyFleetBuy will show fleet managers how smart chargers can save them money, leading to greater penetration of smart chargers instead of uncontrolled chargers.

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