Accelerating the Adoption of EVs as DERs through Fleet Procurement

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

In 2020, the recipient made significant progress on market discovery, customer development, and securing market traction for MyFleetBuy (MFB).The MFB software has been tested with fleet telematics data from pilot fleets from Alameda County and Caltrans. Feedback from the pilot fleets and entities engaged during the sales-outreach process was used to develop an understanding of how MFB caters to customer demands, and how the product must evolve to meet customer demand. The MFB team also concluded a case study where they were contracted to assess municipal fleet electrification for the City of Fremont. Using the MFB software, the team identified a pathway to electrify 159 of the city's current vehicles. These EVs would result in $3,000,000 of reduced operating expenditures and 54% reductions over the life of these vehicles. In 2021 the recipient plans to continue business development to secure contracts and partnerships to scale MFB to government and commercial fleets.

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

Lower Costs

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. The operating costs for fleet entities will also be substantially lower given that typical EV fueling costs are 1/4 to 1/2 of comparable conventional cars. With increasing EV adoption, costs can be lowered for ratepayers overall, as EVs can substantially broaden the base of electric ratepayers that support recovery of the fixed costs of maintaining reliability of utility distribution systems.

Greater Reliability

Greater Reliability

MyFleetBuy will show fleet managers how smart chargers can save them money, leading to greater penetration of smart chargers instead of uncontrolled chargers. The shift toward EVs with smart charging will help to mitigate excessive demands at fleet charging hubs, thereby avoiding local grid faults, transformer overloading, and excessive voltage deviations.

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