Fleet operations will be seeing a first wave of EV support providers setting up shop on depot lots that offer an array of EV services.
Voltera, which develops and runs electric vehicle (EV) charging facilities for fleets, is one such company that recently partnered with Amerit Fleet Solutions to offer EV maintenance. The two companies formally announced the nationwide strategic partnership on Jan. 10.
Voltera plans to gradually roll out the service over the next few months to expected fleet customers, and is developing multiple locations that will come on line this year. The first phase of the partnership with Amerit will provide mobile-accessed maintenance until it builds maintenance bays and facilities onsite at the EV depots.
“Our core business is on the real estate side, citing and developing locations, providing the charging infrastructure, and running the operations," said Jonathan Colbert, the vice president of marketing for Voltera. "Fleets need a well-tuned machine that allows fleet vehicles to charge daily at maximum capacity every time a vehicle pulls into a stall.”
Voltera’s partnership with Amerit Fleet Solutions helps minimize fleet downtime and improve fleet operations. Colbert said the Amerit arrangement is the first of many such partnerships to provide a complete array of EV services and support for fleets. “We don’t have to own or manage every piece of the value chain. We are not competing with Amerit.”
Among the maintenance, technical, and support services Voltera will provide onsite: Secure access controls, license plate readers which can accommodate autonomous vehicles, charging hardware, energy resources such as solar panels and battery storage, demand response programs that can sell energy back to the grid, Wifi and fiber optics to handle all the data communication among vehicles and depot services, lighting, traffic striping, vehicle wheel safety stops, and car washes. Voltera can add more amenities and services as it builds EV infrastructure for its clients.
Voltera will provide the API for fleet managers to integrate their telematics systems so they can communicate with the depots. The system will put charger availability, estimated uptimes, maintenance schedules and appointment times all into one dashboard for fleet customers.
“Our philosophy is to integrate with what fleet managers need,” Colbert told Charged Fleet. “We’re feeding information to them and helping them act on it. We’re bucketing all onsite operations into one dashboard for the customer.”
Fleet customers can book appointments, or they can share details and be routed to the correct times and places for service, as well as setting up regular service for a fleet.
The depots will offer regular EV inspections as well, which is another service as vital as maintenance, Colbert said. “This is very critical for partners because it’s more preventive than reactive. A lot of downtime for EVs involves cleaning sensors and doing inspections."
Amerit’s EV technician program ensures technicians have undergone extensive training and are certified to perform necessary maintenance and repair on the newest electric vehicles across a broad range of OEMs. Specially trained technicians are essential for EVs, which have different safety, inspection, and maintenance requirements than traditional vehicles. Fleet operators can gain increased uptime, safety and reliability when such a service is packaged as part of the charging facility.
“Voltera is not just deploying charging; we are managing operations on behalf of our customers which includes bringing strategic partners to the table, like Amerit, to maximize vehicle availability,” said Matt Horton, CEO of Voltera, in a news release.
Dan Williams, CEO of Amerit Fleet Solutions, added, "We will simplify the maintenance and support of electric fleet vehicles by bringing comprehensive services directly to their charging depots. This alleviates the burden and complexity of maintaining these complex vehicles and ensures maximum uptime.”
Voltera enables businesses to rapidly scale EV fleets, without investing much time and upfront capital on EV chargers, hardware, and related infrastructure. Voltera manages site selection, site acquisition, power procurement, facility design and construction, charging hardware and software deployment, operations, and maintenance.
The company provides EV charging facilities as a service, shouldering the capital investment expense so customers can instead focus capital on their operations. Voltera is on track to fund construction and operation of billions of dollars of EV charging facilities serving many types of businesses, including the drayage, regional haul, short haul, last mile delivery, ride hailing, and autonomous transportation sectors.
[NOTE: This news report first posted on Jan. 10 to Charged Fleet was updated on Jan. 13]
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