As fleets find their way toward electrification, more suppliers are stepping in to ease the transition.
In one recent example, EV Connect, a provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging services, and Skycharger, a supplier of chargers and access to charging networks, announced Jan. 18 a Fleet-as-a-Service (FaaS) program.
Through this program, fleets can sign up for what the companies call a “full stack approach,” where they can have chargers installed and tailored to their fleets along with the electricity supply, maintenance, software and coordination to support it, said Jonathan Leicester, vice president of fleet at EV Connect.
Leicester said fleets can choose among three key options: 1) Order a charging system to be installed on their property; 2) Contract with the program to manage an existing charging system; 3) Purchase access to existing outside charging networks provided by other suppliers. Charing options include Level 2 and fast-charging equipment from EV Connect partners BTC, EvoCharge, PowerCharge, Tritium, Zerova, and others.
The EV Connect-Skycharger FaaS program acts as fulcrum connecting fleet operations to packages of various services they need to deploy and sustain electric fleets.
A FaaS program is ideal for fleets that want to avoid capital expenditures outside of EV purchasing, Leicester told Charged Fleet. Most fleet customers either already own their EVs or have ordered them and want to prepare to deploy them. He compared the monthly subscription fee for the FaaS an all-inclusive full-access membership fee for electric fleet services.
The fleet customers will bring vehicles in and charge them and manage them in the same way as if they owned all the equipment and support services in-house, Leicester said. “The difference is in how they pay for it. We look at the charging, create a solution and put the package together.”
The FaaS program can accommodate fleets of all sizes from the commercial and public sectors, including ones with only a handful of EVs and much larger fleets that acquire hundreds of them. That includes delivery vehicles, pickup trucks, passenger cars, and school buses.
“We cover the gamut of the whole fleet space,” Leicester said.
EV Connect and Skycharger can customize and bundle all EV services through financing backed by the EV Connect Shield warranty service. EV Connect Shield provides central management of charging station operations and maintenance, including station hardware, software and networking, technical field service, as well as parts sourcing and replacement.
“Vehicle electrification is coming, and Skycharger is here to provide fleet owners a solution that makes adoption of electric vehicles easy for them,” said Andy Karetsky, president and founder at Skycharger, in a news release.
Through turnkey EV charging solutions, FaaS customers can access expert consulting at every phase of the electric vehicle supply equipment's life cycle, covering site planning to deployment, operations, and management, the companies said.
Founded in 2013, Skycharger, headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, owns and operates a portfolio of Level 2, DC fast charging, and vehicle-to-grid charging stations in six states.
EV Connect, started in 2010 and based in El Segundo, California, is a subsidiary of Schneider Electric that serves customers across 41 states, including GM, Avista Utilities, Love’s Travel Stops, Verizon, Marriott, Hilton, Western Digital, ADP, New York Power Authority, and numerous municipalities.