Scanning the week’s news of the leading fleet magazine, more than half the headlines are focused on automotive manufacturers including Toyota, Ford, Nissan and their commitment to greening of their fleets by moving to electric vehicle technologies.
For example, Nissan plans to use a $1.6 billion U.S. loan to rework a Tennessee factory so that battery-powered cars can be manufactured there. Ford Motor Company said it has developed an intelligent vehicle-to-grid communications and control system for its plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that “talks” with the nation’s electric grid.
Indeed it is exciting to read on a daily basis how much closer we are to the reality of EV’s for consumers and fleets. Fleets will be the first mass adopters of EVs and PHEVs. We are already seeing businesses, government agencies, cities and countries across the world that are making significant and meaningful steps to reducing their fuel costs, our nation’s dependence on imported fuel, and our carbon footprint by converting their gas guzzling and polluting fleets to eco friendly EV’s…but what about the infrastructure needed to support such vehicles? Is there different technology needed to support EV fleets vs. consumer EVs? Just what are the needs of fleet managers when it comes to EV fleets?
As an example if you have a rental car fleet or manage an in-house fleet, it’s quite important to know at a glance which cars are available for dispatch, and when the next car will be available. It’s important to be reminded that one of your vehicles will not be ready tomorrow unless someone plugs it in. The Fleet Portal helps you with those tasks through web-based and smartphone-based services.
Today additional cities and counties such as San Francisco, Amsterdam and our newest installation, Nashville, Tennessee are using Coulomb’s Fleet Portal. At the recent Plug-In 2009 conference and expo in Long Beach Calif., one of the newest entries in the EV fleet space, Rapid Electric Vehicles (REV), was showing their fleet all-electric Ford Escapes. According to CEO Jay Giraud “With 63 million passenger fleet vehicles polluting the air every day in North America the fleets are going to need a fully integrated solution of vehicles and charging infrastructure. These new fleets are going to need convenient charging stations to meet the mandates for clean air emission standards.”
We look forward providing frequent updates on the progress of our fleet customers and what they are doing to move to Fleet 2.0.
Coulomb Technologies was founded in 2007 with the express mission to ensure that anyone who is considering the choice to buy an electric vehicle will have adequate access to fuel for the cars. Visit www.coulombtech.com to learn more about Coulomb’s infrastructure plans and where you can find a local charging station. Follow Coulomb on Twitter @CoulombEVi.