Charging up: Electric vehicle fleets are making moves


The U.S. electric vehicle market continues to charge up, as Q1 2021 saw an 81% growth in sales and an increased share in the overall sale of vehicles from 4.8% in 2020 to 7.8% this year, according to Kelley Blue Book. One segment, electric vehicle fleets, has taken some significant strides recently.

GM and EVgo form charging network agreement

Fast charging network developer EVgo and EV maker GM have deepened their partnership, with EVgo named the preferred fast charging provider for the Ultium Charge 360 fleet service.

The arrangement gives EVgo the responsibility of deploying charging infrastructure solutions specifically for the GM fleet and BrightDrop customers, and these customers can receive program discounts at EVgo’s nationwide network of more than 800 public fast charging stations.

GM’s Ultium Charge 360 fleet service will support electrification for rideshare, delivery, municipal, autonomous, government, and other market segments, and included a curated, comprehensive offering for fleet customers who are transitioning to EVs.

Reliability is a key in fleet charging, and EVgo was selected for its demonstrated uptime, which the company said is 98% across thousands of charging stations.

The end solution the companies are driving towards is a turnkey electric fleet, with the companies meeting the diverse needs of fleet transition planning, equipment provisioning, infrastructure deployment, dedicated depots, integrated software solutions, and ongoing operations and maintenance.

Schneider and GM’s software partnership

GM has selected Schneider Electric as their preferred provider for end-to-end infrastructure solutions for GM’s Ultium Charge 360 fleet service.

Services provided by Schneider include utility rate negotiation and modeling, software integration, charging station agnostic solutions, and cybersecurity architecture. Also provided will be end-point cloud integration connecting products, controls, software and services, and Energy-as-a-Service design and support for the infrastructure solution.

These services are packaged under Schneider’s EcoStruxure for Automotive and Mobility, which will now be optimized for a user-friendly interface with GM fleets and BrightDrop customers.

GM will facilitate and coordinate integration between fleet customers’ existing integrated software solutions and Schneider Electric programming interfaces as needed. This means, where available, Schneider’s new EV infrastructure technology will work seamlessly with existing GM solutions like Energy Assist, OnStar, and newer technologies going forward.

Nikola Motors adds 51 dealership locations  

A Nikola fuel-cell semi-truck.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

EV and fuel cell electric vehicle fleet maker Nikola has made significant strides in their sales presence, with the addition of five independent dealers across 51 locations to their network.

The new partnerships place Nikola trucks for sale in Texas, Arizona, California, New Mexico, Florida, Delaware, Virginia, and Maryland, and nearly double Nikola’s reach, bringing their total dealership network to 116 locations.

This April, Nikola announced a partnership with RIG360 Service Network, a provider of heavy-duty truck service and maintenance centers, to provide sales and service products for commercial customers at over 65 RIG360 dealer locations throughout the Southeast, Midwest, and Northeast.

It has been a difficult twelve months for Nikola, with fraud allegations causing their CEO to resign, and a cancelled plan to build trash trucks with Republic Services. This dealership move is sign of the inevitable momentum behind fleet electrification, despite hiccups along the way.

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