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Electrification Coalition Touts Fleets (and Fleet Conversions)

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  • Felix Kramer
    The Electrification Coalition has been very successful in organizing corporate executives, military officers and many others to support accelerated adoption
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 16, 2010
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      The Electrification Coalition has been very successful in organizing
      corporate executives, military officers and many others to support
      accelerated adoption plug-in cars for the economic and energy
      security benefits. Now EC has just released a new "Fleet
      Electrification Roadmap." It proposes steps to increase market
      penetration in private and public fleet vehicles of "GEVs" (Grid
      Electric Vehicles, including EVs and PHEVs). Below we include links
      to the report. Plus we are very gratified to see the report's
      acknowledgment of the value of large-scale conversions, and news of
      Fedex activities on conversions; we include that text from the report.

      (Shortly after it goes out on email, this posting will also be
      viewable at http://www.calcars.org/news-archive.html -- there you can
      add CalCars-News to your RSS feed.)

      GET THE REPORT: We encourage you to read the entire Fleet
      Electrification Roadmap; it's loaded with nuggets of hard-to-find
      data and smart analyses. You can read the press release and download
      it in several formats (and earlier EC publications), starting at

      http://www.calcars.org/news-archive.html: April 8 2010:
      "Electrification Coalition Report: 1.9 Million Jobs from Plug-In Cars
      & Other Benefits," and January 25, 2010: " 2009's Best
      Strategy/Analysis: Electrification Coalition's Roadmap," and by all
      means, read them too!

      everywhere that General Electric will purchase 25,000 plug-in cars in
      the next five years for its own fleet. The company is moving into the
      business of selling charging systems as well. Federal Express has
      been a strong supporter of plug-ins for years. (The report shows
      Fedex with the fourth largest commercial fleet (p.142), not including
      tens of thousand of airport vehicles.

      Fedex CEO Fred Smith, speaking at the briefing for the release of
      this report, talked at length about the company's efforts. It caught
      our attention when he said the company hasestablished a significant
      project to explore ways to retrofit many of their vehicles. We hope
      more companies will follow their lead, bringing more customers to the
      emerging companies in the conversion business (see
      http://www.calcars.org/ice-conversions.html ).

      EC FLEET ROADMAP LOOKS AT CONVERSIONS. This represents a major
      recognition of the importance of the conversion strategy. We do
      regret, first, that the action agenda from the report did not include
      any measures to develop or incentivize conversions -- it's still up
      to the emerging companies cited but not identified to prove their
      case! And with the federal government, prompted by the $50M campaign
      by T Boone Pickens, increasing support for natural gas conversions of
      large vehicles (costing more and producing fewer long-term economic
      and emissions benefits), we look forward to the time when safe,
      validated, warrantied conversions will receive equivalent incentives.
      Here are the report's findings:

      For some fleet operators that are able to hold onto vehicles for an
      extended period of time, drivetrain conversions may provide a
      relatively lower cost option for utilizing PHEV or EV technology. A
      conversion simply replaces the existing ICE powertrain with a new EV
      or PHEV powertrain; the rest of the vehicle is retained. Therefore,
      conversions are likely to be most appropriate for heavily depreciated assets.

      PHEV or EV conversions could fit within the operational norm for some
      companies today. For example, in certain service applications,
      calendar lifespan of a typical vehicle can be in excess of eight to
      10 years. In instances where these vehicles also log high
      miles--waste removal trucks, for example--fleet operators today
      sometimes opt for a drivetrain replacement rather than incurring the
      cost of purchasing a new vehicle.

      A number of companies today are marketing PHEV or EV drivetrains as
      standalone products for both consumer and commercial conversions.
      While the consumer market may have potential, the value that many
      drivers place on vehicle appearance and age may limit the size of the
      overall conversion market. However, in fleet applications that derive
      utility from maximizing the operational lifespan of a vehicle, PHEV
      and EV powertrain conversions could represent a significant cost
      savings. The marginal cost of an electric drivetrain compared to an
      ICE drivetrain is likely to be less than the marginal cost of
      replacing a complete ICE vehicle with an electric drive vehicle. Yet
      the fuel savings-potential of GEV conversion is essentially the same
      as a new asset. Fleet operators who opt for conversions will have a
      smaller upfront investment to pay back, but will benefit from the
      same operational cost savings as operators who purchase their vehicles new.

      -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
      Felix Kramer fkramer@...
      Founder California Cars Initiative
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