From diesel to decarbonization: Successfully electrifying your fleet

From diesel to decarbonization: Successfully electrifying your fleet

Having a service program designed around the needs of your fleet is crucial regardless of the technology in use.

The industry is always changing day after day. Exciting? Absolutely. Efficient? You know it. Sustainable? Getting there. Rapid? Very much so. Easy to keep up with?….Ha! No… Not in the slightest.

You see, as technology and equipment offerings continue to increase in complexity, this only adds to the list of head-scratchers fleet managers face on a regular basis. If you don’t believe me, just ask Kevin Clark, senior talent acquisition manager for Cox Automotive, about the industry’s multitude of challenges.

“I think fleet managers are living in a very interesting time right now where problems from the past still exist, and new problems are coming up. So think about the problems from the past: you’ve had cost pressure related to our inflation growth. And on top of that, this past week I read that diesel prices jumped 3.9 cents. So that’s even added more pressure. The freight hasn’t ever come back from the pandemic. It’s got so much cyclical nature about it. So they’re having to really watch their margin when they’re dealing with their customers. The technician shortage is still there, still an issue which has caused technician pay rates to increase, and that’s added cost pressure to their fleet.”

Change is sweeping through the industry, permeating every segment through various avenues. When it comes to electrification and sustainability trends, what is Cox Automotive observing within its customer base? 

“These companies have sustainability goals, they have the desire to move towards clean transportation,” Clark said. “And they’ve got to understand and figure out how they build the infrastructure at their facilities, what infrastructure there’s going to be in their routes. And then the vehicles themselves aren’t quite ready, but those that are, are very expensive.” 

Any seasoned vet in the industry understands that the current industry ambition to transition to EVs takes a lot more than just swapping out engines for batteries. Each fleet, application and region are experiencing vastly different circumstances. As a result, it’s evident why the zero-emissions timeline remains as varied as the alternative options available in the market. 

“One major difference is if you’re in a vocational or a light medium duty fleet, those types of clients are moving quicker toward the EV transition,” Clark said. “And in that space we’re training our technicians to be EV certified, and be able to take care of their equipment however necessary.” 

The transition is by no means an overnight one. It will take time, funds and immense planning. This is why fleets continue to actively maintain the health of their existing trucks. 

“I think a lot of fleet managers in this space of thinking about the EV transition have decided to really just dip their toe into the transition at this point, because of all the options and types of vehicles and equipment and uncertainty associated with those types of alternative fuel vehicles,” Clark said. “One of the things I’ve been noticing and seeing, especially over the past two years, is fleets extending the life of their vehicle. I’ve had a lot of our clients ask us to do refurbishments. And when I talk about refurbishment I’m talking about all the way, new engine, new paint, new everything to try to keep a piece of equipment.”

Having a service program designed around the needs of your fleet is crucial regardless of the technology in use. Even more important is ensuring that there is a technician readily available and equipped to fix the issue. 

“If you have a fleet that’s very dispersed and you got the fragmented services, our fleet operations team and our account managers can help build solutions that ensure that there are technicians to service your equipment, either ours or other people’s that we have fully vetted.” 

Achieving zero emissions is a unique journey for each fleet, but Cox Automotive makes its case for facilitating the transition to alternative transportation in the near future while additionally ensuring a content, current customer base.

You May Also Like

New Penske Energy initiative to advise, support fleets on electric truck infrastructure

Consulting offerings include strategic and operational planning, technology assessment, infrastructure designs and practical project implementation.

Penske Transportation Solutions and ForeFront Power have formed a new joint venture named Penske Energy LLC, based around helping fleets optimize and deploy electric charging infrastructure.

Penske Energy says it will provide fleet operators with comprehensive EV charging and energy infrastructure advisory consulting, including strategic and operational planning, technology assessment, infrastructure designs and practical project implementation.

The latest on ADAS

Adoption rates of ADAS continue to grow, and the newest features continue to be exciting and, much more importantly, potentially life-saving.

The potential benefits of parts inventory management software

Let’s take a look at a few common parts inventory mistakes in this episode of On the Road.

The most important things to remember about brake maintenance

Regular visual inspections are crucial to the safety of your trucks and their drivers.

The power of truck data visibility

For fleet managers, data is power, and there have never been as many tools for them to take advantage of as there are now. Related Articles – Noregon and Phillips Connect on their partnership, trailer health and data – Truck maintenance recommendations for the spring season – Everyone’s talking about AI, but will it make


Other Posts

From the Show Floor: Combustion engines in the future, funding sustainable trucks

A new HD brand, an autonomous truck, a timeline for ICE technology, resources to help fleets decarbonize and more from ACT Expo.

Volvo answers questions about its new autonomous truck

Volvo gives additional details on its newly announced autonomous truck, and the technology behind it.

From the Show Floor: Electric truck technology, enforcing CARB regulations

How will CARB regulations be enforced? What is the state of current and future EV trucking technology? We ask experts to get answers for you.

WattEV orders 153 battery electric trucks for its fleet

This order will bring its total fleet capacity to 189 Class 8 battery-electric trucks.