213310167 | Scharfsinn86 | Dreamstime
Electric Vehicle Charging 213310167 Scharfsinn86 Dreamstime

Energy industry ready to power EV revolution for fleets

Oct. 1, 2021
By 2030, a new federal target calls for over half of vehicle sales to be fully electric and emissions-free. To make that happen, the transportation and electricity industries must work together now to reduce pollution and champion sustainability.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the transportation sector accounted for 29% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2019. Transportation is at the top of the list of industries contributing to GHG emissions nationwide, and the energy industry believes it can help fix that.

It’s no secret that we are in the early stages of a green transportation revolution. By 2030, a new federal target calls for over half of vehicle sales to be fully electric and emissions-free. To make that happen, the transportation and electricity industries right now must work together in innovative, pragmatic, and effective ways to reduce pollution and champion sustainability.

First, the good news: Energy providers across the nation already are focusing heavily on generating electricity from clean and renewable energy sources, which will continue to reduce their environmental impact significantly in the years to come. In Michigan, Consumers Energy recently announced a bold plan to close its coal plants within the next four years, and it’s moving toward being entirely carbon-neutral. Overall, the energy industry has reduced its carbon emissions by more than 30% in the last 15 years.

Now, the trickier part: What’s the best way for energy providers to extend the impact of clean and renewable electricity in the commercial transportation sector? Better yet, how can energy providers help fleet owners and operators overcome the hurdles they face with respect to EV adoption?

The answer is by forging a powerful relationship. This relationship can come to life through innovative programs that incentivize and subsidize forward-thinking fleet owners and operators that actively contribute to a cleaner environment.

Of course, any real solution must make sense from a business perspective in addition to an environmental perspective: We need to help fleet operators embrace EVs by reducing costs, mitigating maintenance needs, and improving operational efficiency.

These programs must go above and beyond the state and federal incentives for purchasing EVs. Instead, they must directly address the challenges faced by commercial fleet owners and operatorschallenges that are related to the EV charging infrastructure.

States address EV challenges

State by state, we are seeing innovative programs take shape. From Massachusetts to California and New York to Texas, public utilities are offering rebates and incentives to help businesses significantly reduce the costs and maintenance needs associated with installing fleet-only or public-facing EV charging stations.

Our approach here in Michigan is the PowerMIFleet program. As an energy provider with some 200,000 electric business customers, Consumers Energy connects businesses and municipal fleets with the planning resources, expert guidance, and financial incentives required to install the charging infrastructure needed to support the transition to EVs.

Ultimately, PowerMIFleet and programs like it help establish and nurture a collective commitment between the transportation and energy industries. Together, we can help protect the environment, and those efforts don’t have to come with any business compromises. Through programs like these, energy providers can be a powerful force in enabling practical and cost-effective solutions for fleet owners and operators.

We know business owners want to be part of the solution when it comes to protecting the planet. So do energy providers. We’re confident we can strengthen our relationship with fleet operators to not only reduce emissions and fight climate change, but we can do it in a way that rewards the bottom line.

Energy providers are in the middle of a clean energy transformation. It doesn’t stop with our own power plants and electric lines—we can help accelerate the growth in electric vehicles that will sustain businesses and, ultimately, our entire planet.

Lauren Youngdahl Snyder is VP for customer experience for Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest electric provider.

About the Author

Lauren Youngdahl Snyder | VP for customer experience at Consumers Energy

Lauren Youngdahl Snyder is vice president for customer experience at Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest electric provider.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Report: The 2024 State of Heavy-Duty Repair

From capitalizing on the latest revenue trends to implementing strategic financial planning—this report serves as a roadmap for navigating the challenges and opportunities of ...

Fleet Industry Benchmarks: How does your fleet stack up?

Discover how your fleet compares to industry benchmarks and gain insights from a 2024 Benchmarking Report on maintenance spend, turnaround time, and more. Join us to identify ...

Build a Tolling Program to Manage Toll Fees and Risks

Fleets looking to effectively manage their operational costs should consider their tolling costs. Download the PrePass whitepaper, “Build a Tolling Program to Manage Toll Fees...

Reducing CSA Violations & Increasing Safety With Advanced Trailer Telematics

Keep the roads safer with advanced trailer telematics. In this whitepaper, see how you can gain insights that lead to increased safety and reduced roadside incidents—keeping drivers...