While fleets are concerned with the procurement of EVs, energy suppliers are concerned with ensuring the grid can even support such a large increase in demand. The US Department of Energy estimates that electricity consumption could go up by 38 percent by 2050 due to the transition to EVs. The challenge now is generating enough clean energy to support this change.
Alternative fuels are on the top of many fleet managers’ minds these days. Fleets are exploring new ways to get the job done while remaining operationally efficient, cost effective and sustainable. As a result, many managers are introducing a mix of electric, hydrogen, and natural gas-powered vehicles into their fleet to work alongside traditional gas and diesel ICEVs.
As EV production struggles to keep up and delivery dates keep being pushed back, many fleets are left wondering whether their sustainability goals are even feasible in the immediate future. One potential solution is the use of natural gas to power light- to heavy-duty vehicles.
The reasons for our dependence on fossil fuels, not only nationally, but globally, are clear to see. Fossil fuels are cheap to produce, abundant and reliable, and ultimately, have all the infrastructure in place to make production relatively easy.
Solar energy has grown rapidly in the past decade, reaching 97 gigawatts of capacity by 2020 (enough to power 18 million homes). Though only 11% of the renewable energy consumed in the US is solar, this figure is expected to more than double by 2050.
Regardless of the inefficiencies, hydrogen does have the advantage in terms of range, lightness, and quick refueling. The issues come with the process of actually getting the fuel source to the car without losing so much power.