Fact-finding day for e-LCV transition at Vattenfall
Swedish energy producer Vattenfall has taken the bold step of committing to the EV100 initiative, and making its entire vehicle fleet electric by 2022. Vattenfall has a mixed fleet of passenger cars and Light Commercial Vehicles, which asks for a different approach and process.
To set the e-LCV project in motion, Vattenfall invited Light Commercial Vehicle OEMs to its office in Hamburg Germany, to see what the possibilities are regarding the transformation from ICE to e-LCVs. Pieter Dumas, e-LCV project leader, shares his thoughts on this forward-looking initiative.
Picture, from left to right: Tobias Kern of Fleetcompetence, and Pieter Dumas and Joris Daamen of Vattenfall.
How many vehicles are involved in this electrification, and what is your role?
"We have identified the total number of vehicles in the fleet to be electrified to be approximately around 3.500, split between 1.500 passenger vehicles and 2.000 light commercial vehicles. The number of cars is an estimation and can differ when we have completed our internal analysis. My role is not just as e-LCV project manager, but also as coordinator for the charging infrastructure element of our initiative."
Why is it so important to totally electrify the fleet?
"The most important thing for us is to build a fossil-free future for the next generation. We are doing this through vehicles, charging stations, wind farms, solar power… So all business units are involved. Along with this we need to communicate to our customers that we are on track to establish all of the initiatives which the market is looking for from us."
Have you invited all of the LCV manufacturers to this day?
Tobias Kern, of Fleetcompetence, consultant for this project: "All of the major suppliers have been invited, because it was important to have equitable treatment across the board. We wanted to fill the six presentation slots on a first come first served basis. For those which were not able to respond quickly enough, there will be a follow up at the IAA in Hannover in September."
"Within the same way of thinking, we have also invited people from many of the Vattenfall business units to be here today, to see where we are going. Some of the departments, of course, have to work with the vehicles and with our leasing partners and so on. Everyone is involved in some way."
What are the next steps?
"Firstly, to identify who can provide us with an immediate solution, and then to go further and discuss future partnerships. We also have to discuss internally with our procurement department, because the business case has to be developed as well."
Are you intending to find just one electric LCV supplier?
"At the moment, everything is on the table. We will investigate the complete supplier market, look at our needs, and make the two match. We will do this for the coming few years, but it is quite clear that things can evolve in this domain –we don’t have all the scenes laid out in front of us. This is why we talk to all suppliers, perhaps even some from outside Europe."
Do you know whether you are going to buy or lease these vehicles?
Joris Daamen, strategic buyer at Vattenfall: "We currently use full operational leasing for all of our vehicles except a few in the Nordics which are under financial leasing. We are not currently intending to change that."
Will you be talking to the drivers of these vehicles as well, for their input?
"We will certainly be taking their views into account, especially in terms of practical issues, of driveability… Their needs and wishes, along with the use we make of these vehicles, will be included in our thinking and roadmap."
What are the main requirements you have to comply with?
"From the Swedish and Nordics viewpoint, we’d prefer 4 x 4 and a towbar. There may also be certain load carrying needs, height, weight… We are in the process of identifying these different specifications. With our consultant Fleetcompetence, we’ve stated mapping out the needs, and of course they are not identical in every case."
Driving range is an issue with EVs – what are your minimum and maximum requirements? And do you need specific fit-outs inside?
"Driving between power plants can be as much as 300-400 km, which may be a challenge. City centre use is really a last mile scenario, with a total of maybe 40-50 km a day. Fit-out is needed, and in some cases this may be from a specialist, in others from the OEM. We even need microwaves, which consume a lot of power, in some of our remote location vehicles."
So when will we see the first e-LCVs in the fleet?
"We already have some in our fleet, though less than 5%, so not many yet, but this will be accelerated following this event and exponentially grow in the upcoming years to meet our goal."