18 Nov 21

Power as a Service: a new solution for EV fleets

Rapid advances in electric vehicle technology are being matched by dynamic developments in the services designed to support them.

In the Netherlands, delivery company Red je Pakketje has adopted a Power-as-a-Service (PaaS) model to recharge 40 EVs at its Utrecht depot.

No capex

PaaS avoids the capital expenditure of acquiring charge points and upgrading the local grid and power lines. Instead, Red je Pakketje partnered with energy company Vattenfall, which bought, installed and now owns the on-site charging infrastructure. The arrangement also means Red je Pakketje avoids the ongoing responsibility and cost of operating the charging infrastructure.

Alexis Fischer, from Vattenfall’s EV team in the Netherlands, said: “The charging system we specified fits especially well for commercial EV fleets with predictable charging patterns. For logistics companies, with predictable vehicle rotation a centralised charging setup system works very well, because they know when the vehicles will turn up.In a public situation you need to constantly provide enough power for every outlet, in case all chargers are required - you can’t schedule power requests - so you need a big power supply. In this instance we can go up to 22kw per outlet - but on average we provide 5kw, which is sufficient to fully charge the vans during the night, so we are able to make the most efficient use of the existing grid connection without requiring an upgrade.”

This first charging hub started with 40 charge points, but the delivery company has plans to expand it to 120 chargers to support its order for 400 EVs. The company has recently opened a second charging hub in Amsterdam, with Vattenfall again providing the funding, technical and electrical expertise.

Leasing strategy

Red je Pakketje leases its vehicles and its building, so it makes financial sense for the growing company to avoid tying up its available capital in charging infrastructure, and instead to adopt a PaaS approach, which does not demand a large upfront investment.

Tijs van Driel, COO and co-founder of Red je Pakketje, said: “Sustainability is pre-eminently an area where you need to join forces. That is why we are pleased that Vattenfall is investing heavily in charging plazas at our distribution centres.”

Authored by: Jonathan Manning