Merchants Fleet is making real investments in electric vehicles, having announced intentions to purchase nearly 18,000 EV vans from BrightDrop over the next few years, and is now expanding its electric vehicle capabilities with management planning tools for fleets.
The fleet management company has launched Electrify Fleet Hub, an online resource with centralized information for fleets looking to make the switch to electric vehicles. The site includes an EV finder that helps users locate current research and future EV models based on their needs.
“Fleet vehicles account for over 70% of our country’s freight movements, so to achieve our nation’s sustainability goals the fleet industry has to adopt sustainable modes of transportation — and the quickest way to get started on that pathway is through electrification. That’s a tall order for an industry that prior to this, had no centralized place to turn for real, actionable information about electrification” said Hari Nayar, Merchants Fleet director of electrification and sustainability. “The Electrify Fleet Hub aims to completely change that, by providing fleet clients with one convenient resource for customized guidance and support to ensure they’re making the right decisions that’ll allow their fleets to quickly and easily realize the many benefits and cost savings of electrification.”
The Electrify Fleet Hub is divided into five sections:
- Learning and resources introduces Merchants’ proprietary five-step EV adoption process and provides visitors with dozens of valuable EV materials to help them get up to speed on EVs and the EV ecosystem.
- EV strategy and planning offers a variety of EV infrastructure and technology services and solutions to help manage the EV adoption journey from acquisition to disposition. Federal grant and incentive information will be added to this feature in 2022, giving fleet clients the ability to calculate rebates for the purchase of various EV makes and models.
- Vehicle options features the EV finder tool that allows users to view available and “coming-soon” makes and models through an easy-to-use filter tool based on range, type, price and availability. Vehicle information includes classification, capacity, EV specs and more.
- Charging and services includes resources on charging basics, charging infrastructure topics and strategy. It also offers visitors a free fleet assessment, as well as financing options for the implementation of a custom-fit charging infrastructure.
- EV news is an up-to-date source for everything happening in the world of fleet EVs and related sustainability topics.
The company said the site is designed as a one-stop source for fleet electrification and includes EV adoption planning, charging and infrastructure road maps and financing, and other useful resources including white papers, guides, infographics and webinars.
In November, Merchants Fleet announced its intention to purchase 5,400 of BrightDrop’s EV410 electric vans. The smaller cousin to the EV600, the EV410 is designed for smaller, more frequent jobs, such as grocery delivery or service jobs. It features 400 cubic feet of storage and a 150-inch wheelbase. At just under 20 feet in length, the vehicle fits in a standard parking spot. It has a range of up to 250 miles and includes many of the same standard safety features as the larger EV600, including front and rear park assist, automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, following distance indicator, front pedestrian braking, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, IntelliBeam automatic high beams, and HD rear-vision camera.
The EV600 offers 600 cubic feet of storage space, also with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 10,000 pounds. It can be charged to a range of 170 miles in an hour with a 120-kilowatt fast-charging system. FedEx Express (NYSE: FDX) will take delivery of the first 500 EV600 vans. Merchants Fleet expects to start integrating the EV600 into its fleet in 2023.