Ryder partners to build up electric vehicle infrastructure

In-Charge flow chart

Ryder System Inc. (NYSE: R) is partnering with a company that helps businesses switch their commercial vehicles to electric power from fossil fuels and a global infrastructure developer to make electric vehicle (EV) charging easier and cheaper.

The partnership with California-based In-Charge Energy Inc. and ABB (NYSE: ABB) will allow Ryder to scale and customize fleet charging, said Rich Mohr, Ryder chief technology officer. The goal is to simply and reliably streamline the electrification of fleet transportation networks.

“Through this partnership, our customers will have greater access to electric vehicle strategic planning and energy cost savings related to engineering and implementing charging strategies,” Mohr said.

In-Charge will assess power capabilities and what charging infrastructure is needed. Ryder has no immediate plans to work directly with a utility, Mohr said.

More than California

Ryder will ramp up direct current (DC) charging stations as vehicles are ordered. ABB manufactures vehicle-charging systems up to 600kW for public and commercial fleets. It has deployed more than 12,000 DC chargers in 76 countries over the past decade.

“There are customers looking for EV solutions outside of the incentive states because they have certain business needs where EVs would fill that solution,” Mohr told FreightWaves, referring to states that offer grants to offset the higher cost of electric vehicles. “I anticipated that customers would be looking for providers that can give end-to-end solutions for EVs, not just the truck.”

Truck maker Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV) is taking a similar approach as it prepares to offer its first medium-duty electric model in 2021.

In November 2018, Ryder ordered 1,000 purpose-built medium-duty electric panel vans from Chanje Energy Inc. that FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) is rolling out for commercial and residential pickup and delivery services in California. Those trucks operate via 240-volt Level 2 systems that require several hours to recharge.

Competition moves

Competitor Penske Logistics Truck Leasing (NYSE: PAG) opened 14 DC charging stations at four Southern California facilities in 2019. According to Penske, those are the first high-speed charging stations designed for heavy-duty, commercial EVs in the U.S.

Penske is using the chargers for Freightliner Class 8 eCascadia and medium-duty eM2 straight trucks it is testing in a program with Daimler Trucks North America (OTC: DDAIF).

Volvo Trucks North America (OTC: VLVLY) is working with 15 partners including Southern California Edison on a program called Volvo LIGHTS. The utility’s Charge Ready Transport team is developing a grid impact assessment and strategies to ensure it can provide reliable and cost-effective power for commercial fleets.

Trillium, part of the Love’s Family of Companies and a Volvo LIGHTS partner, is installing a public fast-charging station in Anaheim, California, enabling fleet operators to recharge as needed.

Separately, beverage maker Anheuser-Busch is demonstrating 21 battery-electric Class 8 trucks from BYD on beer deliveries in Southern California. One of its partners, ENGIE Services U.S., is installing charging infrastructure in the cities of Carson, Pomona, Riverside and Sylmar. It is also installing and commissioning a 958.5kW solar array in Carson.