Green Technology

Elevating the Infrastructure Conversation in EV Fleet Planning


Recent legislation in the United States presents new opportunities for fleet operators to embrace electric vehicles. Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has incentivized owners of light, medium, and heavy-duty vehicles to explore plans for electrifying their fleets.

As the EV revolution spurs investment in charging infrastructure, however, owners will substantially increase their likelihood of success via early engagement with project stakeholders, especially utilities, and early infrastructure deployment planning that accounts for design standardization, supply chain risk, and practicable future-proofing.

Bechtel is leveraging its extensive experience in distributed infrastructure to provide EV charging infrastructure services to aid EV adoption. With the right approach, EV infrastructure is ripe for rapid scaling. Bechtel can help owners achieve success, providing a range of services from feasibility studies to front-end engineering design, procurement, construction management, project management, and turnkey installation. 

Piecemeal vs. programmatic: strategic solutions for large fleet owners

The expected sharp increase in electric vehicle adoption will require a rapid scaling of reliable, efficient charging infrastructure. The United States aims to have 50% of all vehicles sold each year be zero-emission by 2030. According to an analysis by McKinsey, reaching this goal will likely require building 1.2 million public and 28 million private EV charging stations. That’s roughly a 20-fold increase over the number of stations than are currently installed in the United States.

Image courtesy Bechtel

For owners whose fleet electrification plans are small, a piecemeal approach to designing and building chargers is likely sufficient. However, if an owner’s ultimate plan is to electrify a large fleet, a programmatic strategy is the best way to accelerate progress and ensure long-term success. 

To transition large fleets, operators will have to consider electrical infrastructure, power requirements, and grid disruptions, as well as work with utilities in ways they haven’t before. A programmatic strategy looks at this big picture and helps operators achieve cost and time savings by optimizing for standardized site and modular designs. 

This begins with selecting the right long-term partner for the design-build process. Bechtel’s team includes experts in a range of disciplines to help customers achieve their objectives. Whether the project requires power studies, utility coordination, permitting support, labor, scheduling, and supply chain optimization, Bechtel’s broad expertise and experience with distributed infrastructure enables our team to drive certainty of outcome in infrastructure deployment.

Among the most significant risks to charging infrastructure deployment today is supply chain. A programmatic strategy can help owners get ahead of procurement risks by placing orders at the right time, securing shop space, expediting and warehousing where necessary, and generally collaborating with suppliers to meet program objectives. The build out of EV infrastructure requires chargers, transformers, switchgear, and other electrical equipment, all of which currently have procurement lead times in months or even years. 

Bechtel’s procurement organization can use its global reach and buying power to deliver critical components on site when needed. Over the past 20 years, Bechtel has averaged $18 billion per year in material purchases, giving us the largest supply database in the industry for construction materials, including specialized electrical equipment. In 2022 alone, we had 5,500 suppliers, 35,000 contracts and purchase orders, and we sourced materials from 39 countries.

As EV infrastructure projects grow from local projects to regional and national programs, managing complex projects at scale becomes increasingly crucial to success. Bechtel excels in this capability. 

New technologies often mean rapid change as OEMs iterate and business models mature, and it takes experience to successfully navigate this challenging landscape. Bechtel’s approach leverages early and repeated engagement with all stakeholders to identify project requirements, risks, and effective mitigation steps early.

As an example, over a span of five years, Bechtel built 17 large-scale plants to produce liquefied natural gas, and we completed the projects 30 percent faster than our competitors, thanks to close collaboration and early engagement with project owners. Bechtel’s approach has enabled us to build one-third of the LNG production capacity for the entire world.

Bechtel excels at delivering capital programs so that its customers can focus on their core business—and we’re committed to playing a role in the the energy transition and the push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We’re here to support our customers as they electrify their fleets. 

Conclusion

Fleet managers will need to consider charging infrastructure and power requirements for electrified fleets as early in the process as possible. Please reach out to learn more about implementing a programmatic strategy to electrifying your fleet. Let Bechtel use our unique capabilities to deliver your EV infrastructure capital program.

Image courtesy Bechtel

About Jessie Aubry 

Jessie Aubry is the lead for Bechtel’s Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Infrastructure business, focused on strategy, business development, commercial management, customer engagement, and internal governance. She previously worked in Bechtel’s Corporate Planning group, leading a variety of corporate and market strategy projects. Jessie joined Bechtel in 2019 as an Associate in Bechtel Enterprise’s financial analysis group, focusing primarily on transportation development in the rail, aviation, and future mobility sectors. 

About Bechtel

Bechtel provides EPC for the most complex and largest-scale projects in the world. Within the electrification market, Bechtel offers feasibility studies, site selection, front-end engineering design, procurement services, construction management, and project management. Bechtel’s portfolio of sustainability projects includes electrifying transportation systems, expanding renewables, transitioning from coal to gas, improving energy efficiencies, decarbonizing existing infrastructure, deploying zero-emission nuclear energy, switching to zero-emission hydrogen fuel, and generating energy storage solutions.

This article is sponsored by Bechtel.


 


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