December 5, 2022

r43dscartex

automotive

GM steers fleet buyers toward EVs

GM’s fleet team considers itself an EV consultancy for dealers’ customers. That means the team educates fleet buyers on EVs and connects them with third parties for infrastructure solutions.

“We’re not just throwing them a playbook and saying, ‘Here you go, figure it out yourself,’ ” Peper said. “Whether a fleet wants to have home charging for their drivers, whether they want to have depot charging or whether they want to engage in public charging for their drivers, we want solutions for all of them.”

Initial concerns have centered on range anxiety, Peper said. But with the Silverado EV’s range of about 400 miles and the ability to regain 100 miles of range with about 10 minutes of charging, “questions about range anxiety will go away,” he said.

That range is made possible by the truck’s Ultium batteries, which GM co-developed with LG Energy Solution. The Ultium platform comprises stackable pouch cells that can be reconfigured to power vehicles across segments — from sports cars to pickups and delivery vans.

“There will be less moving parts with EVs. And if there are less parts, that means serviceability is going to be even better for our fleet customers,” Peper said. “They want less downtime because every time one of their vehicles is down, they’re not making money. And if we can guarantee them that the uptime is there for them, that’s a huge thing for fleet customers.”

GM has partnered with several charging providers and other companies to simplify EV charging through a program called Ultium 360. On the fleet side, GM works with depot charging providers eTransEnergy, EVgo, InCharge Energy and Schneider Electric. The automaker also works with Qmerit for home charger installation and EVgo for public charging.

The partnerships have helped GM prime its fleet customers for EVs. For example, before Peper met with a large fleet customer this month to discuss transitioning its fleet to EVs, Schneider Electric visited some of the company’s franchises and mapped an infrastructure plan.

“There’s a little bit more calm when you have folks who really know what they’re doing in the space talking with customers about how to provide solutions,” Peper said.