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Optimize Operations to Maximize the Benefits of Zero-Emission Reefers

Optimize Operations to Maximize the Benefits of Zero-Emission Reefers

October 5, 2023 | ConMet

October 5, 2023–As the commercial vehicle industry continues to work toward decreased emissions and more sustainable operations, the topic of fleet electrification is shifting from a matter of if to a matter of when. To successfully deploy zero-emission reefers, fleets should take a comprehensive approach that includes conducting internal needs assessments, honing their operations to maximize the benefits of EVs, and forging strong partnerships with the right technology providers.

Understanding your fleet's specific requirements will help you align your operations with your chosen technology. Diligent short- and long-term planning will help mitigate disruption to your business as you implement changes across your organization.

To get the most out of your electric fleet, consider the following:

Route optimization: One of the most important factors to deploying zero-emission reefers is the routes they will be on. Parameters to consider are the EV technology and assets range, charging infrastructure at stops during route, and any regenerative charging capabilities of the system enroute. For example, when selecting a regenerative solution in-wheel or incorporated into an axle, choosing routes that have adequate drive time between each stop will ensure the system has enough time to regenerate power and ensure optimum efficiency. Or if choosing a system that regenerates using solar panels, the route should provide adequate direct sunlight to the panels.

Maintenance planning: As new technologies roll out, a new approach to maintenance may be required. To be ready for this, it is important to discuss any changes in maintenance needs with your service teams early and create a plan to execute new training, ideally before the new technology hits the road. Depending upon the capabilities of your existing facility you may need to consider new equipment and tools, additional training and certification of technicians, and revision to existing processes to accommodate special handling of new EV assets.

Infrastructure assessment: To deploy zero-emission reefers, you might need to add infrastructure to your current facility. You will need to assess the power draw of your technology to discuss with your local utility company what grid connection is needed. Starting these conversations early with the utilities is important because it could take months or years to complete.

Choose a partner who will be with you every step of the way

Selecting the right technology provider is just as important as choosing the technology itself. Though some fleets are further along than others in their electrification journey, electric reefers and regenerative technologies are still new to the industry in general. Working with a reliable partner during this transition is pivotal to the sustained success of your fleet.

Some of the most important traits in a technology provider include:

Stability: It is important to choose a partner that has deep roots within the industry and that you feel confident will be around for a long time to come. This will ensure overall serviceability down the road as well as continued support beyond the initial new technology roll out.

Expertise: Zero-emission reefers are new to this industry, so you should choose a partner that has a proven track record of success. They will be able to understand your specific needs and help you navigate through implementation.

Customizable solutions: Choosing a partner that designs technology based on specific customer needs and industry trends is crucial. From battery capacity, to control modes, and overall net weight impact, the details matter when choosing specifications to optimize your ROI.

Service: Ensuring your new assets are supported by a broad network of service facilities will ensure optimal uptime, no matter what occurs on the road. With a responsive team and large service network, you will be able to get back on the road faster to help maximize your ROI.

ConMet eMobility: Enabling turnkey trailer electrification solutions

There is no universal solution when it comes to the adoption of EVs, but ConMet eMobility is here to help. As a trusted solutions provider to the commercial vehicle electrification industry, ConMet uses a hands-on approach based in education, optimization, and service to help fleets as they enter the electric era. Our team offers assistance with everything from onboarding, to field service, and maintenance support. We also provide guidance on preventative maintenance and planning, aligning needs with specific routes, system specifications, and infrastructure details.

VANCOUVER, WA | by Marc Trahand, VP & General Manager ConMet eMobility