The era of electric truck charging has arrived, and for owners of industrial properties, the time is now to integrate charging infrastructure into their holdings to capture the opportunity and avoid being left behind.
Companies such as Amazon, FedEx, and DHL have established ambitious net-zero goals, encompassing the electrification of their delivery fleets. Amazon, for instance, aims to deploy 100,000 electric delivery vans by 2030, while DHL targets a 30% electric fleet by 2030. FedEx takes the lead with a 100% electric fleet goal by 2040.
So, how does this transformation impact industrial developers and owners? The answer lies in EV charging infrastructure. Attracting and retaining high-caliber tenants now hinges on providing electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. The majority of these vehicles, particularly last-mile delivery vans, require rapid charging, completed within three hours. As a result, higher powered ‘DC Fast’ chargers are essential. Alternatively, Level 2 chargers, though less power-intensive, take up to 8 hours to fully charge a last-mile delivery van. Such extended charging times would likely impede tenant operations.
While concerns about costs and power consumption may arise, avenues exist to both generate revenue from charging infrastructure and expand power capacity without major service upgrades, which can be expensive and take months if not years to upgrade. Let's consider a scenario: installing ten DC fast chargers with a 150 kW capacity, each servicing two trucks daily, resulting in a potential 1,500 kW power demand surge. This would equate to roughly 2000 Amps, which could take years to upgrade with your utility provider. Given that most industrial buildings lack sufficient power to meet this demand, supplementary power solutions like solar panels, battery storage, and fuel cells become essential. Achieving this demand solely through solar and batteries necessitates around 2 MW of solar capacity, requiring about 200,000 sq ft of roof space. Batteries enable demand management by redistributing power to the chargers during use and storing solar-generated power during non-charging periods. For structures with limited roof space, fuel cells provide a compact power dense alternative, generating six times more power per sf.. By combining solar, batteries, and fuel cells, a comprehensive power solution can be achieved, coordinated through advanced software to ensure continuous availability of power where needed.
The economic dynamics of a solar, battery, and fuel cell system for ten DC fast chargers vary based on location-specific incentives and local utility rates. However, certain tax incentives are universally applicable. These include the 30% Investment Tax Credit for solar installations, a 40% credit for fuel cell systems, 60% bonus depreciation as well as other regional/utility based incentives . With these incentives in play, the system yields a payback period of approximately 4 years and a robust 24% Internal Rate of Return (IRR). Monetizing this system involves selling power to tenants for EV charging purposes, with renewable energy sources lowering the cost of energy thereby boosting profitability. Importantly, managing the charging process, payment transactions, and ongoing maintenance can be efficiently handled by an Operator, minimizing extra efforts on the part of the property owner.
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