Second largest utility in the U.S. debuts fleet EV transition consultancy

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Updated Apr 12, 2022
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Volta late last year announced the launch of the Volta Media Network, offering advertisers a digital, location-based network that engages consumers where they shop, simultaneously driving measurable business results and environmental impact.

Southern Company, the second largest public utility in the U.S., on Monday announced a partnership with global electric vehicle charging network Volta and the debut of a product that will enable Southern Company to inform and advise customers on the right fleet electrification strategy to meet their needs in the most efficient and thorough way.

PredictEV Fleet – the second product within Volta's suite of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for infrastructure planning – uses advanced AI and analytics to analyze data on existing vehicle fleets and premises to identify key planning components such as a range of recommended EVs to replace internal combustion engine vehicles with similar specifications; optimal EV supply equipment ("EVSE") to serve the fleet's charging needs; estimated costs and savings with a calculation of total cost ownership; integration of applicable rebates and incentives, such as federal, state, and utility programs; and carbon mitigation implication by shifting to EVs. Additionally, the product establishes data-sharing relationships between fleets and utilities to inform the grid strategies required to support the increased demand for electricity.  

[Related: California utility marketing commercial EVs]

Volta’s PredictEV is a product suite that is already utilized by ​​multiple government agencies, utilities, retailers, real estate developers, municipalities and more to inform intelligent EV infrastructure expansion and investment.

"Nearly one in every five vehicles in the U.S. is owned by a company, making fleet electrification an important business opportunity and a critical component to a carbon-free transportation future for all," said Drew Bennett, executive vice president of network operations at Volta. "Our fleet product enables data-driven electrification planning for both fleet operators and the utilities that serve them to ensure strategies are future-proof and efficient."

Southern Company expects to use the product to guide its plans to meet rising EV demand and to create new EV product offerings for its customers.

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"We're talking to customers everyday about future electric transportation needs and the 'why' is usually clear: customers see electric transportation as a way to lower costs and achieve their sustainability objectives. But there's still some uncertainty around the 'how,' 'what,' and 'when.' We see PredictEV Fleet, and our partnership with Volta, as a tool for our customers to start answering those questions." said Chris Cummiskey, chief commercial and customer solutions officer at Southern Company. "This is one of several investments in innovation we are making to bring sustainability solutions to our customers – and to our own businesses."

Southern Company announced in 2020 an internal fleet electrification goal to convert 50% of its electric companies' light-duty vehicles and equipment to electric by 2030. Southern Company is a founding partner of the venture capital firm Energy Impact Partners (EIP) and collaborates with EIP portfolio companies to bring technology and business model innovation, like PredictEV Fleet, to life.

Jason Cannon has written about trucking and transportation for more than a decade and serves as Chief Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. A Class A CDL holder, Jason is a graduate of the Porsche Sport Driving School, an honorary Duckmaster at The Peabody in Memphis, Tennessee, and a purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Reach him at [email protected].