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Siemens hopes to ease path to EV fleet adoption with Depot360

Subscription covers monthly fees for charging infrastructure, advisory service to optimize costs

A rendering of Depot360 at work. (Courtesy Siemens)

Siemens has launched an all-in-one fleet electrification service called Depot360, covering the installation of electric vehicle (EV) chargers, maintenance and optimal charging to lower costs for fleet operators.

Announced at the EV and Charging Expo 2024 held at the Enercare Centre in Toronto, it is a portfolio of technology and services to simplify and speed up fleet electrification, according to Theresa Cooke, Siemens’ head of global customer success for managed charging.

In an interview with Sustainable Biz Canada, she explained it as a two-prong offering that covers the build-out of charging-as-a-service EV infrastructure and managed services that use software and data to lower costs during operations.

The product is made to “help accelerate the electrification of fleets to address the upfront capital costs but also the need to charge the vehicles at the lowest cost of energy but still meet their duty cycles, still get the vehicles on the road, delivering the packages, and doing what they need to do.”

How Depot360 works

One half of Depot360 is its charging-as-a-service, where users pay a monthly fee to Siemens for the company to finance, design, purchase and install EV charging equipment.

As a managed service, the German company’s artificial-intelligence-based technology links EV chargers and vehicles through telematics provided by Canadian company Geotab to monitor energy consumption, the charge on an EV’s battery and energy tariffs.

Savings on energy are achieved with load-shifting or peak-shaving, and identifying risks and inefficiencies, like an EV charging improperly or charging later than expected.

“We flag that and we can suggest for you to take a proactive step to fix the issue,” Cooke said.

A customer manager then analyzes the data per week or month to recommend suggestions to further lower costs.

Depot360’s main purpose is to solve the problems of high upfront costs of EV charging infrastructure and electricity costs, Cooke explained.

To illustrate the potential cost savings, she gave the example of a fleet operator that charged its EVs during the day accidentally, placing the company in a higher charging rate class. The electricity bill leapt by thousands of dollars for six months, which is a problem that Depot360 would rectify, she said.

The focus for Siemens’ Depot360 is on commercial fleet operators such as last-mile delivery companies, transit organizations, school bus operators and heavy-duty trucking firms.

Canada has set a goal of reaching 100 per cent zero-emission vehicle sales by 2035 for all new light-duty vehicles, which puts pressure on fleet operators to adapt their technology and infrastructure in time.

Depot360 was offered on a pilot basis earlier this year, and is now launching in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany and Norway. Siemens has secured its first customer for the offering in the U.S., though Cooke would not disclose the name or size of the client.

Siemens’ electrification efforts

Depot360 is the latest step in Siemens’ endeavours to electrify infrastructure. Cooke cited the company’s thousands of EV chargers in Canada, as well as its work to electrify rail and buildings.

Siemens Canada president and CEO Faisal Kazi previously told Sustainable Biz Canada about its innovations in digital twins and the metaverse for sustainability in buildings.

More government support is needed to electrify Canada, she said, specifically funding for zero-emission transit and school buses, infrastructure, and ways to enable quicker grid connections between regulators and utilities.

Transportation was the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada in 2021, according to the latest federal government data, accounting for 22 per cent of national emissions.

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