Ford Pro
22_frd_xbd_57902_pro_bev

Ford Pro, Xcel Energy partnering on fleet chargers

Dec. 6, 2023
Ford Pro and Xcel Energy are working together to provide qualifying fleets with private chargers in a new program called the 30x30 Initiative, in which both companies would offer financial and logistic electrification support.

Ford Pro has teamed with Xcel Energy to deploy 30,000 private EV charging ports by 2030, with upfront costs offset for qualifying fleets, the companies said. The ambitious project, part of Xcel Energy’s Electric Vehicle Supply Infrastructure (EVSI) plan, will start in Colorado and Wisconsin. 

This "30x30 initiative" seeks to address a major concern fleets have regarding electrification.

“For most of the fleets that we service today and the commercial fleet managers that we work with, their biggest concern [with EVs] isn't range anxiety,” said Dave Prusinski, general manager of integrated services, Ford Pro. “It's the lack of convenient charging options. Fleet operators who are in the market for EVs expect to charge at private charging stations about 80% of the time. But the cost of installing an EV charger can sometimes cost more than the charges itself, including laying wiring and infrastructure.”

Read more: Some small fleets lean into EV benefits as CARB rules loom

With this program, electrification could become more accessible for fleets and reduce some of the ROI concerns that Fleet Advantage reported were some of the largest barriers to adopting alternative fuel vehicles.

The 30x30 Initiative

With the 30x30 Initiative, Xcel Energy will install charging infrastructure at fleet locations if they qualify and enroll in an approved EVSI program. The initiative will cover EV charging equipment and installation for the number of ports needed, depending on the fleet.

“On average, our fleet size needs are about five or six ports per customer,” said Amanda Rome, executive vice president, group president, utilities & chief customer officer at Xcel Energy. “But it's always a customizable solution.”

Ford Pro will provide the charging equipment, as well as post-installation customer service and support. Fleets can also access Ford Pro Intelligence, the company’s smart charging software, and Ford Pro Telematics.

Xcel Energy and Ford Pro expect to begin rolling out their program in Q1 2024, largely within Colorado, Wisconsin, and in Minnesota, where Xcel’s Commercial EVSI program is already established. This is where the two companies expect most of the anticipated 30,000 chargers will go, although they plan on expanding the program over the next six years into other Xcel territories. If approved by regulation, these states would include Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Texas.

The chargers, once installed, will be for private use only, although the parameters for qualifying businesses has not yet been defined.

“This is really focused on our depots, which means that typically those businesses all have either a secure depot area where the charging is all in one area, and the software itself is meant to support and ensure uptime of those vehicles,” Prusinski confirmed.

However, this does not rule out the possibility that fleets within the program could partner and share their charging sites, which could relieve fleet concerns of EV range limitations. Ford Pro is currently examining a ‘Shared Charging’ program where fleets can sign in to access various chargers beyond their home base, Prusinski stated, although the 30x30 Initiative does not currently offer that feature.

With the 30x30 Initiative adding more chargers to the landscape, and potentially creating private, but shared charging spaces, Ford Pro and Excel energy could lower the entry barrier to electrification for future fleets and offer a stronger ROI.

About the Author

Alex Keenan

Alex Keenan is an Associate Editor for Fleet Maintenance magazine. She has written on a variety of topics for the past several years and recently joined the transportation industry, reviewing content covering technician challenges and breaking industry news. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.