Following the reveal of their new Accelerate to Zero program at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo, Shell Fleet Solutions director Jim Perkins quickly saw firsthand how eager fleets are to learn more from the energy giant on how best to reach their sustainability goals.
“It was almost overwhelming,” Perkins said of fleet interest last week at Shell’s booth at the Anaheim Convention Center near Los Angeles. “There was so many questions and ACT last year was very similar. This year was even more so. There were just a tremendous number of questions and interest in what Shell is doing in the decarb space because Shell's a well-known name. It's a trusted name, and so people want to work with companies that they know are going to be there for the long haul.”
Perkins explained that Shell Fleet Solution’s Accelerate to Zero decarbonization program includes analysis of a fleet’s current duty cycles and maintenance requirements relative to their decarbonization goals and then offers various clean energy solutions tailored to their needs.
Some fleet routes may prove to be a great match for EVs, Perkins said, while others may be more demanding and could require other fuels like renewable natural gas, hydrogen or renewable diesel.
“Shell has a very vast array of fuels available. We create a lot of energy. Whether it be EV, solar, hydrogen, et cetera. What I want to do is make sure a fleet gets what they need, not just sell them one particular product,” Perkins said. “Whereas many suppliers have one or two products to sell, I'm here to provide them a solution that fits their needs, not my needs.”
Accelerate to Zero is a multi-stage program that features flexibility to adjust for a business’s individual requirements and the emergence of evolving technology. After analyzing a fleet’s decarbonization goals, Shell can build a clear roadmap designed to help deliver those goals and set up a fleet with the appropriate solutions to achieve them.
Through the program, Shell Fleet Solutions will support fleets with the shift toward increased sustainability as they face the challenges of balancing costs, lowering total cost of ownership and exploring new mobility solutions. Data integration is key to the program, helping companies to move away from using multiple disparate channels to track fleet information towards a single, holistic view of their operations, highlighting key areas for improvement.
"Data is going to drive decisions,” Perkins said. “When you consider a fleet’s telematics data along with their current fuel purchasing data and even their maintenance data, you can get a holistic view of the cost of actual individual vehicles. And that's always been the buzzword within the fleet industry, ‘What is my total cost of ownership for a vehicle?’”
Shell offers telematics solutions geared toward helping fleets reach sustainability goals.
“We have a sustainability assessment tool along with our Shell Telematics program,” Perkins said. “We also have our Shell Recharge solutions software, Sky software, which helps fleets track their electric charging across all their vehicles and all the networks.”
With zero emissions ultimately being the end goal for the industry, charging infrastructure ranks high for Accelerate to Zero.
“The biggest emphasis is around EV infrastructure, and that's something that we really work with our fleets on,” Perkins said.
Accelerate to Zero considers various paths to all-electric from “E-depots where they have their facilities and opportunities to charge a large number of vehicles at one place [to] charging in the wild as they say,” Perkins said.
As commercial charging infrastructure slowly makes its way across the U.S., Perkins said “hybrids can also play a role, at least in the very short term while the EV infrastructure gets built out even further.”