How to set up a fleet of EVs and a roadmap for expansion, with minimal investment

CASE STUDY: Parcel delivery firm Red je Pakketje has partnered with Vattenfall Network Solutions in the Netherlands for fully managed EV fleet charging via Power-as-a-Service (PAAS).

The Dutch delivery company Red je Pakketje was set up by five friends who were frustrated about the existing services. They decided to build a better service for same day delivery, which they also wanted to be zero carbon.

Now, working in partnership with Vattenfall, they have their first fleet of EVs set up and a roadmap for expansion with minimal investment thanks to Vattenfall’s Power-as-a-Service model.

Tijs van Driel, COO & Co founder of Red je Pakketje, is proud of the collaboration with Vattenfall: “Sustainability is pre-eminently an area where you need to join forces. That is why we are pleased that Vattenfall is investing heavily in charging plazas at our distribution centres.” 

Nissan EVs charging

Red je Pakketje’s first EV hub is situated at Utrecht, in the Netherlands, with charge points to power 40 Nissan EV 200s. This first hub is just part of a wider programme for which they have ordered 400 electric vehicles.

Vattenfall bought, installed and own the on-site charging infrastructure, including the power distribution and charge points, on behalf of Red je Pakketje, who avoid the need for investment, managing the project, owning and operating the electrical infrastructure.

The charge points are manufactured by the same supplier that powers the Royal Mail EV fleet in the Netherlands.

The charge points are powered via a centralised system which has advantages other technologies and are well suited the Utrecht site.

Starting with a poor grid connection required a smart solution to utilise the available power as efficiently as possible for the 40 vehicles. The charge points themselves are really just electrical outlets, the electronics for the AC charging systems are housed in the electrical cabinets.

Alexis Fischer, from Vattenfall’s EV team in the Netherlands, explains: “The charging system we specified fits especially well for commercial EV fleets with predictable charging patterns.

“For public EV hubs other systems may be better but for logistics companies, with predictable vehicle rotation a centralised charging setup system works very well, because they know when the vehicles will turn up.

“In a public situation you need to constantly provide enough power for every outlet, in case all chargers are required – you can’t schedule power requests – so you need a big power supply.

Electric charging infrastructure
Starting with a poor grid connection required a smart solution to utilise the available power as efficiently as possible for the 40 vehicles

“In this instance we can go up to 22kw per outlet – but on average we provide 5kw, which is sufficient to fully charge the vans during the night, so we are able to make the most efficient use of the existing grid connection without requiring an upgrade.”

There are plans to extend this first Hub to 120 charging points by the end of year, which will require an upgrade to the grid connection.

Vattenfall will also install a transformer and are advising Red je Pakketje on options for a photovoltaic car port which will generate zero carbon electricity on-site.

Red je Pakketje is a growing company and, like most new businesses, doesn’t have a vast amount of capital to invest in electrical infrastructure.

They lease their delivery vehicles and their building so the Power-as-a-Service model from Vattenfall made sense to them as a way of financing their switch to electric vehicles without requiring a large upfront investment.

Under Power-as-a-Service, Vattenfall buys, owns and manages the high-voltage infrastructure and the charge points – everything from the transformer to the outlets.

They take full responsibility for the client’s electrical needs by owning their networks and managing all compliance, regulatory and environmental issues, so the client can concentrate on their core business. 

“Under Power-as-a-Service, Vattenfall buys, owns and manages the high-voltage infrastructure and the charge points – everything from the transformer to the outlets”

The Red je Pakketje contract runs for 5 years, which is short for a regular PaaS contract, but it needed to be because Red je Pakketje’s have only rented the building for 5 years.

Alexis Fischer, explains: “Power-as-a-Service provides an option to extend the contract, which suits Red je Pakketje very well. They want to be flexible, as don’t know how fast they will grow.

“They may want to move to a bigger logistic building. If they move we will move the electrical infrastructure and install it at a new location or sell it to the building owner and install a new charging system at the new location.”

Vattenfall are now developing a framework agreement with Red je Pakketje so it’s easier and quicker for Red je Pakketje to deploy more EV hubs as their business expands. They are already looking at a second hub in Amsterdam, with a grid connection of 1MVA, to provide between 80 and 120 charge points.

Red je Pakketje have planned 4 or 5 hubs this year, which will all be delivered in the same way, with Vattenfall providing the funding, technical and electrical expertise, so that Red je Pakketje can concentrate on their core business and ensure people get their parcels on time, every time, without any carbon emissions.

Tijs van Driel, COO & Co founder of Red je Pakketje commented on the partnership: “We were looking for a strong partner with the right knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit and we found that in Vattenfall. They have been flexible and willing to invest and think with us on this journey so far. 

“We have experienced multiple benefits from this partnership already, especially on the knowledge of the power business and the fact that Vattenfall takes over the process of getting all of our charging bays in place and running.” 

Find out how Vattenfall can support your electric vehicle fleet here

FIND OUT MORE: Vattenfall Network Solutions is exhibiting at the ITT Hub 2021 event on June 30-July 1, at Farnborough International, just off the M25, west of London. Register for your free place now! www.itthub.co.uk

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