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7 min read

“Intelligent” electrification: How to maximize the efficiency of electric freight

7 min read

“Intelligent” electrification: How to maximize the efficiency of electric freight

What makes electrifying with Einride different from doing so without Einride? To answer this, we must bear in mind that transitioning to electric freight in the most sustainable and cost-effective way requires digital intelligence. Through the right planning and optimization, Einride enables increased capacity utilization, less downtime, higher delivery precision along with other benefits leading to significant cost savings for the shipper. Einride’s customers have experienced this first-hand with optimization resulting in fewer trucks needed and increased utilization of their fleet. 

Any business that is currently running on-road shipping operations has the opportunity to transition to electric vehicles today. However, it's important to note that the transition won't occur in the way many businesses may have initially envisioned. The switch to electric goes beyond simply replacing every diesel truck with an electric truck. Replacing diesel trucks with electric trucks 1-to-1 is not a cost-effective way to electrify, nor does it accelerate electrification. To successfully transition to electric vehicles, digital intelligence is essential

Transitioning to fully electric takes time and it requires vast amounts of specialist knowledge. That’s why many businesses are choosing to ship electric with Einride. Not only do they have their goods moved with no direct emissions, but they also benefit from having Einride as an ecosystem partner – guiding them through all steps of the electrification journey in the near and longer term. 

Diesel operations shouldn’t be replicated 

With over 3 years of experience in operating electric fleets at scale, Einride navigates the complexity of electrification and digital transformation so the shipper customer doesn’t have to. To maximize the economic and environmental business case of the network, Einride dimensions the shipper’s fleet size and the infrastructure. In fact, Einride looks after the infrastructure needed to transform the business’ freight operations, including the electric vehicles (and in some instances, autonomous electric vehicles) and charging infrastructure.

Getting electric vehicles on the road is just one part of the story. There is a significant difference between electric trucks, per se, and electric trucks that are intelligently coordinated based on quality data and unique algorithms. This is why Einride also provides the digital infrastructure needed to truly shift businesses towards more efficient and cost-effective operations. Digitalization provides the opportunity to rethink how goods are transported and offers solutions to various industry challenges such as low utilization, driver shortages, excessive costs, and CO2 emissions. 

Through digitalization, the most successful cases of fleet electrification will actually involve significantly fewer vehicles on the road. In fact, switching from diesel to electric with Einride and the support of digital intelligence offers a significant cost advantage, with estimated savings of 10-20% compared to electrifying without Einride and its digital intelligence. This is primarily due to the increased capacity utilization, which means there can be fewer trucks executing the same volumes. This has been proven successful for several of Einride’s customers.

Einride Saga Evolve: volume utilization

Optimizing shipments to reduce the number of trucks needed

GE Appliances (GEA), a Haier company, has been a customer of Einride since 2021 with the partnership focused on implementing electric and autonomous transport at scale in the US. Since July 2022, GEA has operated a fleet of connected electric trucks as part of its initial electric deployment. Prior to operations commencing, Einride’s Solution Development team leveraged its digital freight mobility platform, Einride Saga, to strategically identify which routes to electrify first for the greatest environmental impact and cost savings.

Einride and GEA are in the midst of scaling their partnership as phase two of the deployment took place in May 2023. For the third phase of deployment, set to launch in June 2023, Einride Saga has been used to analyze and identify optimal routes for the next stage of electrification. Through the analysis, the data revealed that trucks were leaving the warehouse without a fully loaded trailer. With trucks operating at reduced capacity, the analysis showed that a truck could only complete seven out of eleven shipments per day, highlighting potential for optimization.

“Strategically consolidating materials shipments led to higher vehicle utilization.”

By implementing these changes, GEA achieved significant operational improvements. Strategically consolidating materials shipments led to higher vehicle utilization and ultimately reduced the number of trucks needed to transport the same volume of goods, increasing efficiency in material flows from GEA’s logistics center to its factories and reducing driver fatigue. Such an outcome underscores the transformative power of digitalization when it comes to revolutionizing the efficiency and sustainability of freight transport.

When it comes to autonomous transport, Einride and GEA made history in October 2022 when they successfully completed a public road pilot of Einride’s autonomous electric vehicle. The pilot – in Selmer, Tennessee – was the first instance of a cabless autonomous electric vehicle taking to a public road in the US.

Increasing capacity utilization by up to 30% through optimized shipment structure

When it comes to increased capacity utilization and digital optimization, another success story can be found in one of the largest European transportation markets. One of Einride’s customers is currently using multiple diesel trucks to service the same number of locations. However, electric freight has different cost drivers compared to diesel, which means that the optimal solution differs between the two. If the customer were to electrify on their own, such as by replicating the existing diesel shipments with electric shipments 1-to-1, it would be a very costly investment. 

Instead, by partnering up with Einride, the customer will be able to leverage a wealth of expertise as well as the benefits of digital intelligence. Through its electrification assessment, Einride was able to cluster the shipments based on different factors, using the digital freight mobility platform Einride Saga to optimize the shipment structure and to account for the new cost structure in electric transport. 

“Electric freight has different cost drivers compared to diesel meaning the optimal solution differs between the two.”

The result of the assessment shows that the capacity utilization of the vehicles will increase, allowing each vehicle to transport 30% more pallets per day. The total number of trucks needed to ship the same pallet volume can thus be reduced by 15%. Given the increased utilization of the trucks, this optimization will decrease the shipper’s monthly costs (compared to replicated shipments) while curbing more CO2e emissions.

Intelligent charging optimization

The switch to electric freight introduces additional complexities compared to traditional diesel freight. One crucial aspect is the charging of the vehicles. When setting up a charging plan, there are three essential parameters to take into account; when, where, and how much to charge. Each of these parameters are impacted by underlying variables. While the timing and location of charging may seem obvious, determining the optimal charging amount, called State of Charge (SoC), is equally important to optimize the battery life cycle. Implementing a digital intelligent approach to optimize charging can significantly enhance battery lifespan while saving costs related to electricity usage and charging infrastructure, and ultimately reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO).

By using Einride Saga, Einride is able to optimize and plan charging schedules for individual trucks as well as the entire electric fleet based on customer requirements. By leveraging accurate data and advanced algorithms, Saga factors in all relevant parameters and automates charging schedules to extend battery life while ensuring each vehicle is ready for the shipments ahead.

Haul with Us - Fuel Pump

A “turnkey” solution to electric freight

Businesses that ship with Einride benefit from the intelligence of Einride Saga, which connects all parts of the transportation network and enables an intelligent ecosystem. Saga is an integral component of Einride’s cost-competitive turnkey solution for electric freight, encompassing vehicles, drivers, physical and digital infrastructure. The service is provided as a subscription, based on transparent monthly payments and service-level agreements. This includes capacity as a service, meaning businesses are not required to make costly infrastructure (CAPEX) investments. 

Make the switch to electric with Einride

Making the switch to electric with Einride is done through a six-step process, ensuring a sustainable and cost-efficient transition. Starting the transition to electric shipping requires an accurate and actionable assessment of electrification opportunities. The first step of the process involves Einride’s team of solution developers conducting a tailored and comprehensive assessment of a business's road freight operations. By leveraging Einride’s digital intelligence, based on unique data and algorithms, the team will identify the most suitable routes to electrify for minimized cost and maximized environmental impact.

By shipping with Einride, businesses get a resilient and impactful transformation plan – one in which operations are optimized and costs are reduced through factors like increased capacity utilization and intelligent coordination of assets. If you are ready to start the transition to electric shipping, be sure to get in touch.

Get a tailored assessment of your electrification opportunities →

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