In a move to evolve its e-mobility charging solutions with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capabilities, Amply Power is partnering with Unique Electric Solutions (UES) to offer a comprehensive fleet electrification solution to bus and truck fleets.
The partnership will pair UES's vehicle repowering technology with Amply's charge management software. The solution includes the repowering of existing internal combustion engine trucks and buses with electric powertrains, charge management services, a V2G bi-directional electric vehicle (EV) charging system from Rhombus Energy Solutions, and coordination with the local utility, according to a news release from Amply.
Rhombus recently received UL 1741-SA certification for its 125kW DC fast charger, said Rick Sander, the company’s CEO, in the news release.
The suppliers have entered the partnership to prepare for the wave of V2G opportunities being pursued by utilities and end customers. A report by Precedence Research predicts that the global V2G technology market is expected to grow at a compound rate of 48% between 2020 to 2027.
V2G enables bi-directional and controllable electrical energy flow among vehicles and the local electrical grid for the benefit of both parties, Amply explained in the news release. Beyond serving as a virtual power plant that utilities and owners can tap in times of need, such as power outages or high prices due to increased demand, bi-directional charging can help fleets and grids balance their electricity demand and act as storage for renewable energy generation.
The companies are currently deploying their joint solution for Logan Bus Co., which provides school bus service for the New York City Department of Education.
“Vehicle-to-grid will be imperative for electric school bus operations to scale,” said Corey Muirhead, executive vice president of Logan Bus Co., in the news release. “V2G provides much-needed cost savings to the contractor while simultaneously allowing us to provide power back to the grid, thus reducing brownouts and helping our community during emergency events.”
Vic Shao, CEO of Amply Power, added in the news release that V2G “can help fleet operators be more energy resilient and achieve greater cost savings, while strengthening their local grids.”
Amply announced its partnership with the Logan Bus Co. last year and has since teamed up with several transit agencies to support their transition to electric, including Tri Delta Transit, Solano County Transit, and the Anaheim Transportation Network.
Amply also recently joined forces with the California Mobility Center to accelerate the transition to e-mobility throughout California and was named on the 2021 Global Cleantech 100 list for the second year in a row.
The Amply Power, UES, and Rhombus Energy Solutions alliance aims to help fleets take advantage of all the benefits of electrification with less up-front capital and risk.
By integrating these solutions into Amply’s Charging-as-a-Service (CaaS) model, the Logan Bus Co. project is set up to capture cost reductions beyond what electrification via repowering can bring.
Amply’s CaaS model is designed to simplify the transition to EVs for fleets by assuming end-to-end responsibility for all vehicle charging needs, from cloud-based system design to installing local site controllers. Its proprietary back-end software and operational methods can drive utility costs down by optimizing EV charging and other energy use at public and private depots. Combining this process with utility service upgrades as needed enables Logan Bus to further scale its electric bus deployments.
Combining UES’s repowering technology with Amply’s charge management software, operators can achieve higher efficiency and realize significant cost savings, according to Amply.
More generally, operating EVs can cost fleet operators one-third of the expense compared with diesel.
“The higher initial price tag of EVs compared to that of internal combustion vehicles can be challenging for many fleet operators. However, when looking at the economics of fueling, maintenance, and operating costs, electric is more affordable than maintaining them as diesel-fueled vehicles,” said Joe Ambrosio, CEO of UES. “Additionally, by deploying our re-powering strategy, where we retrofit the powertrain and keep the existing chassis, we can save operators even more time and money by providing all the reduced operating costs and emissions of a new EV but at a fraction of the price.”