- Volvo Trucks said it will work with Amply Power to provide electric-charging management services to buyers of battery-electric Class 8 trucks, according to Amply Power CEO and founder Vic Shao.
- Amply Power will focus on cost savings and uptime for Volvo customers, the companies said in a Wednesday news release. Amply offers a "software-centric" solution to some of the challenges that electric charging can bring, such as scheduling the charging, Shao said. Amply Power also offers "charging as a service," handling charging details for fleets of electric trucks.
- Shao said Amply Power joined the Volvo Group's Connected Solutions Innovation Lab in 2019 as a founding member. The two companies collaborate on charging solutions to aid the transition to battery-electric power for fleets.
Buying a heavy-duty, battery-electric truck is the easier part for many fleets. Finding time to charge the truck, and to use the truck in the best application, is the harder part — as is installing the hardware needed for charging.
Shao said Amply Power helps with all of the issues that could pop up. The California company's central product is its software, which can help fleet managers schedule the best times to charge. Amply Power said it provides charging services and energy management for fleets operating trucks, buses, vans and light-duty vehicles. Its software notifies fleet managers when the cheapest and best time is to charge. Amply Power said it also offers "Charging-as-a-Service," taking over all charging duties for a fleet, "while guaranteeing performance and dramatically reducing upfront capital."
Shao said Amply Power will help with design sites for optimal energy charging. To manage charging operations, Amply Power said it deploys its OMEGA software platform to charge vehicles based on the fleet's priorities. The software also provides real-time alerts to help guarantee road time and deliver detailed emissions reporting.
Shao said fleets tend to believe fuel costs will vary as much as 20% in a few months, based on their history with diesel and gasoline. But electricity is priced much more dynamically, with quick changes in price made for daily peaks, and costs at particular times can jump by hundreds of percentile points within 24 hours, Shao said. Thus, fleets need software to calculate optimal charging times.
In May 2020, Amply Power released a white paper said optimal charging times is crucial for EV success.
"Imagine paying $3 per gallon for gasoline at night but $12 per gallon in the late afternoon, but only during weekdays," the report read. "In most U.S. metros, this is only part of the challenge."
Shao, who said Amply Power consults with hundreds of North American fleets, said carriers will sometimes have multiple electric trucks, but made by varying OEMs, which can affect a charging strategy. The software helps with such issues, he said.
Volvo's Innovation Lab, which works on a broad range of issues such as driver connectivity, artificial intelligence and logistics, also studies electric trucks and related services. The Lab notes "the charging infrastructure is the number one obstacle to the adoption of [electric vehicles]." Amply Power and other participating firms work to discover new ways of helping fleets transition to battery-electric trucks, and to make charging easier and more efficient.
Shao said Amply Power and Volvo Trucks are working on projects on the West Coast and East Coast with two heavy-duty electric truck fleets. On the East Coast, Volvo Trucks and Amply Power are working with Manhattan Beer, one of the largest beverage distributors in the New York City region.
Manhattan Beer deploys five Volvo Class 8 vehicles with heavy payloads and return-to-base operations, according to Volvo Trucks and Amply Power. The trucks can reach 80% charged in 70 minutes, with a range of 150 miles.