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DES: MN8’s New Platform to Speed Electrification of Transportation

DES: MN8’s New Platform to Speed Electrification of Transportation

May 27 2024  |  4 min read

By Alex Pischalnikov, Director, Strategy & Investments, MN8 Energy

The shape of transportation is changing quickly as electric vehicles (EV) gain adoption — from light-duty passenger vehicles to last-mile or drayage vehicles fleets at ports and distribution centers, up to long-haul trucks for moving freight. That’s why MN8 is working with businesses and communities to accelerate adoption of electric vehicles with our newly-announced Distributed Energy Solutions offering – delivering scalable, fully financed turnkey charging infrastructure projects that are both environmentally responsible and economically viable, to ensure customers can meet both their sustainability and financial goals.

For companies maintaining their own fleets or municipalities and private enterprises looking to provide public charging to facilitate greater adoption of EVs, charging infrastructure is a critical need, one that can take much more time to build out than it takes to purchase vehicles.

At the same time, many companies are setting ambitious decarbonization goals – but drawing only grid power to charge vehicles may not necessarily provide enough of a reduction in carbon emissions to curb emissions in line with those goals. Those customers need to ensure they can source clean energy, whether on-site as part of their facilities, from their utility or from a third party.


Falling prices, but a challenging landscape in the United States

Electric vehicles gained significant ground in the USA in 2023, representing just under 8% of new car sales according to Kelley Blue Book. However, more rapid adoption faces a range of hurdles:

  • 80-90% of EV owners rely on home charging and commonly express concerns about “range anxiety” (i.e., how far they can go without needing to recharge their battery). In addition, Level 3 (i.e., DC fast chargers that enable full charging within 1 hour) are relatively scarce nationwide.
  • There’s an overall lack of accurate and reliable data on charging patterns, availability of workplace charging and utilization to guide charging network development.
  • Lastly, public charging facilities face significant wear and tear that can result in unexpected outages, leaving drivers in search of other locations to charge or requiring them to use slower charging as an alternative.

In addition, EV adoption is moving significantly faster in the European Union and China than in the USA, bringing with it faster technological innovation and new capabilities that can be put to work elsewhere.


The challenge

What those factors add up to is a marketplace full of challenges that can be difficult to navigate. Organizations eager to shift their fleets to EVs may be able to purchase vehicles far faster than they can get financing and construction in place to build out charging infrastructure.

In addition, the EV charging landscape has grown quickly with a range of hardware and software providers, which can leave first-time project leads uncertain as to which solutions they need or how to tie solutions together.


Our solution

That’s where MN8 has stepped in with customers, putting together a team with 475 years of aggregate experience — across renewable energy development, finance, construction, and operations, as well as specialized expertise in the logistics and fleet management industries – to support organizations in deploying and maintaining electrification solutions for the long term without upfront costs.

MN8’s DES offering spans three key areas:

  • EV Fleet Charging: Providing complete solutions for businesses transitioning their fleets to electric vehicles; including consultative EV transition, infrastructure planning, and installation and maintenance, all with flexible financing models.
  • Contracted Public EV Charging: Catering to municipalities and private enterprises by developing, installing, and managing public EV charging stations; facilitating greater adoption of EVs by the general public, corporate, and municipal fleets.
  • Onsite Distributed Energy Resources: Supports companies in programmatically deploying onsite energy resources like solar panels, battery storage, and energy management systems; enabling energy independence and resilience.

Together, MN8 is enabling customers to make the fleet transitions they need, source the clean energy and load management resources to lighten their carbon burden, and lead on decarbonization wherever they are in their journey.