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Hitachi Sustainability

16 July 2021

Is Your Business Joining the Charge? Time to Accelerate on the Road to Electrification

Electric Bus

As a climate change innovator and proud sponsor of COP26, we see the role of Hitachi as that of a catalyst to a successful energy transition. And our fleet services business represents one of our biggest opportunities to deliver this at scale.

This is why we’re busy investing in transformational partnerships that can really unlock net zero – by collaborating with the right fleet customers and stakeholders we can drive forward the move to EVs and accelerate the energy transition.

Partnerships can achieve so many things. A good example of how collective experience and expertise in one part of the world is having a fundamental effect on another is the new partnership between Hitachi Europe and Shenzhen Bus Group (SZBG), one of the largest new energy public transportation groups in the world.

By pooling our collective resources and knowledge, we’re now helping European bus operators and municipalities electrify their bus fleets. SZBG brings a wealth of operational expertise to the partnership having electrified its own fleet of over 10,000 vehicles – by combining this with our own knowledge of charging infrastructure, delivering mobility as a service, and managing commercial fleets,
we are helping customers all over Europe accelerate electrification of their fleets.

As part of Hitachi’s commitment, we’re also offering joint planning services for customers making the shift to EV as well as change management and training programmes. To give you a flavour of the impact a project like this can have, SZBG’s adoption of electric buses has resulted in around 48 per cent less carbon dioxide and much fewer pollutants compared to previous metrics. This is what we mean when we talk about delivering at scale.

We’ve also teamed up with Arrival to deliver new bus and infrastructure solutions to the European bus industry. This non-exclusive partnership combines Hitachi’s digital and operational capabilities with Arrival’s best in class products.
Together, we’ll work with operators to deploy integrated end to end solutions that incorporate all aspects of owning and operating Arrival vehicles; this includes items such as charging infrastructure and digital tools. The deployment of these solutions not only simplifies the transition to electric but, when combined with the lower total cost of ownership that Arrival’s vehicles and technologies provide, creates an extremely compelling finance model that will accelerate the transition to electric vehicles for businesses across the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Nordics and the wider EMEA region.

In addition to providing customers with exceptional economics when transitioning to electric, Hitachi’s advanced integrated solutions will also enable data collection from the many sensors within the Arrival bus to further optimise customer operations through end to end and integrated estate wide roll-outs of electric vehicles and infrastructure.

At the heart of our work in this field is what we call an Intelligent Fleet Decarbonisation (IFD) approach. IFD is an “as a service” application of fleet electrification building upon our long term presence within the UK public transport sector through “trains as a service” with Hitachi Rail and bus depot infrastructure deployments.

IFD utilises a total cost of ownership (TCO) model. Basically, we will design, deliver and finance an operator’s transition to zero-emission buses (ZEBs) with vehicles, batteries, infrastructure, digital fleet and charging management solutions and training. In return, the user pays a simple set of prices per month, vehicle or mile over the life of the contract to cover the entire service.

IFD for buses builds on several of our other areas of knowledge, skillsets and partnerships to deliver a product that focuses on more than just removing emissions at the point of use. Ultimately, this is about decarbonisation and net zero. So, whilst there is a cost implication here, the reality is that in fleet services an investment can quickly become a saving – in effect, energy saving technology and CO2 reduction technology are the same thing.

As the countdown to COP26 gathers pace, the opportunity for fleet services comes into even sharper focus. So, our message to fleet operators is this: Come and work with us. We are ready and willing to bring our sector experience and our expertise in digital innovation to the table – but we need like-minded partners to join us. In 2021 individual businesses can achieve many great things but the key to a successful energy transition and a cleaner, greener planet lies firmly in the hands of partnerships. Let’s do this together.

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