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PowerFlex Completes Install of EV Charging for DHL

ENERGY: 415 Chargers Adds to Fourth Largest EV Charging Network

Clean energy solutions company PowerFlex is flexing its muscles in the EV charging space.

The company announced in mid-July it had completed the installation of 415 chargers at DHL Express service center facilities in major U.S. markets. The chargers are equipped with PowerFlex X, an energy management software platform that monitors, tracks, and reports on charging activities that was integrated with DHL’s telematics platforms to optimize Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) operations.

Raphael Declercq
CEO
PowerFlex

“DHL is taking a thoughtful approach to adopt new ‘fueling’ for its business needs and exploring the possibilities offered by in-house EV charging,” said PowerFlex CEO Raphael Declercq.

PowerFlex completed the first installation with DHL in 2020 and customized the EVSE project and subsequent ones to optimize charging around the daily delivery operations of DHL. The 415 chargers were PowerFlex Level 2 chargers, which are slower than fast chargers, but save money, Declercq said.

“If you can, go with those Level 2 chargers. You should because they cost a tenth of what a DC fast charger costs to install,” he said, adding that the chargers for DHL ranged in cost from $6,000 to $8,000.

Another advantage of PowerFlex Level 2 chargers is the ability to increase the number of chargers onsite to enable future expansion or provide spare chargers as backup if necessary.

PowerFlex L2 chargers are equipped with Adaptive Load Management (ALM) energy management software that balances the power usage across the network of chargers to minimize expensive spikes in energy demand.

“The concept is to maximize the number of chargers you can put in at a given electric capacity,” Declercq said, adding that PowerFlex uses ALM to examine available power at an installation site “and instead of waiting for utility upgrade that may take 18 months, we take what we have, and we maximize the number of chargers.”

In DHL’s case, the L2 chargers and ALM package doubled the number of chargers compared to unmanaged charging with the same power limit and onsite utility infrastructure.

Laurice Bancroft
SVP, Network Operations
DHL Express U.S.

“At DHL Express, we are always looking for ways to make our operations more sustainable,” said Laurice Bancroft, senior vice president of network operations for DHL Express U.S. “Fleet electrification is one of the many strategies we’ve deployed to reduce our carbon footprint as we work toward our goal of zero-emissions. We selected PowerFlex to complete our EV charging stations because of their deep industry experience that helped us find a creative solution to meet our EV fleet charging needs.”

In addition to the L2 chargers, PowerFlex provided DHL with a full suite of services, including site feasibility assessments, turnkey design and installation, hardware and software solutions and asset management and operations and maintenance services. Declercq said PowerFlex charges around $300 per year per charger for the continuing services it will provide DHL.

PowerFlex was created in 2016 when Declercq was working at EDF Renewables. He said he founded the company after seeing the nature of EDF’s customers change from mostly utility companies like SDG&E to large companies like Microsoft, Google and other large tech companies that wanted more clean energy from large renewable projects like windfarms and solar.

EDF remains PowerFlex’s largest shareholder, followed by Canadian insurance company Manulife who invested $100 million into the company at end of last year.

Over the last seven years, PowerFlex has grown to become the second largest installer of solar to commercial clients in the U.S. In 2019, the company began pushing into EV charging and now has the fourth largest network of EV chargers.

PowerFlex

Founded: 2016
CEO: Raphael Declercq
Headquarters: San Diego, Rancho Bernardo
Business: National provider of intelligent onsite energy solutions
Employees: 300
Website: www.powerflex.com
Notable: PowerFlex has deployed more than 10,000 network chargers for EVs and more than 450 megawatts of solar for commercial clients.

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