As climate change mitigation takes center stage, companies face the urgent need to achieve zero-emissions goals and comply with evolving regulatory pressure. The logistics industry plays a pivotal role in this transformation: Although heavy-duty trucks make up just 4 percent of vehicles in the United States, they account for 20% of the transportation system’s emissions1, with the transport sector accounting for 37% of emissions overall.2

Electrified fleets offer a practical solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, however converting to electric involves the careful planning and coordination of various multifaceted components. In this article, we explore six common challenges when transitioning to EV fleets and discuss proven ways to mitigate them.

Infrastructure foresight and planning

Ev Trucks Charging

Challenge 1: Limited awareness and lack of forward infrastructure planning often leads to technical issues and operational delays.

Solution: When it comes to charging vehicles, it’s crucial to work with an infrastructure expert as soon as you begin planning for the transition. An experienced partner has charging solution knowledge about specific vehicle types and can conduct interoperability testing to select suitable charging hardware for the vehicles you’re considering. The earlier you bring on a trusted partner, the better, because it will ensure cohesive planning and optimized timing for the delivery of your new electric fleet vehicles.

Utility electrification requirements, permits and approval timelines are also part of the infrastructure challenge. You’ll need sufficient lead time to apply for grid connection to ensure the charging infrastructure is ready when your vehicles arrive. Also, it’s important to ensure your infrastructure partner can provide backup power solutions, so your operations can get up and running if utility interconnection is delayed.

Lastly, transitioning to an EV fleet involves strategic decisions about real estate and energy consumption. A core consideration is the choice to own or lease properties for charging infrastructure. You’ll also need to consider whether you wish to charge vehicles onsite at a distribution facility and/or at key points along your routes. An experienced infrastructure partner will discuss the ideal placement of charging stations, energy capacity requirements, possibilities for renewable energy integration and battery storage solutions to help you decide which options are right for your business.

Vehicle procurement delays

Challenge 2: Long lead times and equipment development can result in procurement delays.

Solution: EV commercial fleets are projected to experience a 150% increase in growth by 2030.3 The increase is driven by several factors, such as the development of faster and more efficient charging methods, longer-range EVs, lower-cost batteries and regulatory pressure. With demand increasing (and no slowdown in sight), it’s crucial to plan carefully around vehicle procurement challenges, such as long wait times, availability and other delays. To ensure a seamless and timely process when acquiring EVs, consider partnering with a reputable fleet electrification partner with a comprehensive understanding of the industry landscape and strong relationships with top manufacturers. By collaborating with a partner that operates at scale, you can streamline procurement and gain priority access to key supplier networks, facilitating fast and efficient vehicle acquisition.

Capital expenditures and cost considerations

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Challenge 3: Upfront investment can be prohibitive.

Solution: It’s imperative to analyze the total cost of ownership for EV fleets, which is typically competitive with or lower than internal combustion engine (ICE) fleets in the long run. In fact, electric vehicles will soon cost 25% less in total cost of ownership compared to ICE vehicles, including 25% less in maintenance expenses.4 You can avoid upfront expenditures through leasing and charging-as-a-service models, which provide an all-inclusive approach to get your fleet up and running

Regulatory compliance challenges

Challenge 4: Unpredictability in regulatory measures and incentives can affect the move to EV fleets.

Solution: When it comes to compliance, you’ll want to stay ahead of regulatory requirements and incentives. This step is vital, but it’s no easy task if you don’t have an in-house expert to track such changes. The best course of action is to partner with a trusted fleet electrification expert to help navigate the emerging regulatory landscape and seize incentive opportunities. You’ll become well informed about subsidies, tax credits, grants and other incentives, which can significantly impact the financial viability of a transition. See some examples of recent regulations and incentives.

Operational insights and fleet performance

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Challenge 5: Insufficient data and poor performance visibility hinders optimal fleet performance.

Solution: To keep your fleet running smoothly, operational oversight is crucial. Network management tools that monitor fleets, providing key insights and data analysis, are instrumental for optimal performance. These systems enable real-time reporting on emissions, energy use and efficiency, with the goal of driving continual improvement.

Furthermore, if you decide to partner with a fleet electrification expert, they can provide comprehensive network operations management capabilities and 24/7 customer support to resolve issues promptly and keep your fleet moving. Trained technicians and EV specialists can also ensure timely maintenance and minimize downtime.

Driver training and support

Challenge 6: Driver training and support is often neglected, which hinders momentum and success.

Solution: For a seamless transition, a well-trained workforce is paramount. Training involves a sound understanding of the general operation of equipment, range management, charging protocols and lithium-ion battery handling, among other skills. As equipment and vehicles continue to evolve and improve, there will be a need for ongoing training. The time spent on training pays off: EV fleets help increase driver satisfaction and retention because electric vehicles are significantly quieter, and drivers are exposed to fewer emissions while idling.

While the transition to EV fleets is complex, it significantly advances us towards an efficient and decarbonized supply chain future. When you understand the common challenges involved and implement effective solutions, your business can overcome hurdles and experience a smooth electrification process. Collaborate with a reputable partner, plan carefully and stay informed about regulatory changes and you’ll be on track. With the right approach and commitment, you can embrace zero-emissions transportation and achieve your goals with resounding success.

Prologis delivers custom end-to-end mobility solutions and is your dedicated fleet electrification partner. From project design to installation, grid connection and ongoing operations, we’re committed to delivering quality, scale and reliability at every turn. Learn more about Prologis Mobility Essentials' comprehensive platform.


  1.  Kahn, Ari. Et al. "Preventing Electric Truck Gridlock." Rocky Mountain Institute, 2023
  2.  "Transportation Is now the Largest Source of Greenhouse Gases." USA Facts, 2019.
  3.  "Forecast Size of the Electric Vehicle Fleet in the United States between 2021 and 2030, by Segment." Statistica, 2022
  4.  Bland, Rob. Et al. "Charging Electric-vehicle Fleets: How to Seize the Emerging Opportunity." Mckinsey & Company, 2020.
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