Smart City

Does the road to a cleaner future start on a delivery truck?

Moving people and things around the world uses a lot of fuel and burning that fuel is a primary contributor to our planet’s warming.

The trucks that drop off your online shopping are running constantly—at least 12 hours a day, as opposed to the one hour a day most cars are used. And they get terrible fuel economy: 5 or 6 mpg, versus 28 for a typical car.  So how do we mitigate the climate crisis?  It starts with a delivery truck.

Seems simple, right? Switch the fleets to electric—cheaper, quieter, and cleaner than trucks powered by fossil fuels—and we can still get our stuff shipped at the swipe of an app.

Not so simple in fact.   The electrical grid wasn’t designed for charging electrical vehicles en masse – think about hundreds of trucks (batteries) charging in a depot compared to supplying power to keep the lights on.   That is where we are exploring solutions that will allow a shift to electrification as cheaply and quickly as possible.


Fleet Depot as a Service

One of the solutions we are investing in is “fleet depot as a service”: a model that lets EV manufacturers and transportation companies install and operate thousands of EVs without building expensive, complex infrastructure at each depot. The model also helps a utility operate an electrical grid with the same level of reliability, safety, and time online you’ve come to expect.  Specifically, we are investing in the products and services that help fleet operators and utilities design, install, operate, and finance the infrastructure required to charge EV’s.

Fleet depots are one of our most important initiatives and a key part of our smart cities strategy as we move toward a decentralized, decarbonized, digitalized future.


Why National Grid Partners

National Grid has ambitious goals to reimagine how we power the world in a sustainable way, and we are looking for the innovators and entreprenuers that are just crazy enough to think they have an idea worth pursuing.

We offer funding and resources that will help – specifially early stage through growth capital, a business development team to help grow revenue, and insights from our team to help create a successful outcome and brighter future.  If you have a company that helps us solve this transition – please say hello – we would love to meet you and learn more about your company.


Dillon McDonald is Vice President of Incubation at National Grid Partners.