Removing the obstacles to carbon-free logistics

Expert opinion

François Oudot, CEO of Bump
Published on:
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Could logistics be the blind spot in efforts to electrify mobility?

Everyone should rejoice that France is accelerating in the deployment of Charging Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles (IRVE). A few weeks ago, the threshold of 100,000 fast charging stations deployed in the region was exceeded. But we talk surprisingly little about what nevertheless constitutes an essential issue: the electrification of the transport and logistics sector. This is the heart of the matter when we talk about decarbonization: 60% of CO2 emissions from mobility come from 20% vehicles owned by companies, a large part of which are utility vehicles and heavy goods vehicles, which often travel several hundred kilometers per day. However, all the conditions are not yet met for this sector to be able to transition to electric mobility in complete peace of mind.

If utility vehicles are becoming more and more electrified, just like, slower, heavy vehicles (12 tonnes, 16 tonnes), there remains a significant effort to be made to make the choice of electric a winning choice.

The 3 fundamentals of carbon-free logistics

To succeed in electrification, logistics professionals need three key elements:

  1.   Terminals installed in warehouses and business parks: installing its own infrastructure is essential to guarantee a charging offer adapted to the needs of drivers and to manage its operations;
  2.   A fast – reliable – charging infrastructure in urban areas, accessible to heavy goods vehicles and light utility vehicles, close to business areas;
  3.   Adapted business models: installation without financing and payment per kWh consumed, with a price lower than €0.60 so that electric power is competitive with thermal power and a full tank of gasoline...

In this equation with three unknowns, logisticians have control over the decision to electrify fleets and install terminals on their sites. For the rest, they are dependent on what operators can offer them and the territory's network of fast charging stations. The transition to electricity therefore relies largely on those involved in the charging infrastructure and on land owners, whether tertiary or commercial sites: it is they who must think about the deployment of terminals, the charging power adapted to needs, the clarity of the prices charged, the gradual extension of the offer to increasingly heavy vehicles and the priority given to professionals in the use of the terminals.

Still too many obstacles

It is clear that on these last points, too many obstacles remain.

  • Far too many public terminals do not work. On average, one in 4 charging sessions is unsuccessful. We can be pleased to see that the network of terminals is accelerating rapidly, but how can we be satisfied with an availability rate of 75%?
  • The vast majority of terminals today are not suitable for professionals and heavy vehicles.
  • Another problem: when it comes to fast public charging, the prices charged are anything but readable, they fluctuate in sometimes incomprehensible ways and do not create the necessary climate of security for professionals.
  • Charging stations are not necessarily installed in the most relevant locations, particularly in the heart of urban areas, and the space given to professionals is often too limited. At Bump, we operate charging hubs that have “mixed” use: accessible to the general public during the day and reserved for professionals at night, for example.


The terminal operator, a true partner in the transition

At Bump, we have built our offer around the needs of professionals (transporters, last mile delivery people, taxis and VTCs, etc.): we therefore have both a precise vision of their problems and the ability to respond to them adequately. Our terminals, even used every day, 7 to 8 times a day, have an unrivaled availability rate of more than 98%. Our “Zero capex, zero Opex” offer allows the installation of terminals without financing and payment per kWh consumed. Our software offering allows fleet managers to monitor, as needed, the use of on-site terminals and the charging of roaming vehicles, with alerts on prices, the ability to optimize trips to the terminal cheapest recharge.

Because beyond being another type of “fuel” for the vehicle, electric also brings new modes of operation within companies (operations management, cost management, reimbursement of expenses, etc.). Logisticians really need reliable partners with whom they can work hand in hand.



Regulatory constraints will increase, with the entry into force of ZFEs (Low Emission Zones) or the provisions of the LOM law (5% parking spaces on tertiary and commercial sites must be equipped with charging stations by 2025 ). The logistics sector must be able to take electrification head on without waiting for these constraints and without encountering obstacles. Electrifying urban distribution will require suitable vehicles, charging infrastructure, competitive prices; this will also involve “psychological” changes – mental barriers to be removed – and above all innovation in mobility business models.


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