Bringing electric transportation to the forefront
Anthony Humble-Smith, our Group Sustainability Lead recently attended the EV Summit which brought together business leaders and key players who are exploring how we advance e-mobility in the UK.
Representing the heavy-duty fleet, Anthony and his fellow panellists highlighted some interesting points. Here is a summary of their discussion.
Looking at the transition of electric cars first, in the last 19 months we have seen the installation of 30,000 publicly available charging points. This is huge progress, but these charging points are not suitable for heavy goods vehicles. They aren’t physically accessible by larger vehicles, and the cost is two or three times that of private energy. This means it’s not a viable option for a commercial fleet.
In contrast, of the heavy-duty electric vehicles in the UK, nearly all are charged at the depot. That is because we simply don’t have the availability, or reliability, that is being supplied to the EV car market.
There is no question that we need more charging points on the go. We also need to improve the charging speeds so a driver could charge the vehicle whilst taking their 45-minute break. But how do we do this?
As Anthony pointed out at the summit, we are in a chicken and egg situation. No one wants to install chargers if there aren’t any customers to use them. And no one wants to buy electric vehicles if there is no where to charge them. We are seeing electric vehicles coming to market which now have the capacity to be used in the transportation industry, but the infrastructure just isn’t there yet. Anthony went on to explain:
“It’s easy for companies with challenging fleets to say we’ll deal with this in 5 years’ time when the infrastructure is better equipped, but this isn’t us. We have customers who are telling us they want a greener solution, and we will do everything in our power to deliver on this expectation.
The most valuable thing we, as a leading player in the UK transportation industry, can do, is to form strategic partnerships – both with our customers and suppliers. Our customers need to know that we will help them achieve their decarbonising agendas and our suppliers need the confidence that the money they invest in e-mobility is worthwhile. By working hand-in-hand to make the transition smoother, we will be able to achieve so much more.“
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