charging Archives - Fleet Summit
Posts Tagged :

charging

Energy Storage Systems to support rapid EV charging on motorways

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The challenge of finding somewhere to rapidly charge electric vehicles on a long journey may be eased slightly thanks to a multi-million-pound investment from National Highways.

The government-owned organisation plans to invest in Energy Storage Systems – essentially giant battery packs – for service stations where the grid supply is not enough for rapid charging infrastructure.

The announcement comes following Transport Day at COP26, which focused on the global transition to zero emission transport, an aim of both the government and National Highways. It’s hoped the move will bring an end to ‘range anxiety’ by improving the network of charge points for EV drivers using England’s motorways and major A-roads.

These rapid chargers are part of Government’s vision for the rapid charge point network in England which set the goal of around 6,000 high powered chargers on the motorway network by 2035.

Malcolm Wilkinson, Head of Energy for National Highways, said: “We are working differently and innovating to support the switch to zero emission journeys. Whilst we have limited control over the number of petrol and diesel cars on the network, by supporting the expansion of the rapid charge points network, we hope to increase EV drivers’ confidence for all types of journeys, both long and short.

“These new Energy Storage Systems and the rapid chargers they supply will ensure that motorists are unlikely to be caught without somewhere to charge, which is a fantastic move for drivers and the environment accelerating the speed in which we transition to new electric vehicles.

Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said: “Our vision is to have one of the best electric vehicle infrastructure networks in the world and we want charging to be quick and easy for all drivers. This additional investment will ease drivers’ range anxiety as we continue to power up the green revolution.”

The electric vehicle revolution: How our homes are driving the green transition

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

By Ella Pumford (pictured), Content Manager at St. Modwen Homes

Electric vehicles are driving the UK’s green transition, helping the nation on its journey towards sustainability and net zero emissions by 2050. To achieve this goal, the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned after 2030, meaning that the future roads are guaranteed to look more electric.

But with the increase of electric vehicles comes the issue of charging. Of course, it makes sense that we should all be able to charge our cars at home. Nipping to the petrol station during the rush hour commute will be no more, as recharging will be done on our doorsteps. But do you have an electric vehicle charger at your home yet? The answer is most likely no. After all, we’ve not had much use for them up until now.

At some point, we’ll all need to upgrade our homes to be compatible with new electric cars. But with a rapid increase in the use of electric vehicles, how can our homes sustain the electricity demand? It’s clear that our homes will become central to the green revolution, even on the roads.

Here, we explore how homes will navigate the electric vehicle revolution and help our national environmental ambitions.

What’s the charge?

There are over 35,000 charge points across 13,000 locations in the UK. This means that there are now more public places to charge than there are petrol stations. However, the time it takes to charge can vary between 30 minutes and 12 hours, depending on the size of the car battery and the efficiency of the charging point.

It’s clear that the solution for electric vehicle charging lies at home. Leaving your car on charge overnight while it sits parked on the driveway or in the garage means that you’ll never fall on an empty tank again. But how much will your electric car contribute to your home electricity expenses? The answer: less than your petrol or diesel costs and with the added benefit of being more environmentally friendly.

In fact, on average, electric cars cost 4p per mile while petrol cars cost 9p per mile to run. This means that petrol cars cost over twice as much to run in comparison to electric cars. So, shifting your petrol costs to your home energy costs may boost your home bills, but you’ll be saving in the long run.

Even better, charging your car from your home has additional environmental benefits. The ban on new non-electrified cars aligns itself with the target to power all UK homes with wind by 2030. So, we can rest happy knowing that our cars will be charged with renewable energy at home.

Steering homes towards sustainability

It’s not only our roads that are becoming more sustainable. Our homes are quickly becoming leaders in the green transition, finding more sustainable ways to improve energy efficiency, use more renewable electricity, and lowering our home expenses.

Charging your electric car could instantly become an act of environmental proactivity when you install solar PV panels on your roof. In fact, PV panels are quickly becoming a popular option for homeowners to lower their home energy costs and reduce their environmental impact. Estimates suggest that you could save around £270 a year on your energy bill when using a PV system.

The average UK driver had a mileage of 7,090 miles in 2019. If your electric car costs 4p per mile, this means your annual electricity cost would be £283.60. This is close to the annual savings on your energy from a PV system. Of course, to charge your electric car at your existing property, you will need to install an electric vehicle charging port. The average cost of which is £450 after financial assistance from the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme. Even then, the long-term savings are worth the investment. So how will our homes of the future be designed for the future of electric vehicles?

Ready for the future

It’s expected that 80 per cent of electric vehicle charging will take place at home. As such, the government has outlined proposals to change building regulations in England to require all new-build homes to be fitted with an electric car charging point.

However, some housebuilders already offer the opportunity to install electric vehicle charging ports on your new home. St. Modwen Homes believes that electric vehicle charging points don’t just offer convenience to homeowners, but helps their customers be more environmentally friendly. Ella Pumford from St. Modwen Homes says: “It’s never been easier to make your new home eco-friendly, and now we can help people choose more sustainable options in their life. Installing an electric vehicle charging point on your home can help you save money, reduce your environmental impact, and ensure that your home is prepared for the future.

“We offer a variety of eco-friendly home upgrades for customers, meaning that alongside electric vehicles, the future of our homes is truly sustainable. The use of PV panels, air-source heat pumps, and wastewater heat recovery units can further help us to lower our costs and boost sustainable lifestyles. The construction of new-build homes, whether they’re houses in Eastwood or new-builds in Wantage, should recognise the needs of the future and adapt to meet them.”

Future roads belong to electric vehicles, but our homes will spearhead the route through the green transition, making their use viable for the next generation of homeowners. As we continue our sustainable journeys, the purpose of our homes and vehicles will change. From simple transport and accommodation, new cars and new homes are allowing us to lead sustainable lifestyles in ways which have previously been impossible.

Oxford to get ‘Europe’s most powerful’ EV charging hub

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

UK-based Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables, and Oxford City Council have joined up with Fastned, Tesla Superchargers and Wenea to deliver what they are calling Europe’s most powerful EV charging Superhub.

The hub, initially featuring 38 fast and ultra-rapid chargers in a single site, is the most powerful in Europe – with up to 10MW of power on site – and will scale up to help meet the need for EV charging in the area for the next 30 years. It is the first of up to 40 similar sites planned across the UK to help deliver charging infrastructure needed for the estimated 36 million EVs by 2040.

Unlike any other UK charging hub, the site, at Redbridge Park & Ride, is directly connected to the high voltage national electricity grid, to provide the power needed to charge hundreds of EVs at the same time quickly, without putting strain on the local electricity network or requiring costly upgrades.

This network, developed by Pivot Power, has capacity to expand to key locations throughout Oxford to meet mass EV charging needs, from buses and taxis to commercial fleets.

Fastned will initially install ten chargers at the Superhub with 300kW of power, capable of adding 300 miles of range in just 20 minutes for up to hundreds of EVs per day. The station will be powered by 100% renewable energy, partly generated by the company’s solar roof, and all makes and models of EVs will be able to charge at the highest rates possible simultaneously.

The announcement is a key milestone in the completion of Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO), due to open in Q4 this year, and comes as Oxford is set to launch the UK’s first Zero Emission Zone this August, where vehicles are charged based on their emissions, with EVs able to use the zone for free.

The £41m world-first project, led by Pivot Power, integrates EV charging, battery storage, low carbon heating and smart energy management technologies to support Oxford to be zero carbon by 2040 or earlier. ESO will save 10,000 tonnes of CO2 every year once opened later in 2021, equivalent to taking over 2,000 cars off the road, increasing to 25,000 tonnes by 2032. It provides a model for cities around the UK and the world to cut carbon and improve air quality.

Matt Allen, CEO at Pivot Power, said: “Our goal is to help the UK accelerate net zero by delivering power where it is needed to support the EV and renewable energy revolution. Oxford is one of 40 sites we are developing across the UK, combining up to 2GW of battery storage with high volume power connections for mass EV charging. Energy Superhub Oxford supports EDF’s plan to become Europe’s leading e-mobility energy company by 2023, and is a blueprint we want to replicate right across the country, working hand in hand with local communities to create cleaner, more sustainable cities where people want to live and work.”

Councillor Tom Hayes, Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford at Oxford City Council, added: “For Oxford to go zero carbon by 2040, we need to electrify a lot more of our transportation. As an innovative city embracing technologies and change, Oxford is the natural home for the UK’s largest public EV charging hub. We are excited to be taking a major step forward in the completion of Energy Superhub Oxford, working closely and superbly with our private sector partners. As an ambitious city, we are excited about the prospect of further innovation and investments, building upon our record of transformational public and private sector delivery.”

Government plans to cut carbon emissions and improve air quality will see millions of EVs in use by 2030, and the project will show how this can be achieved while maintaining a stable and cost-effective electricity network. To accelerate the delivery of ESO, the Government has contributed £10 million to the project via UKRI’s Prospering from the Energy Revolution programme.

bp pulse confirms ultra-fast charging hubs rollout

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

bp pulse is to expand its ultra-fast EV charging infrastructure significantly across the UK, with a series of new charging hubs developed in partnership with The EV Network (EVN). 

Electrification is at the heart of bp’s convenience and mobility strategy with the company aiming to double the size of the bp pulse network in the UK to 16,000 charge points by 2030, with a particular emphasis on ultra-fast chargers. The total amount of charging on the bp pulse network is set to grow 30-fold by 2030. 

bp pulse says it’s committed to developing the country’s charging infrastructure for fleets and consumers. The new hubs will be a key part of the company’s ambition to deliver fast and convenient charging for the growing number of EV drivers.  

The agreement is expected to deliver a significant number of new ultra-fast EV charging destinations in the areas with high volumes of traffic. The sites will be developed by EVN with each having a range of ultra-fast charging bays and some becoming EV convenience and mobility hubs with food, drink and other facilities on offer to drivers as they charge.  

Matteo de Renzi, CEO of bp pulse, said: “We are building a charging network that will give consumers the confidence to make the switch to EVs, knowing they can get the charge they need in the right places. We’re taking another step forward in our commitment to make ultra-fast charging widely accessible across the UK, including in easy reach of the motorway network. These new hubs will complement bp pulse’s existing plans to expand the number of ultra-fast chargers on bp’s forecourts and it’s exciting to be launching this new additional option for drivers.” 

Reza Shaybani, co-founder and CEO of EVN said: “This ground-breaking agreement with bp pulse has got 2021 off to a racing start. As the largest public charge point operator in the market, bp pulse is a perfect partner for EVN to deliver critically required EV charging infrastructure nationwide. Together we will be fuelling growth in a vital part of the UK’s green economy, making a reliable national network of EV charging stations a reality for fast growing number of Electric Vehicle drivers.” 

Association of Fleet Professionals: Fleets need to undertake due diligence on driver charging facilities

899 599 Stuart O'Brien

Employers need to undertake due diligence on driver charging facilities as electric vehicles (EVs) start to make their way onto fleets in larger numbers, says the Association of Fleet Operators (AFP).
 
Chair Paul Hollick said that this was especially important for drivers of petrol hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) who could potentially choose not to charge them and instead continually fuel up at the pump.
 
He explained: “Our members are rapidly gaining practical experience of operating EVs and one of the things that is becoming clear is that you can’t just have a short chat with a driver about the fact that they want to adopt an EV as their company car and then hand them the keys.
 
“Fleets need to ensure that drivers have a good understanding of their charging options, have their own charging facilities that are not just a standard socket and, in the case of PHEVs, will always charge the car even when there is option to avoid doing so.
 
“It’s a case of carrying out some basic due diligence so that you are gaining the maximum operational and environmental benefit from EVs and PHEVs, while minimising some of the potential pitfalls.”
 
Hollick said that there were a range of norms emerging around the fitting of chargers at home for employees.
 
“The model that is taking shape seems to be that mostly, drivers are paying for their own charger although, in some cases with larger employers, a third party will provide installation on some kind of preferential terms.
 
“However, there is a different picture for drivers of electric vans, where most employers are paying for the charger to be installed on the basis that it is a job-need requirement that they are effectively stipulating.
 
“Around these practices, there are also some other ideas appearing. Sometimes, for example, the fitting of the charger is being added to the monthly lease rate in order to provide a high degree of affordability.”
 
Hollick added that some fleets were stipulating that EV and PHEV drivers should sign a declaration covering basic points of vehicle operation.
 
“These employers are asking their drivers to ensure that they keep their vehicle adequately charged, that they have a charger available on their drive and even, where there is only on-street parking, that some form of charger is easily available.
 
“The conditions for PHEVs are tighter. We’ve all come across a few instances in recent years where drivers have chosen these vehicles to minimise personal taxation and then used them purely as an internal combustion engined car. This makes them extremely expensive to operate and destroys any environmental advantage. Analysis shows that a poorly used PHEV is more expensive to operate than a petrol of diesel equivalent.
 
“Creating a declaration that electric power will be used as often as possible for PHEVs is a potentially effective solution to this issue and something that we have seen a number of fleets now adopt. It makes the driver aware of their responsibilities and that shows them that their employer takes these matters seriously.”
 
The AFP was formed in March, 2021, from the merging of the Association of Car Fleet Operators (ACFO) and the Institute of Car Fleet Management (ICFM). Further details can be found at www.theafp.co.uk.

Funding for on-street EV charge points doubled

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The government is to fund an additional £2.5 million towards the installation of over 1,000 new EV chargepoints, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed.

The funding will support the on-street residential chargepoint scheme, launched in 2017, which helps people access charging infrastructure near their homes when they don’t have off-street parking.

It will go towards helping local authorities to install these chargepoints, which can be built into existing structures like lamp-posts. The scheme aims to encourage even more people to choose an electric vehicle by making it easier to charge their cars near home, following a 158% increase in battery electric vehicle sales compared to July last year.

The scheme has already seen 16 local authorities prepared to install 1,200 chargepoints this year. The Transport Secretary is now doubling funding for the scheme to meet demand and accelerate the take-up of electric vehicles as the UK moves towards net zero emissions by 2050 and further improve air quality.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “It’s fantastic that there are now more than 20,000 publicly accessible chargepoints and double the number of electric vehicle chargepoints than petrol stations, but we want to do much more.

“It’s vital that electric vehicle drivers feel confident about the availability of chargepoints near their homes, and that charging an electric car is seen as easy as plugging in a smartphone.

“That’s why we are now doubling the funding available for local authorities to continue building the infrastructure we need to super-charge the zero emission revolution – right across the country.”

The allocation of funding for on-street residential chargepoints is part of the £1.5 billion investment underpinned by the Road to Zero Strategy. The strategy consists of one of the most comprehensive packages of support for the transition to zero emission vehicles in the world, supporting the move towards a cleaner, greener, accessible and reliable UK transport network.

As part of this, the government is also investing £37 million into British engineering to develop electric chargepoint infrastructure that it says could rapidly expand the UK chargepoint network for people without off-street parking and put the UK on the map as the best place in the world to own an electric vehicle.

Innovations to receive investment include underground charging systems, solar powered charging forecourts and wireless charging projects.

EV charging sites outnumber petrol stations

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

New figures from Zap-Map have revealed the extent of the UK’s electric vehicle revolution, with the number of public charging locations now surpassing petrol stations for the first time.

Data from Zap-Map shows that as of 22 May, there are 8,471 charging locations across the UK, hosting a total of 13,613 charging devices.

In contrast, as of the end of April, there are currently only 8,400 petrol stations in the UK, a figure which is continuing to decline.

Zap-Map says there has been huge growth in the UK public EV charge point market in the past 12 months, with the number of locations increasing 57% in that time.

In parallel to the increase in number of charging locations, new technologies are becoming available which offer higher charging rates.

Whereas most ‘rapid’ units are rated at 50 kW, enabling a standard EV to be fully charged in 40 minutes, the latest ‘ultra-rapid’ units are capable of up to 350 kW; ready for the next generation of longer-range electric vehicles.

The expanding network supports an increasing number of electric vehicles on the road, expanding from only 3,500 cars just six years ago, to more than 210,000 currently.

Analysts forecast that by the end of 2022, at east 1 million EVs will be in use in the UK, a figure backed by government policy that looks to electrify all new cars and vans by 2040.

Ben Lane, co-founder and CTO at Zap-Map, said: “The public and private sectors are now investing heavily in the UK’s EV charging infrastructure to ensure that there are sufficient charging points to support the growing electric fleet. This month’s milestone reveals of the rapid pace of change already underway as the age of the combustion engine gives way to an all-electric era with vehicles offering both zero-emissions and a better driving experience.”

Arval makes EV charging point commitment

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

A significant new electric vehicle charging site is to open next month at the headquarters of vehicle leasing and fleet management company, Arval.
 
At its Windmill Hill Business Park offices, 43 charging points will be available to Arval employees along with an additional seven for other businesses using the same building.
 
Furthermore, Arval has unveiled plans to install new charging points at its other UK premises in Manchester and Birmingham. 
 
Ailsa Firth, Human Resources Director, explained: “As a business, we are committed to supporting the ongoing energy transition toward electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles and this means giving drivers convenient access to charging points.
 
“In our own company car fleet, we already have around 100 plug-in vehicle drivers and we expect this number to grow over the coming months and years as availability, choice and experience grows.
 
There is already research, notably from the International Council on Clean Transportation, suggesting EVs cost less to operate than petrol and diesel cars. With this project, we hope to prove the cost and practicality arguments for ourselves.”
 
The charge points and charging services at the Arval UK offices are being provided by NewMotion, the European leader in smart charging solutions for EVs. General Manager UK, Alan McCleave, explained that their complete infrastructure and service offering is intended to make EV charging as easy as possible for employees and visitors.
 
“We’ll be holding roadshows at Arval’s UK head office to introduce employees to the charging sites, the surrounding framework, and to show them how they work.”
 
All Arval employees who register will be provided with a validated charge fob. This will enable charging sessions at the NewMotion charge points at the Arval office. They will be able to charge at work for free for the first six months from when charge points go live. In addition, they will be able to use over 100,000 publiclyavailableNewMotion charging locations throughout Europe, accessible with the same charge fob.
 
Miguel Cabaça, Managing Director at Arval UK, added that the new charging development was also intended to act as a test ground and working example for customers who were thinking of increasingly electrifying their company cars and vans.
 
“We are delighted to be working with NewMotion on such a major installation. Every day we see a growing interest in electric vehicles from a broad cross section of our customers. By leading the way in adoption and creating the necessary infrastructure, we hope to provide a real world illustration of the practicalities behind the energy transition.”

‘Major re-think’ needed on EV infrastructure

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Social divides in communities could be deepened with millions of people set to miss out on the environmental and financial benefits of electric vehicles (EVs), a new report concludes.

The Localis report – Smart Cities: Fair investment for sustainable growth– argues that outdated energy and infrastructure policies must urgently be modernised, and local network operators freed up to invest ahead of demand, if the government is to meet its ambitious targets for ensuring all new cars sold are zero-emission by 2040.

The report calls on government to devolve certain Ofgem powers to city regions and strategic authorities, allowing them to develop their own ‘smart city’ plans and energy policies built upon their own expertise and understanding of place.

Local authorities should be able to form their own consortiums using existing knowledge of their local areas, and also be empowered to work with private energy network providers to deliver the infrastructure they need for the future, the report recommended.

The report emphasised that families across the UK are at risk of sharing the cost for necessary new energy infrastructure, but not being able to access for themselves the benefits of EVs and other ‘smart’ technologies – driving further inequality between richer and poorer parts of the country.

Jonathan Werran, chief executive at Localis, said: “Without a change in regulation, behaviour and a wholesale transfer of powers for local energy policies, we risk a tale of two cities in our major urban centres – deepening levels of inequality between the prosperous and more deprived parts of town.

“A ‘devolution revolution’ in locally-regulated energy markets has the potential to accelerate the nation’s switch to clean growth, turn UK cities into powerhouses for sustainable and inclusive prosperity and improve livelihoods in towns and cities across the UK.”

Furthermore – while private energy network providers have invested heavily in building infrastructure that is fit for purpose today – the report claims their inability to invest further unless there is proven need for it presents a major barrier to readying cities for smart technologies.

This restriction should be lifted if the UK’s energy network is to be fit for meeting future demand for smart technologies such as EVs – which will require a six-fold increase in the number of charging points by 2020 (Emu Analytics, May 2018).

The report authors also recommend that government should produce a standardised framework for how EV charging infrastructure is built and upgraded.

Localis head of data research, Joe Fyans, said: “The advancement of smart technology into households has huge potential for increasing the quality and efficiency of local public policy, but we have to make sure we have the nuts and bolts infrastructure in place to facilitate this change by securing the appropriate investment, and in a timely fashion.”

The report and its recommendations were informed by a series of roundtable events with local authorities, councillors and business groups.

George Lowder, chief executive, Transport for Edinburgh, said: “We’ll be taking note of the findings of this report here in Edinburgh, which is particularly timely as we consider city centre transformation, Low Emission Zones, future mobility and city development in 2019.

“A cleaner, smarter, Edinburgh is one that we are all striving for – including the increased use of EVs across our public transport fleets and an extended EV charging network for the city. The recommendations in the report today can help us to deliver this in a way that works for everyone.’’

Cllr Anna Richardson’s, city convener for sustainability and carbon reduction, Glasgow City Council, said: “Today’s report sets out many of the challenges and opportunities for Glasgow as we continue on our transition to a ‘smart city’.

“New technologies like EVs can play a part in decarbonising our transport system and improving our air quality – but they need to be rolled out fairly across the city, so everyone can benefit, and not exacerbate existing inequalities.

“The recommendations today can help ensure that government, and local authorities up and down the country, are able to oversee a successful shift to smarter technologies in a way that is fair, affordable and equitable.”