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Lotus enters the EV charging arena

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Lotus has launched its own electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions, including an ultra-fast 450 kW DC charger, power cabinet and a modular unit for charging up to four vehicles at once.

The sports car maker sats charging anxiety remains one of the main barriers to electric vehicle adoption, with nearly 80% of the public citing the lack of charging infrastructure as a primary reason for not buying an EV in a survey conducted by the Energy Policy Institute.

The new suite of EV charging solutions designed for businesses includes:

  • Liquid-Cooled All-in-One DC Charger: a new charger, which offers ultra-fast charging of up to 450 kW. For example, with the Lotus Eletre R, it can add up to 88.5 miles or 142 km of range with approximately 5 minutes of charge making it one of the most competitive electric vehicle chargers. A 10% to 80% charge can be achieved in just 20 minutes with a range extension of 74 miles or 120 kilometres from a 5-minute charge when using a 350 kW Rapid Charger.
  • Liquid-Cooled Power Cabinet: a modular power cabinet that is suited for spaces that require high energy in order to increase efficiency and minimise charging time, such as motorway rest stops. It offers market-leading power output capabilities of up to 480 kW.
  • Liquid-Cooled Charging Unit: a charging terminal, which when used with the Liquid-Cooled Power Cabinet, can charge up to four vehicles at once. The unit has a maximum current output of 600 Amp, which ensures it is able to meet the needs of all electric vehicle drivers. For instance, if they need a short top-up whilst on the go, or fast-charge for long distance drives, Lotus’ new offering provides them with a convenient solution.

Lotus is using liquid-cooled technologies throughout its suite of commercial charging solutions to make it easier and quicker for EV drivers to charge their vehicles.

The firm’s fast-charging solutions have already been deployed in China and are expected to roll out across the majority of European countries and Middle East in Q2 2024. Further market availability will be announced in due course.

As charging infrastructure improves over time, Lotus is ensuring its customers are equipped by providing a 450 kW solution. Lotus has futureproofed its charging offering, which is expected to be the next step forward in fast charging when the infrastructure becomes readily available. Lotus customers will be able to easily upgrade to this power output without additional hardware costs once in-market service providers rollout grid upgrades.

Mike Johnstone, Chief Commercial Officer at Lotus Group, said: “Over the past six years, Lotus has been investing in the technology and infrastructure to accelerate the transition to electrification. We want to make it easier than ever to own an electric vehicle and with our latest offerings, Lotus is able to provide customers with the confidence to access easy, fast, and efficient charging.”

Alan Wang, Vice-President of Lotus Technology and CEO at Lotus Flash Charge, said: “As more governments are increasing investment into electrification in their journey to net-zero, the demand for a reliable electric vehicle charging infrastructure has never been higher than before. Lotus has developed best-in-class fast charging solutions to deliver a quick and reliable charging experience to meet customer needs.”

In 2018, Lotus announced its Vision80 strategy and plans to transform the brand from a British sports car maker to an all-electric global luxury technology brand by 2028. As part of this transition, the company is committed to developing its own range of EV charging solutions.

The company launched its first electric hyper-SUV Eletre in 2022, with customer deliveries across UK, Europe and China taking place this year. Lotus recently launched Emeya, its next-generation electric hyper-GT, in early September 2023.

Both vehicles integrate hardware, software, and cloud capabilities to deve op a full stack of intelligent driving technologies. They also include HD cameras, radar, and high-precision mapping capabilities to allow the vehicles to precisely perceive their environment in a stereoscopic display, providing a smooth drive even in extreme conditions. Lotus will continue to expand its range of premium electric vehicles, as the company looks to scale in this growing market.

Lotus says it has seen a huge demand for its products, with an orderbook of over 19,000 vehicles for its Emira sports car and Eletre hyper-SUV. The company has ramped up production this year, having had a record-breaking first half of 2023, and expects the full year to surpass all previous years.

THE WHICHEV VIEW: Petrol Vs Public Charging Vs Home Charging – Compared

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By WhichEV

As part of its EV Answers series of articles, the expert team at WhichEV take a look at a small commercial vehicles and the fuel cost differences from fossil fuel to public charging to ‘at base’ charging…


First, let’s consider range. If you recently decided to fill a 50 litre tank with petrol at £1.55 per litre, then it will have cost you £77.50. That is around 11 gallons and the average petrol vehicle will do around 36 miles per gallon – so that tank will get you just shy of 400 miles. Older, less efficient vehicle that spend most of their time at 20 mph in traffic will get closer to 30 miles per gallon, or even less – so a range of 330 miles for £77.50. Doing the calculation, we have a cost per mile with petrol of 19p to 23p.

Public Charging

You will find some chargers close to 50p per kWh, but maybe the price will be higher. We’ll use 60p for this cost calculation and imagine that you’re using a charger capable of delivering a steady 100kW. Filling a 61.7kWh battery like this, will probably get you to 80% in around 30 minutes, but the last 20% could take another 20-30 minutes as charger technology slows the process as the battery gets full.

Either way, you can pick up 61.7kWh of charge for £37.02. Most drivers do their miles in town and on smaller A roads, where you’re more likely to get close to 270 miles on a charge. To match the range of the petrol vehicle, you’d need to add up to 25% more charge – which would be another £9.23 for a total of £46.28.

Charging at Base

There are various ‘overnight saver tariffs’ to choose from. We will use 9.5p/kWh for 7 hours, but there are other deals available at the time of going to press. Local production from wind/solar as well as battery storage on site can also make a difference to the calculation.

Starting from empty at mid-night, you would pick up 49kWh at £4.65 and then you’ll need to finish with the last 12.1kWh at around 30p each once your overnight rate expires. That’s a total to fill up in one sitting of £8.28. You will need to pick up an additional 15kWh on the second evening – if you want to balance the ranges. That can be done overnight for £1.43.

Cost per mile

Another way to look at the same data, is to calculate the fuel cost per mile for driving 330 miles:-

23p        Petrol

14p        Public Charging

2.9p       Home Charging (E-On)

Before committing to an EV, do some calculations yourself and shop around for a good tariff that makes sense for your lifestyle. Prices are volatile, so our comparison is for guidance only.

Head over to WhichEV to read the full story!

EV charging infrastructure for fleets – Where to start

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The simple fact is that electric vehicles (EVs) are the future of transport. A recent report from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed that one battery electric car is registered every 60 seconds and that exponential growth in EVs is being accelerated by fleet sales.

It’s clear that those in the fleet industry are well-versed when it comes to the procurement of EVs. However, this is only one part – albeit vital – in any EV transition plans for fleet operations of all sizes and across all sectors.

The challenge often lies in understanding exactly how, and where to start, when it comes to the implementation of effective EV charging solutions that will resonate with both employers and employees.

For those involved, it may seem as though the transition to EV is a huge task. It doesn’t need to be such a daunting journey. Concerns surrounding EV charging simply shouldn’t stall the rollout of cost-effective, efficient and, most importantly, accessible EV charging infrastructure plans.

There may not be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to EV chargepoint infrastructure – but it is simply about keeping the three ‘Rs’ front of mind – right time, right location, and right speed.

The light at the end of the tunnel is that help from EV and electrical infrastructure specialists – such as SMS – is available.  Working with a trusted partner can make the whole EV transition process simple – helping to deploy and optimise successful small and large-scale EV infrastructure projects from start to finish. From supporting a workable plan and advising on the appropriate EV software and hardware to meet individual fleet needs, to advising on energy trade and supply needs.

If you want to learn more about how SMS can help with your fleet’s transition to EV, please connect with the team at Fleet Summit.

Fleet Car EV Charging Solutions: Everything you need to know

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

With the UK government’s pledge to end the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 (at time of writing!), electric vehicles (EVs) are set to become the norm. For businesses managing fleets, integrating EV charging solutions is an inevitable step forward. Here are the essential factors businesses should weigh when sourcing EV charging solutions…

  1. Assess Your Fleet’s Requirements: Start by understanding the size of your fleet and its growth trajectory. The number of vehicles, their battery capacity, and daily mileage are crucial to determining the number of chargers you’ll need, their type, and their capacity.
  2. On-site vs. Off-site Charging: Consider the spatial limitations of your premises. If on-site charging isn’t feasible due to space constraints, look for partnerships with nearby charging networks or public charging stations. On-site solutions are ideal for overnight charging, while off-site might be better suited for midday top-ups.
  3. Type of Chargers: In the UK, EV chargers vary from slow (3-6kW), fast (7-22kW), to rapid chargers (43-150+ kW). While rapid chargers can be more convenient, they’re also costlier. Balance your fleet’s charging speed requirements with your budget constraints.
  4. Cost and Financing: Implementing EV charging solutions requires capital. However, UK businesses can tap into various grants and subsidies, like the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS), which offers financial support for the costs of the purchase and installation of EV chargepoints.
  5. Integration with Fleet Management Systems: Modern EV charging solutions come with software that can seamlessly integrate with fleet management systems. This allows for real-time monitoring, scheduling, and optimisation of the charging process, ensuring efficient fleet operations.
  6. Maintenance and Downtime: Regular maintenance ensures longevity and optimal performance. Opt for solutions that come with comprehensive warranties, service agreements, and minimal downtime. Remember, a non-operational charger can disrupt fleet schedules.
  7. Scalability: As your fleet grows or the electric vehicle market evolves, your charging needs may change. Ensure your chosen solution is scalable, whether that means adding more charge points, upgrading existing ones, or integrating newer technologies.
  8. Safety and Compliance: Safety is paramount. Ensure that the EV charging solutions comply with UK and EU safety standards. Additionally, consider solutions that offer features like over-current protection, ground fault monitoring, and surge protection.
  9. Green Energy Options: To maximise the environmental benefits of transitioning to EVs, consider sourcing your electricity from renewable sources. Some providers offer green energy plans or partnerships with renewable energy suppliers.
  10. Employee Training: The switch to EVs, complemented by new charging protocols, may necessitate training sessions for employees. Ensure that the provider can offer training resources or sessions to help your team adapt seamlessly.

The transition to electric fleet vehicles is environmentally and economically strategic for UK-based businesses, but it’s the methodical selection of charging solutions that will determine the effectiveness of this shift. Businesses must engage in thorough research, consultations, and future-proof planning to make the most of their EV investments.

Are you looking for EV charging solutions for you business? The Fleet Summit can help!

Image by (Joenomias) Menno de Jong from Pixabay

IKEA invests £4.5 million in UK fleet EV charging infrastructure

960 640 Stuart O'Brien
IKEA UK has made a £4.5million investment in a nationwide electric charging infrastructure, which will provide charging points for electric delivery vehicles across the country to enable more emissions-free deliveries. The new infrastructure will source energy entirely through renewable sources.

The retailer aims to reach 100% zero emissions deliveries to customers by 2025. By summer 2023, IKEA plans to achieve 60% zero emission deliveries in the UK and Ireland, which it was demonstrates the significant steps being taken to accelerate moving towards the 2025 goal.

IKEA itself will install 196 chargers, of which 53 will be rapid, providing full charge on vehicles in under an hour. The chargers will be located at IKEA stores across the country, as well as the new Dartford customer distribution centre due to open in spring 2023, with the first ones fitted and operational in IKEA Cardiff.

IKEA says the move is fundamental to allow to continue expanding the electric vehicle fleets being used to deliver to customers’ homes, with the ambition to reach over 500 by 2025, with the charging points will be used by both IKEA and partner electric vehicles.

This infrastructure is being implemented in addition to the existing customer charging points in IKEA stores. Our customer charging points are available for customers to use during their visit to IKEA, the points were introduced to provide access to more sustainable travel for customers. With the introduction of a home delivery infrastructure, IKEA is building a complete offer for customers to have IKEA products arrive sustainably to their homes, no matter how they choose to shop.

Jakob Bertilsson, Country Customer Fulfilment Manager at IKEA UK & Ireland, said: “Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at IKEA, and we are always looking for ways to reduce our impact on the planet while supporting our customers to live more sustainable lives at home.

“Investing in this infrastructure of nationwide charging points is a fundamental step in our ambition to reach 100% zero emissions customer deliveries from all IKEA stores and distribution centres by 2025, as well as supporting our ambition to become a climate positive business by 2030.

Natasha Fry, Head of Sales at Mer UK said: “IKEA is an iconic brand with a recognised commitment to sustainability. When they needed future-proof charge points for their zero-emission, last-mile fleet, they wanted to work with a partner who shares these ambitions.

“We look forward to supporting the IKEA team and, importantly, its customers in making sure last-mile deliveries are efficient and emission free.”

How much will solar and batteries play a part in your company’s future?

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By WhichEV

We all know that electricity prices come down by up to 75% at night, but few of us have suitable storage set up to take advantage of those rates.

But what about during the day? One solution is to ‘go solar’.

Until recently, that would have meant a HUGE surface of your building needing to be covered with panels.

However, as technology develops in this area, generating and storing electricity at the workplace will become far more common place.

The first solar experiment was demonstrated back in the 1800s and was less than 1% efficient. In other words, only a tiny fraction of the available power was transformed into electrical power.

Today, that figure is closer to 25% – with panels that are around 30% efficient likely to appear in the market very soon.

To read more about this topic, head over to WhichEV.

Introducing… the EV Fleet-at-Home Charging solution from SMS

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By SMS plc

Energy infrastructure expert, SMS plc, is offering fleet managers across the UK a smarter way to manage their transition to an EV fleet.

SMS’s new Fleet-at-Home EV Fleet Charging Solution brings together EV charging infrastructure with premium support and fleet management services, enabling fleet managers to better manage their EV fleets and maintain the support of their driver community.

What we do to power your fleet and streamline your back office

  • Our fleet-at-home service installs and operates chargers that run off dedicated electricity meters separate from the home supply, allowing drivers’ bills to be invoiced directly to the business.
  • Our ClenergyEV app gives drivers visibility and access to 90% of the national network, so they can splash and dash at reliable charge points across the country for further range whenever required.
  • We significantly reduce the headache of administering fuel payments by setting up a single fixed monthly payment that you reconcile annually.

Putting the driver first

At SMS, we understand that drivers are the beating heart of the Fleet EV revolution. Our Fleet-at-home solution provides a frictionless transition for drivers, enabling a hassle-free, sustainable alternative to current ICE vehicles. With us, there’s no need for your drivers to have to pay and reclaim, removing the burden on the driver with bills being sent direct to the fleet team.

Future-proofing your fleet

Our aim at SMS is help fleet managers reduce the cost of charging their fleet, with one single monthly bill for all charging needs, whether at home, work, or in public. This gives our fleet management customers great control over costs and decision making, providing confidence and ability to deal with the challenges ahead.

SMS is an energy solutions expert with 28 years’ experience helping our customers navigate the complex world of electrical infrastructure and the rollout new of low-carbon technologies.

Our funded, turnkey EV fleet charging solution covers everything from install to ongoing operation, billing and maintenance, including our specialist EV Fleet Management software.

Visit www.sms-plc.com/evcharging for more information or contact our experts directly on 02920 054 151 / evcharging@sms-plc.com

Rapid charging grows public charging devices 36% in 2022

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

By WhichEV

The increase in the rate of consumer movement from petrol/diesel based cars – across the electric vehicles – is now being matched by the increased rate of deployment for fast public chargers.

The Government has, over recent years, invested in this expansion of the charging infrastructure – and it would appear that we now have measurable results.

The number of on-street charging devices increased 36% to 12,009 in 2022, up from 8,842 devices at the end of 2021, according to figures published by Zap-Map, a leading charge point mapping service in the UK.

Over 100 high-speed charging hubs were opened for EV drivers in the outgoing year, the company said.

While London and the South East retain the top spots in terms of the highest number of charging points, 2022 saw thousands of chargers installed up and down the UK.

Head over to WhichEV for the full story…

Futureproof your fleet and meet regulatory Net Zero deadlines!

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The UK Government’s ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars has been brought forward to 2030, meaning the time to start your EV journey is now. Our expertise in delivering electrical infrastructure, our nationwide installation, operation and maintenance  capabilities, and our independent hardware-agnostic approach makes SMS the perfect partner for your EV charging requirements.

We offer independent EV charging solutions that put your business requirements in the driver’s seat.

  • Need a full installation and maintenance package- we’ll provide that.
  • Want the flexibility to change the hardware- we’ll work with you to choose the most suitable products that are interchangeable at your request.
  • Prefer direct billing, negating the need for employee expense claims- we can set up a dedicated charger and tariff for your EV charging to take place in a domestic setting Keeping drivers happy and vastly reducing admin costs!
  • Not forgetting our easy-to-use Fleet App, which gives your drivers access to every charger in the UK without needing to download individual payment app’s.

Place your trust in a company with proven heritage in infrastructure, energy efficiency and asset management so you can be sure we’ll always be here to help.

Visit our website for more information: www.sms-plc.com/evcharging

Email: evcharging@sms-plc.com

Tel: Mark Winn, +44 7376 490 650

Mer charges up Dawsongroup

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Dawsongroup is one of the UK’s leading asset management specialists. Its vans division offers a wide range of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) available to hire, lease, or purchase, from 13 locations, nationwide. The company had started investing in Vauxhall Vivaro all-electric vans and needed a charging infrastructure partner to support this process.

Dawsongroup needed a provider who could deliver the right infrastructure that was both reliable and scalable. The company turned to Mer, an established and experienced supplier of workplace EV charging, with unique expertise in smart chargers and the back-office systems to manage them.

Simon Ridley, Managing Director of Dawsongroup Vans, said: “We had worked with two different suppliers previously but ran into problems with reliability of the charging products. So, when we approached Mer, we not only wanted them to recommend a solution to us, but we also needed to know that they would deliver.

“With light commercial vehicles, you need to have charging infrastructure in place where the vehicle is stored overnight, so it’s ready to operate the next day. If you’ve got the charging in place, and you have thought it through, those electric vehicles can remain on rent for as long as a diesel vehicle would.”

Experts from Mer carried out electrical surveys at every Dawsongroup depot, enabling Mer to recommend and deploy chargers with load balancing capabilities – meaning they work within the limits of the available power, on each site at all times. Mer’s customer services team also helped to prepare information on EVs and infrastructure for Dawsongroup’s customers and drivers.

Mer has now successfully installed 22kw dual fast chargers all Dawsongroup Van sites. The project went so well that the client has expanded its partnership with Mer to other divisions of the group. Mer has installed fleet and workplace charging across the UK for Dawsongroup’s Truck and Trailer, Finance, and Sweepers divisions. All four divisions use Mer’s Operator Portal to monitor the infrastructure and track usage.

“We continue to support Dawsongroup by delivering rapid charging capability across more locations,” said Natasha Fry, Mer’s Head of Strategic Accounts – fleet and workplace charging. “We have formed an extremely exciting partnership with a forward-thinking group; and aim to develop it for years to come.”

For further information on how Mer can help your business with EV charging infrastructure, visit https://uk.mer.eco/ev-fleet-charging.

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