Insight 30 June 2021

Solutions to accelerate successful EV charging infrastructure rollout

Webinar round-up

“Whenever I am asked about transitioning to Electric Vehicles, there are seven areas to consider; one of them is vehicles, one of them is driver awareness and behaviour, and the other five are about infrastructure – across home, across workplace, across public, data and information management”. 

Simon King kicks off the session welcoming the expert panel of speakers invited to speak about their challenges and solutions around EV infrastructure.

Adequate infrastructure will be pivotal to the future success of EV roll-out, and with the UK Government committing additional funds to support this and the transition away from Petrol/Diesel vehicles, this webinar explores all aspects of successful EV charging infrastructure and the solutions developed to support this.

Charlie Jardine, Founder of EO talked about charging of ‘return-to-home EV’s that can be plugged in and charged overnight when the vehicle is stationary. Most vehicles drive less than 100 miles a day and charging at home is cheaper than charging on-the-go.  A home charging station can be installed for around £550 inc. VAT, making it a highly practical and very cost-effective solution, particularly if there is a driveway available.  It is essential to choose a partner who can roll out charging infrastructure at scale.

Reimbursement of driver’s energy spend can either be through the UK Gov recommended re-imbursement rate at 4p/mile, or through tools which can determine all energy use and reimbursement can be agreed.  Automated tools such as Mina, can pay the energy supplier directly for any energy consumed by the EV, avoiding “bill shock” for the operator.  It is an essential tool for managing large fleets, a sentiment reinforced by Simon King, “It is really important to Mitie that with scaling up our commercial EV roll-out, that there is no cash flow impact on our commercial vehicle drivers.”

Referencing Mitie’s own electric vehicle journey – now with one of largest EV Fleet in the UK – Simon’s knowledge and experience of EV office charging is evident and the argument for transition is clear.

A massive reduction in emissions, huge benefits for clean air, benefit to employees, contribution to TCFD and other reporting, huge impact on operational emissions and the right thing to do from our pocket point of view.  We are realising the benefits of transitioning to EV.  He outlined two key considerations:

  1. Where do your vehicles sleep?  Identify where the vehicle is off-shift – optimal place for charging.
  2. What’s the “need state” that you need to meet.  Top-Up, Convenience, Use of charging to attract people to site, Primary Charge location…

Simon rounded up his session with a wealth of practical advice when considering fleet transition, and a word of caution, “there are an awful lot of “experts” in the EV community currently who do not have an electric fleet!  Be cautious when choosing a partner.”

Sam Clarke from Gridserve Sustainable Energy presented an enlightening view of future public EV infrastructure with images of charging his own EV directly from a solar farm, presenting his ‘sun to wheel’ concept.  He highlighted the importance of the whole supply chain when it comes to electrification of our fleet and, that it’s not only the infrastructure, but also where the energy comes from that’s important.

Gridserve have recently acquired the Electric Highway from Ecotricity, and they are now a major player in terms of delivering public EV infrastructure, including the delivery of all -electric forecourts, a concept that has become reality in Braintree, Essex, which according to Clarke, is the solution for the many with no off-street charging.  He summarises saying that the UK’s EV infrastructure is growing all the time, and is amazing, but it now needs to accelerate to support the uptake of EV’s in the next few years.

Companies like Moixa are facilitating this growth, applying Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to data collected from all interconnected systems.  Analysis of consumption and battery performance permits their ‘Gridshare Technology’ to connect and control systems to enable the best value through optimisation.  Moixa’s pledge is, “to increase the IQ of batteries”, and to make a difference to the climate emergency. 

Chris Wright continued to demonstrate other Go-to-Market examples of Moixa’s application of intelligence; working with Honda to optimise how and when their EV Fleet is charged, and Islington Council, trialling next generation bi-directional chargers for their EV’s resident at the Town Hall, highlighting how smart planning, particularly for EV charging can bring cost savings to every site and for every scenario.

The final speaker, Alexis Percival, Environmental and Sustainability Manager at Yorkshire Ambulance gave us a whistle stop tour of the NHS Road to Zero and the unique challenges they face integrating the varied Blue Light services.  The NHS carbon footprint totals a staggering 5% of all the UK’s carbon emissions, making the challenge to meet 2050 targets enormous. 

Electrification of the Ambulance Fleet is complicated.  Range and charging times are huge challenges to overcome across a vast and varied fleet, and grey fleet.  Hybrid Hydrogen-Electric vehicles are currently being trialled as the preferred solution to these challenges, but the transition also requires upgraded fit for purpose estate buildings and on-site infrastructure to provide the resilience required by the NHS.  Relying on the Grid is not an option.

Presenting the final slides on the NHS Road to Zero Targets and Challenges, the targets were set and clear, but to meet those targets, the challenges needed to overcome were all focused on infrastructure requirements, and the funding required to put this in place.

Download our EV Charging Infrastructure Whitepaper – we simplify the complex topic of EV charging, explaining the different types of chargers, ownership models, fee mechanisms, electrical load management and more.

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