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EV

EV is the commonly used acronym referring to electric vehicles, which encompasses a range of transport that uses electric power to partly or entirely replace an internal combustion engine. With transport accounting for more than 30% of the UK’s total carbon emissions as of 2021, the shift to electric vehicles is seen as one of the core requirements for achieving the UK’s net zero ambitions.

The UK Government has set ban on new emission engine vehicles for 2030, with a small number of hybrid vehicles allowed to be sold new until 2035. While this is widely regarded as necessary in order for the UK to meet our commitments under the Paris Agreement, the scale of the challenge is enormous. Having been moved forwards twice, from an initial 2040 and subsequent 2035 target, time is running out for the UK to roll out the extensive infrastructure needed to keep this new wave of electric vehicles on the road.

Just 6.5% of cars registered in the UK in 2020 were EV. As this percentage rapidly increases, concerns remain that the charging infrastructure will not be in place to allow EV drivers to effectively charge their vehicles. While filling a tank of petrol or diesel takes only a few minutes, most EVs require a lengthy period of charging to given them enough power for a useful driving range. While rapid charging units are increasingly being rolled out, they come with a huge demand that both the grid and local distribution networks will almost certainly struggle to meet without a major overhaul.

Instructions have already been issued that acknowledge these problems. Tenders for motorway service charging, often already on sites that have a constrained local network, must demonstrate how they will support charging points with supplementary technology, including battery storage and solar, to prevent localised disruption.

For businesses that are looking to transition to EV fleets, or cater for the needs of staff that will increasingly commute in EVs, charging stations will become compulsory. For many, their authorised capacity or local grid constraints may mean that any plans to install charging may be halted before they even begin.

Simply increasing your authorised capacity, or adding an additional grid connection, is likely to be either financially impractical or not possible given local network congestion. As with motorway charging, many businesses are turning to BESS technology to provide them with the additional capacity to allow them to unlock the full benefits of electric vehicles.

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