Paul Green, Logistics Consultant Director at Vectos explains the technology needed to deliver EV across the UK logistics sector and how the industrial sector can support its transition.
Enabling EV for the logistics sector
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, there are approximately 750,000 electric vehicles of all types on the roads in the UK including over 25.000 EV vans and 300 trucks.
The number of electric vehicle (EV) service vehicles deployed within the UK fleet is growing steadily but that growth is not proportionate across all vehicle sizes and weight ranges.
Transition levels within the van fleet (less than 3.5 tonnes) is where market penetration is greatest but at the heavy haulage end of the spectrum, examples are limited to demonstration and test projects such as one run by Tesco in South Wales.
This means UK warehouses are adopting electric charging capabilities at different rates and timescales. We are yet to see a development where an outbound fleet, of any note, has fully transitioned to an all-electric service fleet.
Yet, Government and core stakeholders are acutely aware that meeting zero emission targets is dependent on transitioning all service vehicles to zero emission.
Future challenges for the logistics sector?
A vast exercise in retrofitting units will be needed in the future for any industrial unit that does not have significant installation of EV charging equipment. In addition, since hybrid fleets (a mix of EV/ internal combustion engine and hydrogen) will be with us for some time, hydrogen fuelling may also become a factor. It will also be important to ensure that the power supply and hydrogen supply is in the right places when it is needed.
The future for EV charging for HGV vehicles is less clear. However, it’s worth noting that Amazon have announced a roll out of a new fleet of electric HGVs in the UK and others may follow so there is likely to be a new wave of sustainable opportunities.
Finally, planning authorities will almost certainly raise the quote of employee charging points required on industrial units so many of these will need to be retrofitted on units where they are not already installed.
How to future-proof industrial developments?
Urban industrial units, driven by the online revolution and focused on supporting last mile deliveries are at the forefront of the transition to net zero logistics.
For example,GLi’s expanding industrial portfolio across Greater London is 100% electric powered. Their sites in Park Royal and Croydon offer occupiers 100% car and delivery van EV charging points. Also, their maximum PV rooftop coverage is connected to on-site battery storage as a standard specification to help occupiers save energy costs and transition to net zero operations.KSP would like to thank Paul Green and Vectos for their support on this blog. For more information on GLi, their sustainable industrial warehousing and our Urban Life initiatives, please click here.