Electric vehicles (EVs) have seen great advancements over the past few years, backed by both increased consumer demand and government legislation in line with green targets. Whilst the move from petrol and diesel vehicles to electric is very positive, it is inevitable that new logistical obstacles will be presented as a result – an important obstacle being the increased demand of electricity required to charge the vehicles.

With the sale of diesel cars being banned in the UK by 2035, and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) required to be zero-emission by 2040, we can expect a fast increase in the number of electric vehicles being bought, and hence charged, over the consequent years. And whilst most vehicle charging will be performed during the daytime, the same cannot be said for electric HGVs.

It is widely forecast that half of 44 tonne artic HGVs will source 85% or more of their energy from high power depot charging to rapidly charge between shifts or even whilst the trucks are loading. In many cases we can see already the necessity for megawatt charges for depots to feasibly transition to electric. This in turn will put a constant strain on our National Grid which could face difficulties in supplying the demand needed; this is especially relevant for large charging installations which may face additional costs or time delays. If supply capacity ultimately cannot be met, users may be penalised through limited or slow charging, or even with desired charging schemes being unable to proceed.

Charging forward the future of EVs

Thankfully, solutions are being developed to provide a variety of advanced and rapid EV charging solutions which tackle the problem of limited grid supplies. EVs have seen rapid development as the necessity grows for more environmentally conscious travel; and subsequently, so has the development of EV chargers. Through micro-grid solutions, TPS Velox chargers’ systems can make use of local renewable energy sources and battery storage to facilitate the additional capacity needed locally. Not only is this efficient, but it also avoids expensive grid upgrades and can provide adequate solutions for EVs ranging from passenger cars to HGVs.

TPS Velox Chargers are also ‘Vehicle to Everything’ (or ‘V2X’) capable. This technology facilitates the transfer of power from EVs to on-site consumers, EV site battery storage systems, the National Grid, and even other vehicles. This innovative concept allows for reduced electricity costs, as operators can use their vehicles as generators to avoid using the grid power at times when the tariffs are higher than the rate used to charge.

How can this affect my real estate?

A rapidly developing area of real estate and energy is in the logistics sector. Small scale delivery services are already investing in the future of electric, and it isn’t far into the future for large-scale truck services too. For logistic and distribution centres, moving towards electrification is an important step in becoming a net zero operation. It is not out of reach for businesses to hold logistics trucks that charge while unloading, and we can help understand the feasibility of this for your assets.

Pushed by the UK Government, updates to the Building Regulations have also sped up the rate of energy development within real estate. Part S legislation followed other Building Regulation amendments as part of a positive movement to increase energy efficiency of buildings across England. Covering EV charging and infrastructure, Part S applies to all residential and non-residential buildings, mixed-use buildings and buildings undergoing a material change of use. Focusing on non-residential and mixed-use buildings, the legislation concludes that any building with more than ten associated parking spaces will need to ensure at least one has access to an electric vehicle charging point, and that cable routes are installed to a minimum of 20% of the remaining spaces allowing for later charging point installation. This infrastructure will support the rising future uptake of electric vehicles onto our roads, but also provides clients the opportunity to review their current energy solutions and how they can get more out of their assets.

“When working with clients, it is always worth understanding the synergies between solar PV, EV charging and battery storage. For example, we can explore unlocking new revenue streams for landlords by charging logistic companies while lorries are loading; this is likely to be significantly cheaper than premium destinations such as motorway services, providing a win-win to both parties.” Stuart Patience, Head of energy solutions

Advancing your assets

As the rate of demand rockets for electric vehicles, so does the advancements of the technology that runs them. Even in the last month alone, we have seen Gridserve announce the ‘Electric Freightway’, backed by £62.7m of Government funding and an additional £100m of private funding, which will allow for a new motorway charging network – the first of its kind in the UK. But with this increased demand comes the risk of our National Grid becoming under strain, resulting in schemes being unable to proceed.

Covering a range of sectors, whether looking at wide-scale industrial EV charging solutions or how to comply with recent Part S regulations, our energy solutions department are here to help. Looking after all things energy, from solar PV to charging for EVs, and battery storage to other technologies, we have experience working with a variety of charging systems and can advise on the technology that will best suit your goals.

To ensure your electric vehicle charging scheme is viable, get in touch with our Head of logistics and industrial, Mark Hampson, Head of energy solutions, Stuart Patience, or Director Michael Cunningham, who can assess feasibility and advise solutions.