Freight industry calls for extension of EV Rapid Charging Fund for HGVs

The freight sector has called on the government to expand the electric vehicle Rapid Charging Fund as the latest National Grid report shows that zero-emission HGVs require similar connections to the electricity transmission system in similar locations as cars and vans.

Freight industry calls for extension of EV Rapid Charging Fund for HGVs
Photo credits @ DAF Trucks (illustrative image)

The National Grid assumes it is possible to map out a future on-route charging and hydrogen refuelling network for HGVs, as their latest research shows.

The analysis models the charging profile of the UK’s HGV fleet, assuming that 70-90% of HGVs will be charged or refuelled overnight in their depot or at their destinations.

Given HGV drivers are legally required to stop for 45 minutes every four and a half hours, National Grid assumed a 30-minute window in each 45-minute break and cross-referenced it with information on the strategic road network and electricity transmission system.

As a result, the electricity company concludes it is possible to map out a future on-route charging and hydrogen refuelling network for HGVs and other transport.

The analysis and modelling found 53-78% of on-route charging and hydrogen refuelling at motorway service areas can be provided at no extra cost to the Rapid Charing Fund, if transmission connection solutions, for example existing substations, are used.

A small marginal cost increase of 3-16% to the Rapid Charing Fund can provide the necessary capacity for the remaining sites across England.

There is further potential to realise cost savings by coordinating with the Zero Emission Road Freight Trial (ZERFT) as it looks to deliver early trials which will also require electricity capacity. Other sectors using the strategic road network could also then benefit from this additional infrastructure, including long-distance coaches and vans.

The analysis builds on the government’s recent EV Charging Infrastructure Strategy, giving more detail on the potential size and location of future infrastructure – outlining the importance of connections to the National Grid’s electricity transmission system.

 “The switch to fully decarbonised road transport will only happen if we have the right wires in the right place, at the right time,”said Graeme Cooper, Head of Future Markets at National Grid. “Our analysis shows the importance of digging once and in the right location. Planning future charging infrastructure around connections to the transmission system can bring cost savings and reductions in the amount of infrastructure required.

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