A new MegaWatt Charging System (MCS) is set to be available in the UK from Q1 2024. This kind of infrastructure will be pivotal to the adoption of EVs, especially electric HGVs (eHGVs).
The Kempower MCS, which will be ready to be installed by Vital EV Solutions from early next year, is estimated to allow the average electric HGV to travel up to 372 miles on a single 30-minute charge.
This new solution will follow Vital EV’s installation of what it claims to be “the UK’s fastest EV chargers” in Bedfordshire and “the UK’s largest electric truck charging depot in London”. While the chargers in Bedfordshire support 400kW charging, the new Kempower MCS will provide “up to 1.2 MW (1,200kW) of ultra-rapid DC charging”.
The take-up of electric vehicles over the past few years has been substantial, and can be seen on the UK’s roads. According to data from the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), 21.4% of new car registrations in Q1 2023 were plug-in electric. Meanwhile, plug-in vehicles only represented 2.9% of new HGV registrations in the same period of time.
Despite the popularity of electric cars, companies seem more hesitant to invest in electric HGVs. One reason for this, alongside the upfront investment costs associated with acquiring new electric vehicles, is the lack of EV charging infrastructure available in the UK currently to support a widespread transition to eHGVs.
Arval Mobility Observatory’s ‘Mobility and Fleet Barometer 2023’ report found that 33% of companies surveyed from around the world that are not yet considering battery electric vehicles (BEVs) identified the number of public charging points as a major barrier to this.
Furthermore, data published by the DfT on 19 October 2023 showed that the transport sector was responsible for 26% of the UK’s total domestic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2021, with HGVs accounting for 21% of the sector’s total emissions. Although electrification of HGVs is undoubtedly more challenging than with lighter vehicles, this data shows the need for greener options to be explored when it comes to HGVs.
Alex Rae, General Manager and Director of Vital EV Solutions, commented: “Decarbonising the truck industry is crucial for the UK’s net-zero strategy and we are delighted to be among the first to market with a viable charging solution for overnight, destination, and en-route applications.
“With our background in industrial power engineering and a range of groundbreaking EV charging projects already under our belt, we are ideally placed to deliver critical MCS infrastructure projects and we look forward with excitement to working with the truck industry to make that fundamental switch to electric.”
The government is also making the electrification of trucks a priority, last week announcing £200 million of funding to “decarbonise freight vehicles, drive innovation, and create new jobs”.
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