Electric vehicle uptake would improve with better distributor and operator collaboration

Improved collaboration between electric vehicle operators and electricity distributors will see a substantial increase of battery-powered vehicles on the roads of London, delegates at the LoCity Fuels in action roadshow heard.

Steve Hasley, distributed energy resources development manager at UK Power Networks – which owns, operates and maintains the electricity distribution in London, the east of England and south-east of England –  said: “We predict we could end up with 8gigawatts of electric vehicles on our network by 2030, that is about half of our current peak time demand.”

While he conceded that bus and taxi operators were leading the way in overall adoption he did say that commercial vehicle operators were looking at innovations, citing the example of UK Power Network’s collaboration with UPS, which has seen it increase the number of vehicles running from its Camden depot from 65 to 170 on the back of improvements to recharging capabilities.

“The Camden UPS depot,” he said, “is the largest electric vehicle fleet in the UK. It required intelligent network analysis to release capacity.”

The move to electrification is being seen elsewhere in the capital and Vince Dignam, business improvement and performance manager at the City of London, said that the corporation was already trialling electric vehicles against diesel for refuse collection.

“We have Just put our waste and cleansing contract out for tender, due to start two days before the ultra low emission zone comes in. It will be interesting to see what kind of technology they come back with,” he said.