GRIDSERVE, the tech-enabled sustainable energy company, has announced its role leading a consortium of 33 Consortium Partner and Member companies to accelerate the UK’s transition to battery-powered electric heavy goods vehicles.
The project is funded by consortium members as well as the Department for Transport and Innovate UK backed Zero Emission HGV and Infrastructure Demonstrator programme. The industry-leading project aims to lay the foundations for the biggest and most advanced eHGV charging network in the world, reshaping how goods are transported across the UK ahead of the 2040 zero emission HGV deadline. The heavy goods sector currently accounts for just under 20% of the UK’s transport CO2 emissions, with a potential saving of 18.6 Mt CO2e – the same as powering two million homes for a year – if the 400,000 HGVs on the UK’s roads today were switched to electric.
The £100 million+ ‘Electric Freightway’ project will run until 2030 with a fleet of eHGVs on the roads supported by a new network of charging infrastructure at motorway service areas, truck stops and commercial depot charging stations. During this time the project also aims to catalyse the uptake of much larger numbers of eHGVs using Electric Freightway charging infrastructure, together with the rollout of additional charging infrastructure for eHGVs in many more locations, without the requirement for ongoing Government subsidies.
In the initial two year long procurement phase of the project, eHGV charging hubs will be installed at both motorway services areas and truck stops to support long distance travel around major trunk roads in the UK. The project also includes more than 10 commercial depot charging locations for eHGVs. In total, over 200 chargers capable of delivering 350kW will be installed, including an initial trial of two x 1-megawatt-capacity chargers. The new public charging infrastructure will be supplied by 100% net zero energy to ensure fleets are charged with net zero carbon energy.
Around 140 eHGVs will initially be brought into fleets by UK-based companies to use the new network, with multi-national and small businesses collaborating side-by-side. Data collection will run for five years to collate valuable insights into the electrification of eHGVs to support the ongoing transition.
GRIDSERVE is the lead partner among 33 companies that have come together to further the transition to net zero transport. The role as project lead involves managing and delivering the Electric Freightway project and sourcing the vital data needed to inform further progress towards eHGV adoption. GRIDSERVE will develop, deliver and operate the eHGV charging hubs at the motorway service areas as well as the commercial depot charging offerings.
Toddington Harper, CEO of GRIDSERVE said: “This is a pioneering project for GRIDSERVE that aims to move the needle in the debate about how to deliver net zero transport for heavy goods vehicles. We look forward to demonstrating and proving that battery powered electric heavy goods vehicles represents the optimum path to choose, delivering significant benefits over other technology routes in respect of ease and scale of deployment, driver experience, and favourable economics.”
Sam Clarke, Chief Vehicle Officer at GRIDSERVE, said; “GRIDSERVE is proud to be leading the way in the switch to electric. Supporting UK logistics to move to battery electric vehicles will be instrumental in moving the needle on climate change and we are ready to deliver the infrastructure required in the fastest possible timeframes. There will be a lot to learn along the way but whilst this is just the beginning, the ambition will be to ensure this opportunity acts as a catalyst for continued uptake of electric Heavy Goods Vehicles and more broadly, commercial vehicle electrification now, and long into the future.”
Richard Holden MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Roads and Local Transport, said; “Freight and logistics are the beating heart of our economy and it is only right that we celebrate the sector so that it gets the recognition and support it deserves. From boosting zero emission tech across freight to attracting the future generation of talent to the industry, we are working hard to drive innovation, create jobs and grow the economy by building a brighter, more innovative future for one of our most crucial industries.”
‘Electric Freightway’ is a UK government and industry-funded project to support zero emission HGV and infrastructure. A total of £62.7 million of Government funding has been secured via Innovate UK and the Department for Transport (DfT).
The project will bring onboard around 140 eHGVs supported by High Power charging sites across the major road network and more than 10 commercial depot charging locations. In total, over 200 High Power chargers will be installed including the demonstration of at least two x 1 megawatt capacity High Power chargers.
Spanning a total of seven years – two years of infrastructure and fleet set up and five years of data collection, the aim is to learn valuable insights into the electrification of eHGVs to support and accelerate the ongoing transition. The consortium of 20 main partners can benefit from part of a £62.7million of grant funding to bring this project to life, with other consortium members contributing data and learning to the project.
The eHGV battery electric trucks will be brought onto fleets by UK-based companies to support the movement of goods around the country. The new charging infrastructure will be supplied by 100% net zero energy to ensure fleets are delivering on their net zero ambitions with the switch to battery electric heavy goods vehicles.
The overarching ambition behind the Zero Emission HGV and Infrastructure Demonstrator programme is to increase operator confidence and UK government understanding of various eHGVs and their infrastructure. The demonstration of eHGV technologies at scale within the UK will inform future decision making via data collection and dissemination activities. This project is supported within the second phase of the Zero Emission HGV and Infrastructure Demonstrator programme. The first £20m phase ran from 2022-2023 and included the DAF Battery Electric Truck Trial (BETT) project.
Consortium partners and roles
Lead partner: GRIDSERVE
The lead partner will develop, deliver and operate the network of charging hubs at the motorway service areas as well as the commercial depot charging solutions, and underlying technology platform to provide a seamless charging experience. GRIDSERVE will also source and report data for the project.
Principal partner: Hitachi ZeroCarbon
The principal partner will collate, analyse and report on data throughout the project, leveraging experience from similar EV demonstration projects such as Optimise Prime. The reports and outputs will inform stakeholders, the wider market and ideally government policy to drive the further decarbonisation of commercial fleets.
Hauliers: A.F.Blakemore and Son Limited, Amazon UK Services Ltd, Fergusons Transport Limited, Kuehne + Nagel Limited, Maritime Transport Limited, Royal Mail, Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd, United Utilities Water Limited
These hauliers will purchase or lease eHGVs from the project’s vehicle manufacturer partners to use them in their business-as-usual operations whilst utilising the combination of new Motorway Service Area and depot charging infrastructure. Feedback and data will be collected from these vehicles along with information on routing and scheduling to inform and optimise the project on an ongoing basis.
Charging location partners: Moto Hospitality Limited, DCC Energy UK Ltd., British Land Company plc, Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Limited
Chargers will be installed on well used motorway routes across the UK and also at depot and truck stop locations. These members of the consortium offer motorway service locations frequently used by hauliers, busy depots at factory sites and HGV dedicated truck stops during transitionary phases of routes. Data and feedback will be gathered as part of the project.
Leasing partners: Mitsubishi HC Capital UK Plc., PACCAR Financial plc, Volvo Financial Services UK.
These consortium members will lease vehicles to the hauliers involved in the project, where required offering an alternative solution to outright purchase of the vehicles.
OEM partners: Volvo Trucks UK Limited, Renault Trucks UK Limited and DAF Trucks Ltd.
The eHGVs will be sourced from multiple manufacturers for hauliers to purchase or lease from the leasing providers involved in the project.
Additionally we have a suite of hauliers and affiliated companies that will engage in the project indirectly via the named Partners above. More announcements to follow.