Alternative Fuels - What happened in April 2024?

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Electric vehicles

Alternative fuels update April

Lots of EV news this month, but what can you expect when it’s a popular topic for drivers at the moment? The EV infrastructure in the UK continues to grow massively with 6000 new chargers installed in Q1, which is an 11% increase.

New smart charging feature cuts costs for electric vehicle (EV) drivers

EV drivers will be able to charge their vehicles for cheaper thanks to Connected Kerb's new smart charging feature that will be deployed across its nationwide public charging network after successful trials. The new feature will allow drivers who don’t have access to home-charging kits to schedule charging overnight when energy prices are cheapest, not only will this allow EV drivers to save money, but it will also reduce stress on the power grid during peak times. There are currently 6000 Connected Kerb charge points across the UK with another 4000 to be deployed before the end of the year, all of which will be capable of smart charging by 2025.

No change to electric van rules six months after pledge

In October 2023, the Government announced that they would be making changes to legislation related to operating electric vans, promising to make it easier for fleets to operate them. Some of the changes that have been mentioned are the removal of extra training required for drivers of vans weighing up to 4.25 tonnes, as well as changes to towing allowances and to broaden the flexibility to cover all vehicle types, not just goods vans. It is said that some fleet operators were cancelling their orders for 4.25-tonne electric vans after confusion over regulations surrounding their use. Since they announced these changes, there has been very few updates regarding when the new rules will come into effect, only that they will be changed when parliamentary time allows. With the General Election coming up by the end of the year, there are worries that this will push the changes further back.

UK’s public charging network grows 49% in 12 months

As of the 1st April 2024, there are just under 60,000 public charging devices available in the UK, with the figure growing by 19,520 in a year. In Q1 of 2024, there was a total of 5,993 devices installed which further proves that our electric charging infrastructure is growing in preparation for the 2035 petrol and diesel ban. Here is a breakdown of charging types in the UK.

Although the charging infrastructure is growing rapidly, there is still an uneven distribution of devices across the UK. Even with the ban coming into effect in 2035, only some local authorities have bid for Government funding for charging devices, with most of the public charging devices currently available  being installed by businesses and individual charging networks who choose where to install devices.

MAN reveals electric and autonomous truck plans

Vehicle manufacturer MAN is launching their new range of electric trucks in 2025, with the first likely to be in service with customers mid-year. The range will include 2 different models, the eTGX and eTGS, both of which will run off a 480kWh battery, capable of delivering a daily driving range of up to 500 miles if a rapid charger is used to re-charge. Due to the introduction of their new electric truck range into the UK, MAN will need to expand and refurbish some of their existing sites so that they can repair their electric trucks. They also have plans to add a self-driving feature to their trucks after receiving a license to test autonomous trucks in Germany. It is said that the self-driving feature will be implemented into their trucks by the end of the decade and they feel this feature will have a huge effect on the logistics industry as it allows HGVs to be on the go 24/7.   

We've launched two new fuel and charge card options to create even more flexibility for our customers. If you’re thinking of making a switch to a greener fuel future, arrange a call back today!

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Matt Dodds
Head of Strategic Sales and Partnerships

With over 14 years of experience across two of the leading fuel card companies in the UK, Matt Dodds joined RFC Edenred to help lead the development of products to support our customer's move to EV and other alternative fuels, a transition he feels passionately about.