Alternative Fuels - What happened in May 2024?

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Alternative Fuels - What happened in May 2024?

Alternative fuels update May

The electric vehicle infrastructure across the UK continues to grow, with major milestones being achieved regularly. The first electric HGV has been used for delivery in recent trials, but for some businesses, HVO is the way forward.

First electric HGV used for delivery in the UK

Food product suppliers, AF Blackmore and Son are the first to start using a fully electric HGV under the Electric Freightway programme. This programme, which is funded by the Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK, is hoping to lay the foundations for a nationwide charging network for electric trucks. AF Blackmore and Son currently have a fleet with over 400 vehicles including 2 new Volvo FM Electric tractor units.

The electric units both feature a 540kWh battery and three electric motors. With a driving range of 185 miles, these electric HGVs are well-equipped for long distance journeys.  According toAF Blakemore and Son, the introduction of the 2 electric HGVs could save them 45,000 litres of diesel. This will prevent more than 120 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere each year.

2M Group trial Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) in their vehicles.

The 2M Group who are in collaboration with Sutton Tankers have started a 6-month trial using HVO with the aim of decreasing their carbon emissions. As key players in the industry, 2M appreciate that their responsibility is to deliver sustainability.

In the newest trials, vehicles from 2M’s water treatment business will run on a blend of 37% HVO, replacing conventional diesel. Sutton Tankers trialled the use of HVO in their vehicles and it proved to reduce carbon emissions by 80%. Within the first 4 weeks of the trial with 2M Group, emissions have been reduced by 3.8 tonnes. The results from previous trials have proven just how effective HVO can be for driving sustainably.

The UK is on the road to hitting 100,000 public charging points by summer 2025

The EV infrastructure is expanding rapidly. Currently, we have over 60,000 public charging points in the UK and if this continues to grow at the same rate, we’d be on track for 100,000 public charging points by August 2025.

The rate at which public charging points are being installed is 37% faster in 2024 compared to the average throughout the whole of 2023. In 2024 so far, we have seen an average of 1,900 devices installed every month. In comparison, there were around 1,400 charge points installed per month in 2023. According to Zapmap, April's milestone of 60k public charging points includes strong growth in important areas that are key to the country’s charging infrastructure. This includes ultra-rapid devices which have grown in number by 135% since April 2023. The number of low-powered devices on residential streets, which are used for overnight charging have also increased by 54%.

Hopes for visible pricing for EV charge points fades

Unlike petrol and diesel where there are regulations in place for showing the price per litre at stations, EV charging hubs will not be explicitly required to show their pricing. Although having roadside pricing totems isn’t compulsory, Faircharge, the EV campaign group and the RAC have both called for them to be a requirement for charging hubs.EG Group, the owners of Asda,  have installed totems at 50 of their current sites and they will be installed at every new location in the future.

The Government announced there are no plans to make pricing totems mandatory as their installation goes against recommendations from the Environment and Climate Change Committee. The next Public Charge Point Review won’t be until summer 2025, so the topic of pricing totems will not be raised again until then.

With the announcement of a general election for July, we could be seeing some changes to rules and regulations across the industry if we were to vote in a new Government.

If you’re thinking of making a switch to a greener fuel, take a look at the EV cards we offer or 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.