Alternative Fuels - What happened in September 2023?

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#Alternative Fuels, #EV
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Electric – Delay for internal combustion engine ban

If you already haven’t heard the big news regarding the delay on the ban on ICE vehicles then you can learn about it now. The Prime Minister announced that the Government is delaying the 2030 ban on ICE vehicles until 2035, giving you an extra 5 years to swap your petrol or diesel vehicle for an electric one. The plan is still for the UK to be net zero by 2050 but feels that delaying the ban is a “fairer, better approach”. Details regarding the ban on hybrid vehicles, which was originally going to be in 2035, five years after the old ICE ban date but details regarding the hybrid vehicle ban haven’t been announced yet.

But even though you’d think this 5-year delay would have a massive effect on car fleet strategies for business, The Association of Fleet Professionals believe that this ban “changes little” for car fleets. The reason for this is that benefit-in-kind taxation currently hugely favours electric and zero-emission vehicles, therefore fleets will continue with their plans to make the switch to a zero-emission fleet.

Electric – UK’s largest public EV charging hub opens

BP Pulse, The EV Network and NEC Group have joined forces in opening the UK’s largest public EV charging hub on the NEC campus. The site has 180 charging spots available, 150 being 7Kwh chargers and the remaining 30 being ultra-fast 30kWh chargers so the chance of it being full is very slim. These types of charging stations are known as Gigahubs and this will be the 3rd one opening within the UK, the other 2 can be found on Park Lane in central London as well as Gatwick Airport.

Electric – New software could allow for smaller EV batteries without impacting range

Elysia, which is the name of the battery intelligence software, was developed by WAE Technologies and has the potential to reduce battery mass by up to 19%. The software is designed to allow the electric car battery to accept more of the energy recovered from regenerative braking, which in turn means fewer battery cells are required. A smaller electric car battery with this software delivers the same performance as a regular electric car battery with less cost, faster charging speeds and reduced weight.

Electric – Electric vehicle insurance is on the rise

Drivers are ditching their petrol and diesel cars and making the switch to electric to not only play a part in reducing global warming but to also lower their driving costs, but even though re-fueling their vehicle might be cheaper, the cost of insurance won’t be. Drivers are seeing an increase ranging from 60% - to a staggering 940% after their first year with some drivers being told by their insurance company that they are no longer insuring electric vehicles, forcing them to look elsewhere. The reason for this massive increase is said to be because expensive features and upgrades are now standard for electric cars, meaning that the cost of repairing is high which is having a knock-on effect on premiums. Also, the cost and availability of parts is also a factor.

Solar – Trials for a solar-powered truck start on public roads

Scania, who are a Swedish manufacturer that focuses on commercial vehicles are trailing a solar-powered truck on public roads to find out how this technology could be used to lower costs and emissions. The hybrid vehicle, which has new lightweight tandem solar panels running along both the truck and the trailer should have enough solar energy produced to give a driving range of up to 3,100 miles annually in Sweden, with this being increased in countries where there are more sun hours e.g Spain. The project is also looking at what effect the charging of plug-in hybrid trucks has on the electricity grid with the possibility of being able to sell the surplus energy generated by the solar panels.

Hydrogen – Hydrogen HGV could be on the road by 2024

Viritech, a hydrogen powertrain developer, is working alongside other companies on Project Icebreaker. This project plans to create a new commercially competitive 44-tonne truck for heavy goods vehicle manufacturers and operators with the aim to have a proof-of-concept truck OEM and operator testing by late 2024. A 44-tonne battery electric truck would require at least 5 tonnes of batteries, which means that the payload is cut by 20%, leading to lost revenue for the business. Using Hydrogen fuel cells can offer a more commercially viable alternative.

EV charge cards

If your fleet contains electric vehicles or if you’re looking to make the switch, then register your interest in an EV charge card today. We also have a fantastic selection of fuel cards for petrol and diesel vehicles which you can compare here.

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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.