EV charging

Financing the switch to EV fleets

12 August 2020

Financing the switch to EV fleets to avoid 25% of UK CO2 emissions from transport.

A recent report from Cornwall Insight and PWC, ‘Leading the charge! - a catalyst for the EV revolution' confirms that fleets are a crucial component in increasing EV adoption. They predict fleet vehicles to represent half of the number of all EV sales in the UK by 2030.

The report states that, based on Office for National Statistics 2018 data, if all 5.3 million fleet vehicles were to switch to zero tailpipe emission models, it would save as much as 30 million tonnes of CO2, around 25% of all UK transport emissions.

Alan Barlow, director at Centrica Business Solutions, agreed with the report but highlights the need for investment finance:

“There is clear recognition among UK businesses of the increasingly important operational role electric vehicles can play for them in meeting their decarbonisation goals. But concern is still widespread over how to finance this significant change, particularly for those with large petrol and diesel fleets. Vehicle charging is inevitably going to increase the amount of electricity businesses consume.”

EV charging will increase electricity consumption - and require many businesses to upgrade and invest in their Private Wire Networks and high-voltage (HV) energy infrastructure in order to provide suitable power to EV charging equipment. The costs of owning, upgrading and managing HV networks usually falls on business owners and CFOs are often reluctant to invest in high-cost energy infrastructure, especially when budgets are tight.

But now there is an alternative model to finance new high-voltage infrastructure, and release “cash back” from existing HV energy assets. The new model, known as Power as a Service, provides investment capital for high voltage electrical networks and charging infrastructure. Under Power as a Service a third party takes full responsibility for the business’s electrical needs by investing in the networks and managing all compliance, regulatory and environmental issues.

Barlow continues:

“It’s our view that onsite generation from solar panels, allied with battery storage and smart charging are the right option for many businesses to enable them to provide charging facilities without facing large increases to power costs and upgrades to their incoming supply.”

These new smart-grids and micro-grids, incorporating renewables and energy storage are exactly what Power as a Service is designed to support - by providing investment capital, expertise and ongoing O&M, so that business owners and CFOs can concentrate on their core business.

Stewart Dawson, Managing Director of Vattenfall Network Solutions in the UK explains:

“We’re excited to be offering Power as a Service to UK businesses with large electrical demands because this new offer provides a way for fleet operators and other large energy users to release CAPEX back into their core business.  

Power as a Service offer provides a simple way to free up working capital and outsource the management of high voltage power systems, and an easy way for our partners to benefit from the latest innovations, improve reliability and reduce the carbon impacts of their operations.”

If your business is considering switching to an all electric fleet Vattenfall can provide a free valuation of your high voltage electrical infrastructure and an estimation for capital investment.