Earlier this year, the UK Government announced that by 2050, all vehicles on the road should be electric as part of its ‘decarbonisation plan.’ That gives manufacturers and UK drivers alike roughly 30 years to overhaul their travelling and fuelling habits.
Though it might sound a long way off, this is a highly ambitious plan.
Billions of pounds in investment have already been pledged, including £2 billion in cycling and walking and a further £2.8 billion to support industry and motorists to make the switch to cleaner vehicles. You’ve almost certainly seen the electric charging points at supermarkets, car parks and elsewhere.
A Sign Of The Times
Car companies are certainly keeping up with the times, securing their future in the market. Currently, Volkswagen is investing US$48bn in battery and electric car production, aiming to make 50 million electrified vehicles by 2030. BMW plans to compete with Tesla in the affordable car segment, with the 2019 release of its BMW i4. Toyota, the world’s largest car maker, has been making non-plug-in hybrids and is now turning its attention to battery electric vehicles. It intends to have at least 10 battery electric cars on the road by the early 2020s. Between 2012 and 2018, Tesla’s sales grew by 25,000%. The company is now even outselling Jaguar, Porsche and Lexus.
Some logistics companies are already integrating electric vehicles into their fleets, such as DHL, which had committed to a net zero emissions goal by 2050 – not just in the UK, but across all its international fleets. But how would an all-electric system affect UK logistics specifically?
Legalisation that bans the selling of new diesel, petrol, and hybrid cars by 2030 has not been welcomed by everyone – with many doubts being cast over the infrastructure required to make these changes in logistics.
An industry-wide adoption of the policy may only be possible if the government takes urgent action to support the reinforcement of power supply infrastructure required to run electric fleets, as well as introducing a fairer and more equitable way of funding grid reinforcements and energy upgrades.
If the future for logistics is electric, then we need to see changes coming into effect soon which will allow for seamless electric driving that has long-distance capabilities. Plus, electric charging points will need to become as commonplace as fuel stations, unless we want a disruption to the speed and effectiveness of the supply chain.
Path To Success
Currently, if a logistics business does not have sufficient energy supply to power its electric vehicle fleet, they must pay to upgrade the entire local electricity hub themselves, which can cost more than £1million.
An ell-electric future for logistics promises to be a costly affair, and as such, is something that should be considered by governments as changes are enforced.
As of 2019, only 1% of HGV vehicles in the UK were run on electricity. The logistics industry is forward-thinking and committed to providing service that serves both the public and the planet; however, grid capacity must be considered for the electric vehicle revolution to truly succeed.