ELF2018: What should businesses consider when gearing up for EVs?

Phil Hack, Head of Markets at UK Power Networks Services told ELN firms should consider their whole fleet strategy over the long term to avoid “regret costs”

By Priyanka Shrestha
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Businesses must think about the “potential end game” rather than what they want to deliver in the short term when upgrading their fleet to electric vehicles (EVs).

That’s the suggestion from Phil Hack, Head of Markets at UK Power Networks (UKPN) Services, who spoke to ELN at the Energy Live Future event in London last week about the top tips for firms looking to gear up to EVs

He said businesses should consider their whole fleet strategy even though they may only electrify a few vehicles now to avoid “regret costs”.

Mr Hack added: “These are costs that you spend and then have to rip out what you put in and put back in something that’s able to cope with the increased number of vehicles.

“You might only put in enough infrastructure in for the initial deployment of EVs but have in mind ultimately how big this could get because you want to make sure that when you’re making these investment decisions, you’re not leaving yourselves a little bit exposed down the line in terms of having to reinvest again.”

He believes one of the challenges for businesses considering the switch to EVs is the lack of knowledge about how to prepare for electrification at their sites.

He told ELN: “We’ve observed this with a number of our clients where they know a lot about their business, obviously. What they don’t necessarily know a lot about is power infrastructure so they’re not experts.

“Typically, our clients haven’t had to worry about how much power they’re using and their electricity bill will be relatively low but now with electrification, they’re having to really understand better what a kVa is, what this power means to their business – and the whole process of upgrading their supply, something that many companies have never had to do before so they’re having to learn.”