Backed by the Department for Transport and Innovate UK, the £3.25m project will create a predictive tool for making accurate comparisons for prospective electric vehicles within a fleet and estimating electric vehicle infrastructure requirements and costs, giving fleet managers the confidence to convert their fleets.
Magtec is working on the trial with Dynamon, the fleet data analytics specialist, and electrical infrastructure specialists UK Power Networks Services.
Magtec is supplying 10 18t zero emission electric trucks to NHS Wales. The trucks will be used to help with the collection and distribution of laundry at four locations across the country. The vehicles will be equipped with the ability for a rapid charge system for increased usability. Each of the chargers will also be mobile, meaning they can be easily moved around and connected to wall sockets installed by UK Power Networks Services.
Dynamon is developing its feasibility software to predict battery state of charge, road performance and grid load. UK Power Networks Services is developing a tool for estimating EV installation costs and installing charging infrastructure across the different NHS sites used in the trial: Bridgend, Cwmbran, Denbigh and Newport.
The first two vehicles begin road tests and enter service in the coming weeks.
Andrew Gilligan, managing director of Magtec, said: ‘The move from internal combustion engine to electric vehicle fleets is disrupting procurement in the public and private sectors with uncertainty around costs and infrastructure.
‘Fleet managers are under pressure to electrify their fleets but there is little data to support their investment decisions. This project will fill the gaps in knowledge and help accelerate the take-up of zero emission trucks, creating new jobs here at Magtec and across our supply chain in South Yorkshire.’
Transport minister Trudy Harrison said: ‘This exciting project is an important step in our journey to reducing our reliance on fossil fuels as we introduce cleaner HGVs to our roads.
‘The fleet industry plays a vital role in keeping the UK moving and it’s crucial it joins the journey to a greener future. That’s why I’m delighted to see Magtec benefitting from the Government’s £20m zero emission road freight trials and I look forward to seeing the outcome of this project as we invest in research to decarbonise all aspects of our transport network.’
For the Welsh government, deputy minister for Climate Change Lee Waters said: ‘It is great to see NHS Wales making a commitment to trialling electric heavy goods vehicles as part of its ambition to be net zero by 2030. I am also pleased to see the part it is playing in reaching our “Team Wales” commitment, signed up to at COP26 last year, for at least 30% of new medium and heavy duty vehicles sold in Wales to be zero emission by 2030.’
Kieran Coughlan, head of strategic advisory services at UK Power Networks Services, said: ‘This project is hugely exciting because it will demonstrate how large organisations in the UK can cost-effectively transition their fleet. It’s another tool we can use to support business to meet the financial hurdles of switching to electric vehicles, whether through financing, integrating new technologies, or optimising existing infrastructure.’