One of the interesting takeaways from the recent London EV Show is there are a lot of new charger providers in the market. Many of them are bringing chargers into the UK from abroad with claims of delivering high speed. And they may well be right.
But there’s a fundamental issue with ultra-rapid charging that isn’t being talked about, and that is the charger is only one end of a very long chain of technology, knowledge, infrastructure and process needed to deliver power to the vehicle, in the right place, at the right time.
And power delivery is going to get more complex in the UK over the next few years. A key element of the recent COP28 agreement was that renewable generation must triple by 2030, while energy efficiency needs to double within the same timeframe.
The two things are intrinsically linked and are the result of growing awareness that the need to address the structural power deficit lies very much at the heart of decarbonisation. So, that means while plugging vehicles into ultra-rapid charge points capable of delivering 350kW is desirable, what is actually necessary is the ability to deliver that power reliably and sustainably in the first place.
In that sense, your ultra-rapid chargepoint provider can’t just sit in a silo. They have to understand the shifting and evolving landscape at local and national levels.
Here in the UK, in particular, there’s a lot of shifting and evolving going on. For example, this year saw the start of the next five-year round of investment by the distribution network operators (DNOs), known as RIIO-ED2, in which they set out their business plans, with particular focus on delivering a network their consumers want and need.
Boiled down, this is cheaper, reliable energy with a focus on renewables and Net Zero. According to Energy Networks Association (ENA), the DNOs will spend a combined £22.5 billion on these infrastructure and connection projects and enhancements.
Great news, no doubt. You’ve a strong appetite to electrify. But the question is: how do you as a business take advantage of this?
Without it taking advantage of you.
Put simply, buying chargers is the tip of the iceberg. You need to begin by understanding where the power to serve them will come from. And that means what you connect them to. Grid? Renewables? Both? None are as straightforward as you might think. Connecting to the grid in particular can bring catastrophic problems in its wake if not handled properly.
Next, you need to make sure the rollout of your chargers is robust. IE is the manufacturer visible and therefore accountable? Or are they thousands of miles away? And can that manufacturer or re-seller help support on the infrastructural headaches which rollout of new tech can – and will- throw at you?
And last but by no means least, having overcome the initial hurdles, you need ensure your system is future proofed over a long working life. After al, do you want to go to all this effort to have to go through the whole process again in three year’s time when the tech in your chargers become defunct and no longer supported?
How appetising is electrification looking now?
But, this is where a UK designer and manufacturer of advanced EV power solutions such as TPS comes in. You need to understand the power network structure in order to put in place systems that are fit for purpose. TPS has been working with DNOs such as Northern Powergrid extensively over the past decade or more, and is a recognised and trusted partner within the sector. Clarity, technological expertise and understanding of the particular requirements of each project is fundamental to success. The process is in fact a lockstep between grid, storage, delivery and charge point.
We know through long experience that successful roll-out of first-of-kind products at scale into completely new markets goes way beyond getting the design and manufacturing right.
In this sector, success is always the result of a close collaboration between a range of relevant stakeholders, from central and local government, utilities, EV manufacturers to retailers and end users.
By choosing to work with a UK-based business, the green credentials of a product are increased too. It’s vastly more sustainable to deploy solutions in the UK when the products are also created here Added to that, the shorter supply chains involved are stronger and more adaptable to the changing needs of the market.
Today, you can certainly buy the EV charger you need. For today. But as grids, power generation and vehicles change, can your charger solution (including different charge points for various vehicle and usage types, storage, micro networks, generation and energy management) develop with you to ensure you are taking advantage of ever increasing renewable power sources, storage methodologies, charging speed capacity and vehicle to everything capabilities?
That’s where you need a company that’s not just a charger manufacturer. You need one that understands the entire power ecosystem to provide you with the charging solution today, which will evolve, adapt and grow as we move into the ever-changing world of tomorrow.
At TPS, we’re offering the power of tomorrow. Today.
Our Journey to 120kW Ultra Rapid DC-DC Bi-Directional Charging for EVs. Part One
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