SSE Energy Solutions’ Ben Brickwood on EV infrastructure

Ben Brickwood, EV Project Development Manager at SSE Energy Solutions, shares his insights on EV infrastructure & battery solutions for EV trucks

Ben Brickwood is the EV Project Development Manager at SSE Energy Solutions, which offers EV infrastructure solutions for vehicle fleets and passenger cars. Brickwood has been in the electrical industry for 24 years, starting as an apprentice electrician and then moving into project management and business management roles.

“I have been with SSE for over 15 years and have been involved with electrification of commercial vehicles since 2017, working with a great team at SSE, supporting London Bus operators with electrifying their bus depots,” he said. “My current role as an EV Project Development Manager is focused on bus and truck electrification across the UK.”

SSE Energy Solutions tailors bespoke solutions within operators’ logistics depots, or their bus garages.

“We are growing a network of c.500 EV Hubs for on-route charging facilities suitable for both cars and vans. We are also supporting the commercial and HGV sector within-depot and on-route charging infrastructure solutions.”

More generally, SSE provides decarbonisation solutions tailored towards a whole systems approach, focused on heating and cooling networks, smart buildings and cities, energy generation with solar PV and Wind and supporting transport decarbonisation with EV infrastructure. 

“We offer these as fully funded investments, allowing a business to reduce their capital expenditure and essentially turning that into an operating cost.”

Here, Brickwood tells us more. 

 

What are the benefits of EVs in logistics? 

“With the HGV sector covering only around 1.5% of all vehicles on British roads, it accounts for an excessive share of the country’s transport emissions at around 20%. Decarbonising this sector will not only have a huge impact on the UKs GHG emissions but also improve air quality for all.

“E-HGVs are known to be more expensive than their diesel counterparts on initial purchase, however they provide long-term benefits, with lower running and maintenance costs and potential tax advantages to be made.

“Benefits to drivers: From our discussions with drivers of battery electric HGV’s both in the UK and in Europe, their enjoyment in their roles has increased and the quieter driving experience is much improved, which I am sure will support more drivers entering these roles in the future. With the need to deploy significant NZ infrastructure to support a transition to net zero vehicles, there will be an emergence of new refuelling/charging facilities. This should in-turn provide new and improved facilities and conditions for drivers.”

 

What are the challenges?

“Suitable Infrastructure is key to driving the adoption and reducing anxiety to switch to electric. It is early in the journey for passenger cars let alone commercial vehicles and it’s believed the adoption of BEVs may take a change to mind set and operations, as recharging times are not yet as fast as refuelling, however that is improving at pace.

“Whilst EV technology is continually advancing, there are still limitations with driving range on a single charge. HGV automakers are continuing to explore longer range options within their line-ups and are also focused on implementing quicker charging solutions. The introduction of megawatt charging systems aims to meet charging times within a drivers 45 min break requirement.

“For the EV adoption, the lack of infrastructure is a critical challenge that is further hampered by grid constraints that will be increased by the greater demand needed for high powered charging infrastructure. Grid operators know there is a need to increase capacity and there are challenges with timescales to support a wider electrification strategy.

“It’s encouraging to see the recent government funding announcement for the ZERFD programme, which is a key step to understand the complexities involved for the adoption of NZ vehicles for the HGVs. The collection of this real-world data and its assessment will help operators make the right investments and decisions for the future of their operations.” 

 

Tell us about the battery solutions in EV trucks.

“EVs typically use lithium-ion batteries for energy storage. I understand advances in battery tech will aim to improve energy density, which will allow for a longer driving range on a single charge. Automakers current R&D is focused on improving the durability and lifespan of batteries to also reduce replacement costs. Rumours of Solid-State battery developments have been circling for a while now and if they are to deliver the longer ranges, improved efficiencies and faster charging speeds, it may be a pivotal moment for a wider EV adoption.

“Differing from onboard vehicle batteries, at SSE we also provide battery storage solutions to support electrification. The solution provides a local battery storage unit at the charging site, that will effectively enhance the site charging infrastructure. The battery unit charges up during times the grid connection is not being used and then supplements peak charging times and discharges to EVs when needed, allowing for more charges to take place when utilisation demand is there. In some instances, the containerised batteries are in their 2nf life after coming from EV vehicles.”

*********************************************

EV Magazine is dedicated to creating a global community of businesses, experts, and EV enthusiasts with comprehensive insights into automotive and the surrounding sectors.

For more EV insights check out the latest edition of EV Magazine and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn & Twitter.

You may also be interested in Sustainability Magazine and Energy Digital Magazine

*********************************************

BizClik is a global provider of B2B digital media platforms that cover Executive Communities for CEOs, CFOs, CMOs, Sustainability Leaders, Procurement & Supply Chain Leaders, Technology & AI Leaders, Cyber Leaders, FinTech & InsurTech Leaders as well as covering industries such as Manufacturing, Mining, Energy, EV, Construction, Healthcare + Food & Drink.

BizClik – based in London, Dubai, and New York – offers services such as Content Creation, Advertising & Sponsorship Solutions, Webinars & Events.

 

Share

Featured Articles

Voltpost's Lamppost EV Charging can Electrify Urban Mobility

Determined to electrify urban mobility, Jeff Prosserman, CEO of lamppost EV charging company Voltpost, shares how his team is democratising charging access

Battery Innovation & Female Leadership in China's EV Sector

The EV landscape in China see sales surge amid battery innovation & women in leadership roles, who restructure supply chains & navigate geopolitics

Alstom's Electric Trains lead Sustainable Growth in Perth

Alstom's AUD$1bn contract for unit C-Series electric trains will ensure commuters in Perth can enjoy a clean & punctual commute, as e-trains gather speed

NIO Launches Smart Driving Technology Center in Germany

Technology

Tesla & VinFast rev up EV manufacturing in India

Sustainability

Aggreko to Support Formula E’s Sustainability Targets

Sustainability