WE all know that governments are fond of making sweeping, headline-grabbing announcements without much thought to their implications.
The latest example of this is the phasing out of petrol and diesel car sales by 2030. Great plan for the environment. Have they thought what this means to the millions of small companies using commercial vehicles? Probably not.
Fortunately one company is trying to get ahead of the curve. They’ve come up with a novel idea – ask the business owners to identify their needs and put a plan together.
UK Power Networks, the UK’s largest electricity network operator, has put two and two together and realised having an efficient, comprehensive charging infrastructure is pretty critical to running millions of business EVs.
So they are asking more than two million small businesses (SMEs) across London, the South East and East of England to participate in its White Van Plan research project. The power company wants to understand how best to provide an electric charging infrastructure for vans, trucks, or passenger vehicles used for business.
White Van Plan aims to make it as easy as possible for businesses to convert to EV charging by creating a detailed picture of SMEs’ transport use in the region. UK Power Networks says it will use the information to investigate new smart charging-based solutions, to free up spare network capacity and save money for customers and SMEs alike.
Ian Cameron, Head of Customer Services And Innovation at UK Power Networks, said:
We know that small businesses will play a huge role in achieving net zero, and that each company is different with a unique set of needs and pressures.
That’s why we’re asking small businesses owners and their representatives to get involved, and tell us what help they need and how they work. That way, we can understand what the switch to electric vehicles might look like for the sector, and develop products to support them.
What Role Do EVs Play In Reaching The Government’s Net Zero Target?
Transport is responsible for around a third of total CO2 emissions.
London, the South East and East of England have registered more than 99,000 EV sales
3.6 million EV sales forecast for the region by 2030
There are more than two million SMEs – companies with fewer than 250 employees – in the same area.
SMEs employ over 16 million people and account for half the financial turnover in the private sector.
The View Of Industry
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) says its members are committed to sustainability and a gradual, affordable move to electric vehicles will be an important step along this journey.
FSB national chairman Mike Cherry said:
It is very welcome that UK Power Networks wishes to gain a detailed understanding of their needs and the support which will be necessary both to help as many as possible transition to electric vehicles in the future where the available technology allows, and to make sure the infrastructure they will need alongside that will be provided.
How To Get Your Views Heard On The White Van Plan
SMEs who would like to get their voice heard and receive tailored support on electric transport can respond to the project’s launch survey, open until 21 December.