PwC also notes that this surge in the adoption of electric trucks requires significant investment in charging infrastructure now.
For trucks, this means high-performance highway charging hubs as well as depot charging infrastructure that could be high power for fast turnaround, or lower power for overnight charging if the vehicles return to base. PwC states that the forecast levels of electric trucks in 2025 require action to build up a pilot charging network by 2023 and up to 120 megawatt charging systems stations by 2025 to enable an area-coverage network.
Bus operators are already installing energy-intensive rapid charging hubs at their depots to provide the power needed to fill the buses’ big batteries. First Bus has built one of Britain’s largest rapid charging hubs at its depot in Glasgow, Scotland, featuring 160 rapid chargers specifically designed for commercial vehicle charging.
However, such infrastructure comes at an enormous cost. First Bus was fortunate to receive a multi-million-pound grant to help with the expenditure, which included a substantial upgrade to its local grid. This type of district network operator (DNO) upgrade can cost millions of pounds – without grant funding, it can make bus and truck charging hubs commercially unviable.
Many bus depots are legacy buildings without huge headroom when it comes to the grid connection, while for trucks motorway services are also notorious for lack of energy capacity. The conundrum facing the EV charging industry, therefore, is, how do we install the charging infrastructure required to support electric trucks and buses without incurring the high costs of major DNO upgrades?