Global public charging infrastructure (total number of connectors)
There will also be strong demand from commercial fleet operators for charging capacity. The commercial sector looks set to be an early adopter of EVs, given the relatively attractive economics. Commercial vehicles tend to have higher utilisation rates than private vehicles, meaning the lower running costs offered by EVs translate into a more rapid return on investment. Fleet operators can also benefit from economies of scale when it comes to building charging infrastructure at fleet hubs.
We have recently announced plans to support the transition to EVs.
Earlier this year, Macquarie Asset Management (MAM) acquired Roadchef, one of the UK’s largest operators of motorway service areas, with 30 sites across the motorway network serving 52 million customers a year5. Alongside broader investment in its sites and facilities, we are supporting Roadchef in accelerating its rollout of fast-charging infrastructure.
Gordon Parsons, a Senior Managing Director at Macquarie Asset Management, said: “As a key part of the UK’s motorway infrastructure, we believe Roadchef has a major role to play in facilitating the transition to net-zero. Its extensive network of locations across the country make it well positioned to support the fast-charging infrastructure that is key to the adoption of electric and low-carbon vehicles.”
Roadchef plans to build charging hubs that offer 350kW ultra-rapid chargers. These can provide up to 100 miles of range to an electric vehicle in less than 10 minutes.
Macquarie Asset Management’s specialist Green Investment team, meanwhile, has launched two initiatives to provide charging infrastructure to commercial clients without any upfront costs.
Fleete, one of the newly launched initiatives is a dedicated business aimed at the commercial vehicle market. Fleete finances, installs and manages charging infrastructure, with no up-front costs through an innovative ‘charging-as-a-service' model. It works with clients to deploy charging in large depots, where vehicles are parked overnight, offers innovative hybrid hubs in trading estates or carparks that can be used by a number of smaller clients, and provides intercity chargers close to motorways to support truck and coach fleets.
Its subscription-based service installs high-powered DC charging equipment and utilises software that manages charging schedules and optimises energy consumption. With equipment that delivers between 60kW and 600kW, depending on individual fleet requirements, Fleete can provide efficient overnight charging and rapid top-ups.
“The mass transition to electric vehicles is now inevitable, the only question is how quickly it will happen,” says Mark Dooley, MAM Green Investment's Global Head. “We are here to make that transition happen as fast as possible and we see commercial fleets as an opportunity for significant near-term decarbonisation impact.”
The UK has set itself an ambition to be a global leader in the adoption of EVs. Meeting its targets will require continued focus from policymakers in terms of supportive regulation, targeted incentives, and a willingness to work with the private sector to ensure the infrastructure is in place to meet consumer and business demand for charging. For our part, through the investments set out above and others to follow, we plan to play a key role in financing and developing the infrastructure needed to realise the UK’s ambitions to be a global leader in the race to electrify our transport system.
From renewable energy to new technologies we are investing in the UK’s energy infrastructure, and helping our clients on their decarbonisation journeys.