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Tuesday, 28 March 2017 12:15

National Grid employees' electric vehicle uptake shows value of in-house charging

National Grid employees have embraced electric vehicles (EVs) following an infrastructure installation, prompting the company to believe that business owners can boost the number of drivers converting to EVs by simply giving staff access to charge points at work, thereby reducing worries about running out of battery power.

The latest data from National Grid House, the Warwick-based operational HQ of National Grid, shows a 334% uplift in the use of its charge points, which were installed as a viability project in April 2016. Employees now have access to six user-friendly 7kW dual outlet charging stations from eVolt UK, charge point supplier and eMobility brand of the SWARCO Group.

The data also demonstrates a near doubling of Plug-in Hybrid EVs (PHEVs) in the company car fleet since the chargers were installed, as Darren Watson, Environmental Operations Advisor for National Grid's Sustainability and Climate Change team, explains: "Since the eVolt charging infrastructure was installed, the number of company car PHEVs has risen from 177 to 375, and we have seen an increase in the number of fully electric vehicles.

eVolt-National-Grid electric-vehicle-charge-point-1 copy"The chargers' take up has been rapid and exponential," Darren continues, "and we are forecasting further rises as the business continues to support the adoption of EVs, and our employees continue to select them as a credible alternative to traditional petrol or diesel engines."

This installation of eVolt charge points is in line with National Grids' Our Contribution scheme, an environmental sustainability strategy that focuses on the business' climate commitment, responsible resource use, and care for the natural environment.

The success of this project is enabling National Grid to look at the viability of installing charge points at other, office-based, sites, as Richard Lloyd, Risk & Compliance Manager at National Grid explains: "We have found our eVolt chargers to be highly reliable and supportive of our eco-ambitions and have no reason to doubt installation at further sites would be a success.

Richard adds. "The more remote sites with fewer employees have individual challenges, and EV charging services must be provided in a sustainable way, so collaborating with eVolt to find the best solutions is key."

eVolt-National-Grid electric-vehicle-charge-point-2Justin Meyer, General Manager of eVolt UK, says this is a prime example of why companies, including rural businesses, should consider an EV infrastructure: "The figures show what we consistently see after a business installs charge points; the considerable increase in their use alongside the increasing take up of EVs being used by employees.

"One of the key factors holding back EV sales is drivers' worry that they will run out of battery power – what the industry calls range anxiety," he continues.

"But with charge points installed at working locations, drivers have convenient charging that fits with their normal driving routine."

The installation of EV charge points at National Grid House was a collaboration between the Sustainability and Climate Change team (that proposed the chargers), its Commercial Property team (that provided the funding), and eVolt (the selected third-party charge point supplier). Six eVolt units cover 12 parking bays and are able to fully charge two EVs simultaneously in around 3 to 4 hours.

www.swarco.com/apt/Products-Services/eMobility