Magtec is heading a £3.25m government-backed project to help accelerate the adoption of zero emission trucks for NHS Wales and help support uptake across the UK.
The project, backed by the Department for Transport (DfT) and Innovate UK, will create a predictive tool for making comparisons for prospective electric vehicles (EVs) within a fleet and estimating EV infrastructure requirements and costs.
Magtec is working on the trial, which will supply 10 18-tonne zero emission electric trucks to NHS Wales, with Dynamon, the fleet data analytics company and UK Power Networks Services.
Andrew Gilligan, managing director (MD) of Magtec, said: “The move from internal combustion engine (ICE) to EV fleets is disrupting procurement in the public and private sectors with uncertainty around costs and infrastructure.
“Fleet managers are under pressure to electrify their fleets but there is little data to support their investment decisions.
“This project will fill the gaps in knowledge and help accelerate the take-up of zero emission trucks, creating new jobs here at Magtec and across our supply chain in South Yorkshire.”
The trucks will be used to help with the collection and distribution of laundry at four locations across the country.
Magtec said the vehicles will be equipped with the ability for a rapid charge system for increased usability – each of the chargers will be mobile, allowing them to be moved around and connected to wall sockets installed by UK Power Networks Services.
Dynamon is developing its feasibility software – based on advanced artificial intelligence (AI) – to predict battery state of charge, road performance and grid load.
UK Power Networks Services is developing a tool for estimating EV installation costs and installing charging infrastructure across the different NHS sites used in the trial: Bridgend, Cwmbran, Denbigh and Newport.
Trudy Harrison, the current transport minister, said: “This exciting project is an important step in our journey to reducing our reliance on fossil fuels as we introduce cleaner HGVs to our roads.
“The fleet industry plays a vital role in keeping the UK moving and it’s crucial it joins the journey to a greener future.
“That’s why I’m delighted to see Magtec benefitting from the Government’s £20m zero emission road freight trials and I look forward to seeing the outcome of this project as we invest in research to decarbonise all aspects of our transport network.”
Kieran Coughlan, head of strategic advisory services at UK Power Networks Services, said: “This project is hugely exciting because it will demonstrate how large organisations in the UK can cost-effectively transition their fleet.
“It’s another tool we can use to support business to meet the financial hurdles of switching to electric vehicles, whether through financing, integrating new technologies, or optimising existing infrastructure.”
The first two vehicles will begin road tests and enter service in the coming weeks.