SMMT BOSS: EV INFRASTUCTURE ‘BEDEVILLING DECARBONISATION’

SMMT’s Chief Executive has spoken about the challenge of persuading fleet managers to become early adopters of heavy commercial vehicles when there is no charging infrastructure available for them.

Mike Hawes

Speaking at an industry forum at the CV Show this afternoon, Mike Hawes said: “The ‘first mover’ disadvantage is something that is bedevilling the entire transition to decarbonised transport. Some way of sharing set-up costs are needed, so the first operator in an area doesn’t end up paying 100 percent of the cost to set up”.

“The Government is alert to the issue and we [at SMMT] are working with energy providers and the distribution network through the Automotive Council to try and identify where the barriers are towards the roll out of infrastructure,” added Hawes. 

READ: USED CAR MARKET REMAINS STRONG

In terms of providing public charging infrastructure for commercial vehicles, the biggest ‘stumbling block’ according to Hawes is ‘sorting out who pays’. “There is certainly money to be made from this, but the return on investment isn’t going to be short term,” he said, adding that it is vital to put this infrastructure in place as without it, fleets have no incentive to switch creating a vicious cycle. 

 “Rolling out nationwide infrastructure will be a medium to long term investment and it needs government intervention to help de-risk it,” said Hawes, concluding that reaching the dates set by for net zero emissions would be hard without an intervention from policy makers. 

“One of the frustrations we feel as an industry is that the dates have been set, but there isn’t a strategy set out to define how we are going to get there”, he concluded.

Published by Greg Whitaker

Editor of CAT Magazine and an experienced motoring journalist @GregWhitaker5

Movers & Shakers: Round-up of all the latest changes

All the latest changes from across the sector, including new roles, promotions, and retirements

Read More

GSF announces new-look leadership team

GSF will add 20 new branches to its 180-strong network over the next 12 months; up to 20 further locations will follow from 2025

Read More

Winners crowned at CAT Awards 2024

The annual event, held at the Lowry Hotel, welcomed more than 200 people from across the aftermarket

Read More

Fraudsters guilty of selling knock-off aftermarket parts in UK

Group used Amazon as platform for its products

Read More

APH Automotive appointed Suplex’s exclusive GB distributor

Director Andrew Hopkin said the move “is a feather in the cap for APH”

Read More

Go to comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *