Electric freight in the city
Cross River Partnership and Arup joined our recent electric vehicle and mobility round table to discuss the difficulties for freight lorries switching to electric power and how our cities will cope with the disruption of retro-fitting new electric infrastructure.
Tom Linton Smith, Transport and Sustainability Officer, from Cross River Partnership said switching to electric power for freight vehicles poses a host of challenges:
' The whole logistics sector isn't going to go electric any time soon, it will be more the case that bigger trucks will have to use different types of fuels, because the heavy nature of batteries means that for these vehicles, it isn't practical. Congestion in cities may increase because deliveries will need to be made by a larger number of light vans',
He also raised the question of how many new developments would be built from the start with the appropriate infrastructure charging points, as retro-fitting is very expensive. Watch Tom speaking on the impact for cities in the clip above.
Heleni Pantelidou, Associate Director, Infrastructure at Arup, said while the current debate for cleaner air is seeing electric vehicles as the panacea, the retro-fitting of electric charging points in a busy city like London is a big issue to solve.
'It is not a straight case of just replacing every existing car with an electric one, congestion will remain. Electricity will hopefully become cleaner but there is no definite plan for this and it does rely on the private sector to invest according to policy makers.'
Heleni put forward the important point around social equity, saying that 'the excitement around electric vehicle adoption may take away the appeal of public transport and in that sense we are moving backwards in our thinking.'
Watch Heleni speak at our round table on the future for freight transition to electric and the disruption of building in electric infrastructure to our cities in the clip below: