In what has been described by some as a “turbo-charge” to our national transition to EVs, it was reassuring to see last week’s acknowledgement by the UK Government of the grid constraints that exist for ultra-rapid charging and confirm its intention to support what some might argue is the largest obstacle to an affordable and timely transition to electrified vehicles. Since the launch of AFC Energy’s hydrogen fuelled H-PowerTM system in December last year, aimed at supporting timely and low cost alternatives to grid connectivity and constraints, the evidence base supporting this as a key challenge to EV deployment has become increasingly apparent. Just last week, a prospective developer of motorway EV rapid charge points in the UK contacted AFC Energy to reassert his frustration over the high cost and long time frame for grid upgrade across his portfolio of sites, many of which are looking at 350kW ultra-rapid charge points. For example, a portfolio of 6 x 350kW chargers, operating in parallel at full draw, would consume as much energy as 4,200 houses across the UK (assuming mean hourly load per house). This amount of energy delivered across the entirety of the UK’s motorways was never envisaged at the time of original grid connections and it is this which requires a substantial investment across the UK and overseas if 100% EV deployment is going to become a reality.
AFC Energy’s hydrogen fuelled H-PowerTM system, configured for rapid EV charging up to market leading 350kW charge rates, has a role to play in supporting grid constraints and therefore, we will be commencing dialogue with the Government to ensure our technology platform is considered in light of the funding package confirmed last week. When compared with a grid connection, AFC Energy’s H-PowerTM system not only becomes an enabler to supporting ultra-rapid EV charging where grid connections might otherwise struggle, or indeed not exist, but it also has the potential, as a power generation source, to support the dispatch of power back into the grid, becoming a grid balancing tool as well. This is particularly so when viewed as part of a portfolio of discreet generation plants across the UK. Just think, a mere 4,000 of AFC Energy’s 1MW systems, for example, across the UK where Hydrogen is obtained from renewable sources, would equate to an additional Drax Power station in terms of green balancing power capacity whilst minimising grid reinforcement costs and time delays. With 8,300 service stations in the UK, not to mention the vast number of council “park and rides”, fleet operators, retail carparks and airports, the benefit of a solution that not only defers grid connection, but also enables new clean power sources, fuelled by green hydrogen, to provide a solution to not only the EV driver, but also to become a strategic asset in the Government green energy strategy.
Government must consider all viable solutions to inform its “value for money” investment decision in EV charging infrastructure. Over 500 companies coming to see the operation of our EV charger unit earlier this year signals there is indeed a problem, and we are pleased to be able to afford a solution in support of the Government’s Net Zero emission policies today.
For further enquiries on how AFC Energy’s H-PowerTM fuel cell system can support your EV charging needs, please contact Tom Pollard from our sales team on email@example.com.