BT-HS | Navigating the Electric Vehicle Challenge…
Electric vehicles (EVs) have emerged as a promising solution to reduce emissions and create a more sustainable future.
However, the transition to EVs is not as simple as it seems. The sector must address infrastructure challenges and ensure that specialist traffic management vehicles are fit for purpose.
Here, we evaluate the future of the highways sector and its use of electric vehicles, focusing on the need for reliability, infrastructure support, as well as BT-HS’ commitment to the shift towards electric vehicle adoption.
To combat climate change, the highways sector must play its part in reducing carbon emissions. The transition to electric vehicles is a significant step towards achieving this goal. EVs produce zero tailpipe emissions, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality.
Challenges: Infrastructure and Reliability
While the benefits of EVs are clear, the infrastructure required to support a fleet of electric vehicles poses a significant challenge. Establishing an extensive charging network, especially for long-haul journeys and specialist vehicles, is essential. Highways operators need reliable charging stations strategically located across the network to ensure uninterrupted operations. Not to mention the challenges of being situated on remote worksites with limited/no access to vital electricity.
Additionally, specialist traffic management vehicles demand a level of reliability and endurance that could be argued exceeds that of typical commuter EVs. These vehicles cover substantial distances and accrue mileage rapidly, and the mileage range of a typical electric car or van currently just doesn’t quite cut the mustard for the rigours of our sector.
BT-HS: Leading the Charge
BT-HS is well aware of the opportunities and challenges presented by electric vehicles.
The company has already taken significant steps towards electrification, with the introduction of electric vans in their fleet.
BT-HS recognises the importance of developing electric vehicles that are fit for purpose, ensuring reliability, efficiency, and durability in specialist traffic management applications.
The company’s stringent research and development efforts are focused on achieving the ‘electric switchover’ across various types of traffic management vehicles – but it isn’t a simple solution when it comes to battery power capable of delivering what the sector needs.
A Greener Future
BT-HS’s commitment to sustainability is further exemplified by their membership in Greener Highways—an organisation dedicated to promoting sustainable products, services and practices within the highways industry. This membership showcases their dedication to driving positive change and ensuring that the electrification of the highways sector is not only environmentally conscious, but also technically feasible.
BT-HS MD Phil Glaiser told us:
“The future of the highways sector likely lies in the adoption of electric vehicles – especially when you consider the net zero targets the industry is working towards.
“While the transition is essential to meet carbon targets, it is vital to address the unique challenges faced by the industry.
“Reliability, infrastructure development, and ensuring fit-for-purpose vehicles are critical to the successful implementation of EVs in the highways sector. To have electric vehicles galore, but each not being capable of delivering as is required ultimately means slower work, and a negative experience for the road user. So, it’s a balance. It’s not a quick fix and it’s not necessarily something that can be sorted overnight.
“However, we place great emphasis in R&D on this topic and are always striving towards how electric can deliver for traffic management. We may not know when a fully fit for purpose TM fleet is available, but we’re committed to being at the forefront of the development and implementation when the day arrives.”