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Half of NHS trusts have EV charging but emissions targets still lacking

Half (51%) of NHS trusts in the UK have installed EV charging infrastructure (EVCI) onsite but a similar number are still off track on overall decarbonisation targets.

Only 6% of NHS trusts have no plans to introduce EV charging infrastructure at the moment

That’s according to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request from power management specialist Eaton that reveals NHS trusts are making positive steps on a low-carbon future for staff, patients and visitors but there are further opportunities still.

Aside from the 51% of trusts that already have EVCI on-site, a further 43% either plan to install charging facilities onsite within the next five years or are in early stage planning around how best to integrate such capabilities. In fact, just 6% of NHS trusts had no plans to introduce EVCI at the moment.

Trusts are also working on decarbonisation measures. Of the 142 trusts that responded to the FOI request – out of a total of 173 NHS Foundation trusts – only one reported having no initiatives in place or planned at all.

But 53% are either behind on decarbonisation targets or do not have a clear set of emissions reduction goals in place. Just two-fifths (38%) are on track to meet their goals while only 5% are tracking ahead at the moment.

Work is also needed to counter the impact of EVCI on existing electrical infrastructure. Half (53%) of NHS trusts flagged that they would need greater electrical capacity, while two-thirds (41%) said it may incur additional energy costs through greater peak demand. Just a quarter (24%) recognise the potential to create new revenue streams from new charging facilities.

While vehicle to grid (V2G) technologies could help here, enabling electric vehicles to store energy and discharge it back to the electricity grid when it is most needed, very few NHS trusts (11%) are currently participating in selling energy back to the grid through energy storage technologies. One fifth (23%) plan to use energy storage to start selling energy back to the grid in the next five years, but two-thirds (65%) have no plans to do so.

Marc Gaunt, segment lead, commercial buildings, Eaton, commented: “Estate and facilities managers often consider building energy first when considering decarbonisation, but travel and transport is a vital consideration. NHS trusts are adopting EVCI rapidly and offering staff, patients and visitors a cleaner alternative to significantly lower their total carbon footprint. Public and commercial buildings will need to follow suit. Every building – not just hospitals – will need to play its part if we are to meet the challenges presented by the rapid adoption of EVs and accelerate the UK’s path to a low-carbon future.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.