HS2 recently made headlines again – this time in a positive way – with the announcement that they’re trialing the use of all electric forklifts on site. Now this may not seem like a big deal. However, given current economic woes and the fact that EV’s are still seen as a relatively pricey investment, it’s a good indication that contractors are looking beyond tomorrow.

While the current economic crisis is troubling, it shouldn’t detract from the ambitious zero emission targets that have been set by the UK government. Once the pandemic has passed, emissions will still be a critically important factor influencing how main contractors will have to operate in the future. Therefore, companies that factor this into their recovery plans are the ones who have the most to gain.

Can EV’s work in construction?

Traditionally the argument against EV’s is that they lacked the torque and heavy lifting power required in construction work. While diesel vehicles could deliver on the work requirement, they did so at the cost of higher emissions. And this is exactly the problem vehicle manufacturers have set out to resolve.

Additionally, now that areas such as central London have be classified as ultra-low emission areas construction companies will have no choice but to review their vehicle fleet and suppliers have recognized that they have to adapt accordingly.

Fortunately, engineers are finding ways to leverage technology to be able to combine the best of both worlds – an electric vehicle with zero emissions that has the strength and ability to fulfill construction work requirements. But can the construction industry’s almost empty pockets afford this new technology?

Consider this: Aside from the obvious environmental benefits, electric vehicles are reported to lower operational costs- no fuel required, less maintenance required and quiet operation reduces noise pollution which will be a bonus to inner city construction projects.

EV’s and the future of construction

In other words, having an EV fleet has the potential to win new tenders, especially where noise pollution and emissions  are a concern. Additionally lower operational costs can help contractors to recoup their investment sooner. Ultimately it means looking beyond the short term challenges and seeing how to leverage opportunities that will translate into long term gains.

Emissions targets have been written into law and will no doubt become a focus point again once the pandemic has passed. Those contractors that make the change to EV’s now will be far better positioned to take advantage of future tender opportunities.