3. Electric vehicles and plant
Making the switch to EV
Currently, just under 30% of our fleet vehicles are electric or hybrid – and we plan to keep increasing this number. We have recently ordered a further nine electric vans to replace our ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles. It’s estimated that each electric vehicle produces 17-30% less carbon emissions than those that run on petrol or diesel.
To support the transition to more electric vehicles, this year we installed our first 10 electric vehicle (EV) charging points, including six at our Plant Yard and four at our Camberley office. We aim to steadily increase this number as we expand our fleet of electric vehicles.
First use of electric plant
In 2022, we trialled electric plant for the first time ever on our projects, including the use of the BAUER eBG33 electric rig on one of our HS2 sites. The eBG33 is the world’s first all-electric, high-capacity drilling rig and produces 1,300kg less CO2 per day than a traditionally powered rig.
Further to this, we currently have two electric cranes in daily use on our Wood Wharf F Blocks project, which have saved 173kg of CO2 so far. The CO2 saving gained from using an electric crane is equivalent to removing 17 cars from our roads each year.
To add to these benefits, electric cranes save on average £77 per day in energy costs, create almost no noise and emit no pollutants into the atmosphere (such as nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides and particulate matter).
Trialling diesel-free CFA equipment
As well as introducing electric cranes and rigs onto our projects, we are currently trialling the diesel-free CFA concrete pump and agitator setup, Enertainer by Ampd Energy. Enertainer uses a smart battery system to replace the traditional diesel generator found in CFA concrete pumps and agitators, which reduces direct carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions. It’s also 30x quieter than a diesel generator.
If successful, this equipment would greatly reduce the environmental impact of the frequently used CFA piling technique as it would effectively remove two diesel engines from the CFA process. In addition to this, Enertainer is ideal for off-the-grid and remote projects as it doesn’t require the installation of an electrical substation.
4. Hydrogen fuels
As part of a collaboration with Zemo, Bachy Soletanche and Roger Bullivant are carrying out a formal trial to explore the effectiveness of using HVO fuel to power piling rigs.
We are currently conducting trials of Ultimate Cell, a hydrogen-based technology that is retrofittable to the internal combustion engine of any piling rig. The Ultimate Cell generates hydrogen that gets injected into the engine’s carburettor. The hydrogen acts as a catalyst adding an alternative energy source to the engine, providing a reported 18-38% reduction in diesel fuel consumption.