Forecourt Evolution – look forward to a future as a ‘mobility hub’
The latest report by the UK’s Petroleum Industry Association highlights how forecourts are set to evolve into ‘mobility hubs.’ Key findings of UKPIA’s ‘Future of Mobility’ report include the role of forecourts as hubs for road transport re-energising will remain. To meet Net-Zero, all stakeholders must work together in pursuing all technology options for transport decarbonisation the report also stated.
Further key findings include a systems approach that considers lifecycle analysis of transport GHG emissions, as well as transport energy provision, storage, and conversion demands. These should be essential ingredients in a transport decarbonisation strategy.
A mobility paradigm shift is required to meet Net Zero with new technologies and models disrupting existing mobility offers and improving transport energy efficiency.
However, there will be changes in the consumer experience and supply of different energy products to meet demand. These will take the form of community-serving mobility hubs with EV chargers, other transport links, community information, parcel lockers, and fresh groceries.
Forecourt energy ‘pivot’
It cites early examples of a forecourt energy ‘pivot’ such as forecourts which have stopped selling liquid fuels and are changing to becoming EV only charging sites. The new, purpose-built Gridserve ‘electric forecourt’ offering 30 chargers alongside a supporting retail experience, which recently opened in Braintree, Essex, with plans for a network of around 100 similar sites, is just one example.
The report also states that advances in the future of mobility in the transport sector include the use of hydrogen fuel cells to reduce emissions for “hard-to-decarbonise” transport such as HGVs.
The report -‘The Future of Mobility in the UK’ – considers the emerging trends, technologies and paradigm shifts that can combine to deliver a decarbonised transport sector in the UK.
It is the first dedicated report by UKPIA on the future of transport in the UK, revealing that the downstream oil sector – the supplier of 96% of the UK’s transport fuels – is committed to decarbonisation of the transport system and can be an important ally in meeting Net Zero.
The report highlights, however, that in order to meet Net Zero, governments, vehicle manufacturers, energy suppliers and all other transport stakeholders will need to work together to deliver the many solutions needed to reach a carbon neutral economy.