Respond at pace: Diesel to electric – is now the time?

Respond at pace: Diesel to electric – is now the time?

It has been impossible to fail to notice the growing environmental demands being made on the construction sector. What began as calls for greater insulation and improvements to the building envelope have expanded into concerns about embodied energy, something that goes well beyond issues surrounding residential or commercial construction to encompass all kinds of projects including civil engineering.

Washplant
Alternative fuels are the answer to the sustainability and cost conundrum

Naturally, materials are in the spotlight, with increased use of GGBS promoted as improving the sustainability of concrete and factory-built units including timber framing rising in popularity. Concerns go beyond even materials, though, with on-site equipment, in particular fuel, coming under the spotlight.

In fact, it is not only carbon emissions and climate change that are shining a spotlight on on-site activity. Air quality, too, is an issue: red diesel used in the construction and infrastructure building sectors was also estimated to have caused 7% of nitrogen oxide emissions and 8% of PM10 particulate emissions in London in 2018.  The UK government clearly has this in mind when, in Budget 2020, the Finance Bill 2021 and subsequent secondary legislation, it restricted the entitlement to use red diesel as well as rebated biofuels.

Indeed, the government has stated: “This measure is expected to have a negligible administrative impact on those businesses and civil society organisations that will lose their entitlement to use red diesel and will need to switch to white diesel, although it will increase their fuel costs”.

Avoiding Price hikes

From April 2022, rebates on these fuels will be withdrawn from the construction industry meaning it will have to pay the full duty on white diesel or, as the government hopes, current users of rebated fuel will either use greener alternatives, or use less fuel.

Make no mistake: more legislation will come, with governments committing to ever more stringent COP targets. There are solutions, though, as well as incentives, including new technology.

Sustainability has been an important decision factor in construction for some time, but we are only at the very beginning of an increasingly rapid development. Beyond the carbon-abatement discussions, clients will need to consider the environmental impact when sourcing materials – and partners.

For example, electric machinery, including wash plant, is a major part of the coming transformation of plant and machinery. The potential addition of renewable energy sources will only add to the sustainability of construction projects.

It is no different in other industries and while we have perhaps all read quite enough about electric cars, the growing interest in them and their performance, maintenance and reliability demonstrate how a 100-year old industry can be disrupted almost overnight. There is no reason why industrial machinery, including plant, should be any different.

Washplant

“Reduce waste while maximising revenue and margins, while remaining compliant and getting world-class service and support”

The old world is not dead, but tomorrow’s world demands evolution to meet both business needs and social and political challenges. Moving to electric and mobile plant and machinery is itself a challenge, but also an opportunity: become agile and responsive, reduce waste, maximise revenues and margins, while remaining 100% compliant and getting the peace of mind of world-class service and support.

As a result, we have invested heavily in R&D to deliver game-changing applications with a vision to revolutionise the industry, bringing modern solutions of full wash plant installation, including modular, mobile and electric applications, to market.