This month trials of the first all electric telehandler began at one of the HS2 construction sites. The Flannery Plant Hire Eco-telehandler purports to have up to a 10-hour runtime between charges, making it a low impact alternative to its diesel counterparts. Is this the future for site plant or just an elephant in the room?
In order for battery technology to surplant its antiquated diesel counterparts, be that access equipment, lifting plant or generators, then the price of lithium batteries needs to come down drastically. Cue Teague Egan of EnergyX, who is developing a nanoparticle filter that can extract 90% of lithium from salt deposit supplies (current extraction processes only yields 30%). This, coupled with Elon Musk’s rumoured plans for a UK based battery ‘Gigafactory’, may be just the catalyst we are looking for to drive greater market penetration for battery technologies in the UK events market.
Greater electrification of event sites will require better mains feeds with high capacity battery storage systems for balancing out the demand peaks. Whilst this will not happen overnight, it will inevitably drive further R&D into onsite energy storage systems, which are the Holy Grail if we are to achieve our emissions reductions targets and improve air quality for event audiences and crews alike.