We spoke with Kevin Powell, managing director, to find out what the new product, VEHESTA, offers.
Developing for future needs
“The format of a standard PFS has developed significantly over the years,” Kevin explains. “However, in terms of liquid storage, the reliance of below ground tanks to hold the fuel has largely remained the same.
“Our flagship product is the SuperVault, which is the vessel that provides the storage element of most of our innovative, modular filling stations.
“However, with the implications of the road to 2030, we felt that this needed re-branding and developing and the result of this is the VEHESTA – VEHICLE ENERGY STATION.”
The VEHESTA is the product of LWE’s work to bridge the gap between the present and the future with a solution that enables customers to obtain the energy to power their vehicle, whilst going about daily life.
The reasons for, as well as the principle causes of, climate change can be debated at great length. Regardless, the need for action to halt its progress is going to have a dramatic effect on the petroleum industry as we know it.
The UK Government ban on the sale of new petrol- and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030 has resulted in the development of alternatively fuelled vehicles. Addressing these new energy requirements is what led to LWE’s launch of VEHESTA.
“We believe the VEHESTA provides the flexibility to aid the creation of energy stations, which cover the needs of the alternative fuels sector; as well as the development of new methods of vehicle propulsion,” Kevin explains.
“It is essential for the long-term future of our industry firstly, that we survive these changes, and then, that we continue on to prosper, as the motor industry follows government policy by delivering new production models for the mass market.”
Meeting customer future needs
We asked Kevin if he believes that the current blueprint for PFS design will continue to meet customer needs as the industry evolves.
“Continuing to follow the existing model may result in fixed, inflexible installations,” Kevin replies. “Where the cost of change or decommissioning may not come in 30+ years, but as soon as 15 years or even less.
“Given that risk, the solution has to be a design that not only meets the need of today’s marketplace, but also has the flexibility to change, adapt and incorporate the needs of vehicle propulsion and energy in the future.”
With a high level of uncertainty over future energy provision LWE believes that fuel stations may well change significantly making the provision of flexible, adaptable and cost- effective solutions essential.
A flexible solution
Kevin continues: “The VEHESTA is an above ground solution that can be relocated. It remains an asset to the owner and has the flexibility to incorporate whatever changes are needed for the energy station to remain viable.
“LWE is developing new designs and configurations, initially catering for large bulk fuel storage. But, as volumes gradually decline, this capacity may be adapted to alternatives. “The principle is a POD design, which is adaptable to the need for specific separation distances between hazardous zones.
The design also allows for the inclusion of additional elements such as a kiosk or shop within the structure but, still maintaining covered multiple fuelling lanes for a pleasant customer experience.”
The key points of the VEHESTA are:
- Flexibility for future vehicle energy needs, as driven by environmental change
- Proven design that delivers the requirements for a modern fuelling station
- The ability to integrate future alternative fuels and technology, cost effectively
- An alternative solution that maintains asset value through whole life cycle
- The ability to incorporate a shop or kiosk within one of the pods
Human beings are, by nature, creatures of habit, and, in developing the VEHESTA, LWE created what they believe to be the station of the future by ensuring that it delivers on technical and operational requirements, but also has the potential to be the “go to” place for vehicle energy.