Transition talk with Ben Marchant of 3ti

3ti is a company whose motto is to ‘Leave Something Better Behind®’


A certified B Corp, 3ti is one of a growing group of companies reinventing business by pursuing purpose as well as profit. Working to create a better planet for everyone, 3ti was certified by B Lab, the not-for-profit behind the B Corp movement, for having met rigorous social and environmental standards that represent its commitment to goals beyond shareholder profit.

According to 3ti, solar car parks (SCP) are the perfect opportunity to tap into an otherwise underutilised resource, providing an immediate solution to the UK’s need to ramp up the rollout of solar and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. With the UK needing to double its electric capacity over the next decade, EVs plugged in at workplaces, destinations, fleet depots and delivery hubs can help support the grid by balancing peaks in electricity supply and demand.

Here, CEO of the company, Ben Marchant, shares how 3ti is using its unique three technology (“3t”) approach, integrating solar, batteries and EV charge points to help organisations generate onsite renewable energy from underutilised space – on rooftops and car parks – to reduce electricity costs and decarbonise transport.

Key milestones along the way

Since our inception in 2019, 3ti has become synonymous with ground breaking achievements in the renewable energy sector, quickly establishing ourselves as the UK’s leading specialist in the design, financing, build and operation of EV solar car parks.

Distinguishing ourselves from other energy and EV charging companies, we offer bespoke SCP installations with integrated EV charging and Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) that generate and store clean electricity to power buildings and EV chargers.

May 2022 marked the launch of Papilio3, our innovative multi-award-winning, pop-up mini SCP. In a short space of time, Papilio3 has set the standard for premium destination and workplace EV charging solutions that maximise existing grid connections, while addressing the growing demand for accessible and convenient charging in areas with medium-long dwell times.

Rapidly deployed in one day, Papilio3 is able to charge up to 12 EVs simultaneously and is ideally positioned to boost the rollout of EV charging infrastructure and help decarbonise the transport sector.

We have installed multiple SCPs and EV charging hubs across the UK for a range of organisations. Examples include Silverstone Circuits, Eastbourne District General Hospital, Bristol Airport, the Ministry of Defence, JP Morgan Chase and Bentley Motors, to name just a few.

More recently, we also debuted a pioneering low-carbon, wooden-framed large- scale SCP at Five Rivers Health & Wellbeing Centre in Wiltshire.

Collectively, our SCPs and Papilio3 installations have delivered over 14,000 electric vehicle charges in the UK, from Salisbury to Crewe to Inverness.

Yet, as we celebrate our fifth anniversary, we feel like we’re just getting started. For example, we recently announced that we are leading a pioneering £2 million ‘V2X Fast Hub‘ project which aims to integrate bi-directional DC charging and associated power management systems using our Papilio3 mini SCP and EV charging hub.

This ground breaking project will demonstrate how EVs plugged in at workplaces, leisure destinations, fleet depots and delivery hubs can help balance peaks in electricity supply and demand, generate revenue for EV drivers whilst enhancing the quality and life expectancy of their EV batteries, and overcome misconceptions about the negative impact of EVs on the grid network.

Where did the motivation originally come to be a company that makes a positive contribution to decarbonisation?

3ti was founded by the late Tim Evans, who sadly passed away this year. Tim was a visionary leader and left behind a legacy that is deeply interwoven with his passion for making a positive contribution to decarbonisation and his unwavering commitment to making the world a better place through the rollout of solar energy.

With a background in farming and renewable energy, Tim was driven by a desire to confront the challenges of climate change head-on, from changing the public’s mindset of EV charging to opening up new opportunities for businesses to be more environmentally friendly while saving money on energy. His belief in the power of renewable energy to transform our world for the better is embodied in 3ti’s motto to ‘Leave Something Better Behind®’.

A core principle for the 3ti team is altering EV drivers’ mindsets to move away from the traditional forecourt refuel ‘stop to charge’ model of rapid chargers and adopt a more convenient and sustainable ‘charge where you stop’ mentality.

Rapid charging networks won’t accelerate EV uptake and commonly fail to deliver the advertised rate of charging, which is inconvenient; A convenient charge is one where you plug in and walk away, coming back when it suits you to a car that’s fully charged ready for your next journey. What’s more, a sustainable charge is one that uses the lowest carbon electricity, doesn’t reduce vehicle energy efficiency or reduce battery lifetime.

Over the last few years, 3ti has emerged as a leader in the renewable energy, battery storage and EV charging sectors. Tim’s determination was instrumental in guiding the company to success, winning six industry awards in the last 18 months and leading a pioneering, government-funded V2X research and development project.

Tim’s legacy will always inspire us as we remain dedicated to advancing his mission – to drive innovation in renewable energy, battery storage and electric vehicle charging to achieve net zero, faster.

Tell us more about your decision to achieve B Corp status and what it means to the team

Enabling clean, low-carbon, low-cost energy is part of 3ti’s commitment to providing the UK with sustainable, effective solar and battery-boosted destination and workplace EV charging.

We are extremely proud to have become B Corp certified last year. It recognises our continued effort to promote positive change for the planet across our entire business, from governance, workers, the community, environment and, of course, our customers.

In the spirit of B Corp, we continue to reduce our carbon footprint and roll out new innovations, including introducing new carbon- friendly SCP structures that use wood instead of steel. Following this, we look forward to sharing more new innovations and plans in the near future that will allow us to further champion sustainability and maintain our position as a leading B Corp organisation.

Share a little more about the 3ti approach – how are you making a difference?

Our mission is to get businesses and vehicles ‘Driving On Sunshine®’ by deploying large-scale solar arrays with integrated EV charging in car parks, on rooftops and other underutilised land, while growing an extensive and reliable EV charging network in less accessible locations through our Papilio3 solution.

We use our unique three technology “3t” approach, integrating solar, BESS and EV charge points to help organisations generate onsite renewable energy from their existing sites. This approach provides secure, consistent, clean solar energy for businesses while delivering low-carbon, fast EV charging infrastructure for employees, suppliers, customers and the general public.

Solar energy from car parks is a low-cost, low-carbon and innovative way to power buildings and EV chargers, enabling customers to generate their own renewable energy and work towards achieving net zero emissions.

Can you share a little around costs / funding and any support available to companies looking to implement one of your solutions?

Through a ‘Charge-as-a-Service’ rental model, our Papilio3 unit simplifies installation, reduces up-front costs and the need for a long-term commitment. The result is a commercially attractive, replicable and scalable premium EV charging solution that maximises existing grid connections for a multitude of organisations, including medium dwell-time workplaces, destinations, return-to-base fleets and delivery depots.

The provision of EV charging at amenity and business locations maximises revenue generation and enables the faster rollout of EV charging, while simultaneously reducing the burden on carbon-intensive rapid charging infrastructure.

Pre-fitted with a range of innovations and safety features, including motion lighting, CCTV, advertising screens and full accessibility for wheelchair users, Papilio3 can be installed in less than a day.

This means organisations can install 12 EV charge points in one go that can be rented on a monthly basis from 3ti, eliminating the extensive up-front costs and installation time associated with delivering conventional EV charging stations.

In addition to Papilio3, our SCPs are suited for large sites with significant energy demands, turning otherwise underutilised spaces into valuable renewable energy generating assets, providing businesses with greater control over the cost and carbon intensity of their electricity plus security of supply. SCPs can be fully funded through a fixed-term Power Purchase Agreement, with the energy off-taker paying monthly for the electricity generated onsite and for EV and BESS services provided by the installation.

Talk us through the contribution you have made to transport decarbonisation – key wins, clients, partnerships, results.

To date, our installations have generated over 10 gigawatt-hours of solar power – enough electricity to power over 3,500 households for one year – saving our customers over £3 million in reduced energy costs and more than 2,000 tCO2e, the equivalent of planting nearly 45,000 trees.

We continue to develop our products to be as environmentally friendly as possible. For example, one of our recent SCPs for Wiltshire Council has been constructed with sustainable Glulam timber beams – renewable, recyclable wood laminations bonded together to offer a natural alternative to steel or concrete. Three times stronger and a third lighter, it uses a tenth of the energy it would take to produce an equivalent steel beam, contributing to a more sustainable building process.

In addition, our Papilio3 innovation is built around a recycled shipping container and can be easily transported almost anywhere. Each Papilio3 has an installed capacity of 19.3kWp and can produce up to 18MWh of electricity in year one, equivalent to 64,000 EV miles, saving 3.6 tCO2e.

Do you believe electrification is the future for all transport?

Net zero can only be achieved by electrification with renewable energy. EVs are cheaper, faster, much more enjoyable to drive and infinitely cleaner than petrol and diesel vehicles, especially when powered directly by solar.

Solar power offers numerous advantages for motive power applications. Firstly, it’s renewable, drawing from the sun’s abundant and inexhaustible energy. This contrasts with finite fossil fuels, providing a sustainable energy source. Secondly, solar power is environmentally friendly, emitting no greenhouse gases or pollutants, aiding in climate change mitigation and reducing air pollution. Thirdly, it’s cost-effective, with lower operational costs compared to traditional fossil fuel sources once infrastructure is in place.

Solar power also promotes energy independence by reducing reliance on imported fuels, particularly beneficial for countries with limited domestic resources. Additionally, its versatility allows for installation in various locations, offering flexibility in design and application. Solar systems are scalable to meet diverse energy needs, from residential to commercial and industrial. Contrary to popular belief, solar power suits most scenarios; its myriad benefits make it a compelling choice across many applications, especially motive power.

How do you feel the decarbonisation of transport be best accelerated?

The UK has around 70,000 car parks with some 13 million public and workplace parking spaces across a range of locations, including offices, shopping centres, train stations, offices, sports venues and factories. If just 20% of these spaces were converted to SCPs, annual solar generation would be around seven terawatt hours of electricity. To put this into perspective, this would replace all the UK’s remaining coal-fired and oil-fired stations power stations.

To meet the UK’s 2035 electrification targets, we need five times as much solar capacity, 23 times as many EV charge points and around £50 billion of upgrades to the grid to connect them all alongside the electrification of heating. That’s a lot of money, and we’re already below target. That means we need new technologies that enable this energy transition to happen much faster.

This is also important when you realise that approximately 50% of UK households are unable to charge an electric vehicle at home. Destination and workplace SCPs are a cost-effective and accessible way of providing charging infrastructure to those wanting to make the switch to electric vehicles.

In such cases, public areas like car parks become crucial, contributing to achieving net zero targets by 2050 and establishing optimised electric vehicle charging infrastructure ahead of the ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles.

Supporting SCPs across the UK is not just an eco-friendly choice; it is a strategically imperative one. While the sun may not always shine, solar power is already playing a key role in the UK’s journey towards a net-zero future.

What would your message be to companies that have not yet started on their decarbonisation journey?

We would encourage any business to embrace solar power to cut costs and carbon emissions. Solar arrays, installed in spaces like car parks, act as renewable energy power stations, offering a solution to rising energy costs and carbon footprints. These systems not only provide stable energy prices and reduce supply concerns, but also satisfy rising demand for electric vehicle charging, attracting more customers and colleagues.

Companies can save up to £1,000 per space per year with a solar car park. For instance, a 250-space car park can save up to £250,000 annually. Innovative funding models enable facilities to secure energy, cut emissions, and offer EV charging without upfront costs, turning existing space into revenue streams. For landlords, EV charging becomes an additional income source, akin to Wi-Fi or amenities.

With nearly 50% of UK households unable to charge EVs at home, solar car parks offer a sustainable, affordable charging solution. Facility managers risk missing out on energy cost savings and EV charging revenue by not investing in solar and EV charging points. Any UK business can embrace solar power, visibly commit to decarbonisation and achieve net- zero goals whilst benefitting financially.

What does the future look like for 3ti?

The future shines brightly for 3ti as we embark on numerous large-scale solar projects, roll-out Papilio3 units and expand into new markets to get even more businesses and EVs ‘Driving on Sunshine®’.

Ben Marchant has 14 years’ experience in the energy sector. Joining 3ti as one of its first employees in 2019, Ben was COO before being appointed CEO in 2024.

Image credits: 3ti