Old truck engines and gravel power sustainable EV charger

e-Tanker energy store

A new type of energy storage system than can power an electric vehicle (EV) charger has been developed using old truck engines and gravel.

The e-Tanker was developed by Cheesecake Energy with funding from National Highways.

It works by storing energy in the form of heat and compressed air, which is generated using power from the grid or solar panels.

When the charger needs to be used, the compressed air and heat is used to drive the truck engines, which in turn power a generator.

Explainer Video from Cheesecake Energy Ltd on Vimeo.

Cheesecake Energy says its battery system has the potential to be the greenest in the world and will be able to speed up electric car charging while protecting the grid from overload. It is expected that the system will achieve costs that are 30% to 40% lower than the cheapest battery currently available.

The company was one of 13 successful entrants in an innovation competition run by National Highways and Innovate UK. 

Annette Pass, head of innovation at National Highways, said: “Cheesecake’s project is an excellent example of the changes that are being made to reduce carbon in the transport industry. It also plays a part in National Highway’s net zero carbon plan, which will see a rapid cut in carbon from road construction, maintenance and operations, and supports the transition to zero emission vehicles.   

“Currently, 95% of the strategic road network is within 20 miles of a charge point, but they only cater for a small number of electric vehicles, and as those numbers increase it’s very important that we can cater for that, particularly on remote parts of our network. Innovations like this one will help us achieve that.” 

The project is progressing to the next stage of development, with work continuing on its prototype system that will soon be installed with a Nottingham-based depot for the charging of a fleet of electric vehicles.

> Interested in comparing electric vehicle data? Check out our EV tool.

> Interested in ensuring the efficient use of EVs. Check out our dedicated editorial sections: Insight & policy | EV news | Charging & infrastructure | Costs & incentives | Benefit-in-kind | EV case studies | EV road tests

> EVs by range

> EVs by their efficiency

> Rapid charging EVs

> EVs by price: lowest to highest

The latest Commercial Fleet news, insight and roadtests

In this issue

A night to remember: 63-page guide to winners, highly commended and finalists at our 2023 awards

Fleets forsake vans and take to take to the water in Government-backed trial

Talks with Treasury to develop a better tax deal for vehicle leasing

The end of print Fleet News: 45 years of shaping the fleet industry

Fuel cells: don't write hydrogen off

DfT admits driver training changes risk increasing costs

Bridging gap between diesel and electric


Read now

Comment as guest

Login  /  Register


No comments have been made yet.

Related content

What's the tax liability on my van?

Calculate the BIK tax on any van on sale today with our van tax calculator

How green is your van?

Check out the CO2 emissions for new vans with our CO2 calculator?