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Electric vehicle demand powering new jobs at Leeds engineering firm

High-voltage power specialist Engineered Systems Electrical (ESE) is planning to create new engineering jobs and apprenticeships at its Leeds headquarters as green technology is set to become be a key component in the sustainable infrastructure required for large-scale electric vehicle charging.

Electric vehicle demand powering new jobs at Leeds engineering firm

"The growth in the electric vehicle space really is happening exponentially and our new product will ensure the infrastructure for charging vehicles can keep up with the pace of that change. "
ESE managing director Michael Keith

As electric vehicle ownership grows rapidly, with more than 136,000 pure-electric cars already on the UK’s roads by July this year, ESE’s new external low-voltage distribution unit is set to revolutionise the capability of large organisations such as garages and supermarkets to easily and sustainably increase the number of charging points at their outlets.


The innovative product, which will be built at ESE’s south Leeds engineering facility, supplies and installs equipment that transforms high-voltage electricity from the grid to the low-voltage power needed for vehicle charging, as well as multiple other uses. Designed for environmental sustainability, with 90 per cent of its components sourced from within a three-mile radius of the factory, the external low voltage distribution unit is undergoing final tests and will go into production by the end of 2020.


ESE managing director Michael Keith said: “This is a really important development for us and we have had huge interest in this new technology, particularly from organisations that are providing electric vehicle charging or have expanding electric vehicle fleets of their own.


“The growth in the electric vehicle space really is happening exponentially and our new product will ensure the infrastructure for charging vehicles can keep up with the pace of that change. We expect to be creating several new jobs over the coming months in order to meet demand for the external low voltage distribution unit.”


ESE, which employs a workforce of 30 including four apprentices, is taking part in this year’s Leeds Manufacturing Festival, which will showcase career opportunities in the city’s engineering and manufacturing to school leavers and graduates. The festival launches in October with many of Leeds’ 1,800 manufacturing and engineering businesses involved in a diverse programme of online events.


“The opportunities created by our new technology, which is not only extensible but offers a vastly reduced footprint when compared with existing equipment, are a perfect example of why engineering is such an exciting industry to work in for young people,” said Mr Keith. “Our apprentices tend to stay with us for the long term and we currently have seven members of the team who started with us as apprentice electricians and have all developed into different roles within the business.


Tracey Dawson, managing director of Daletech Electronics and chair of the Leeds Manufacturing Festival said: “It is a myth that manufacturing and engineering are not viable career options. A company like ESE really is at the cutting edge of technological development and to be part of that is truly exciting. Like many modern businesses in the sector they are creative and flexible, and it is that approach that has seen the business survive and grow, even through lockdown.”


Now in its third year, Leeds Manufacturing Festival is organised by the Leeds Manufacturing Alliance and Leeds Chamber of Commerce. Schools, manufacturing and engineering businesses, and students can find out more about the 2020 festival, and how to get involved, at www.leedsmanufacturingfestival.co.uk .


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