How will the EV revolution evolve?

How will the EV revolution evolve?

ByDamien Welch, EVCP BDM, Energy Assets Net Zero

Figures from SMMT in December 2022 saw battery electric vehicles (EVs) claim their largest ever monthly UK market share, accounting for 32.9% of sales. Indeed, over the course of 2022, EVs overtook diesels as the second most popular powertrain after petrol.

As a result, average new car CO2 fell 6.9% to 111.4g/km – the lowest ever. Proof if it were needed of the contribution that technological innovation will make to Britain’s journey to net zero.

Less encouraging was news that some EV owners queued up to six hours to charge their vehicles over the Christmas period. We also saw data that 9 in 10 hotels are yet to install any EV charge points for their customers, and those that have done so usually offer just two chargers.

This is of particular concern for industrial and commercial businesses, which account for around two thirds of EV sales. This level of uptake indicates these organisations share the vision for a cleaner future (with a government ban on new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 and hybrids from 2035), but none will be sympathetic to unproductive downtime caused by a lack of charging capacity.

Are there enough EV changepoints in UK?

In December, 242 rapid and ultra-rapid charging devices were added to the national network, bringing the total to around 6,900 units across almost 4,000 locations.

The national EV Infrastructure Strategy forecasts that the UK will need between 300,000 and 720,000 charge points by 2030. The SMMT says that just meeting this lower number requires more than 100 new chargers to be installed every day. The current average is around 23 per day.

So, we need to go quicker, but it’s not all doom and gloom. In March last year, the government confirmed £1.6bn of public funding for charge points. At the same time, many major corporations are investing in charging networks, including those transitioning their fossil fuel business models towards renewables.

Enabling speedy build-out and adoption

At our specialist business unit supporting EV charge point capacity – Energy Assets Electricity Networks (EAEN) – we see evidence of impressive investment and innovation among customers such as InstaVolt and MFG. Here, we’re helping to future-proof their power requirements, with asset values based on projected capacity, and network resilience designed-in from the outset to avoid costly reinforcement.

We’re also making network adoption as straightforward as possible, thanks to our in-house legal team and the online Milestone portal, which provides easy access to land rights and contracts status. At the same time, our development of the industry-standard network specification enables operators to roll out new sites efficiently by simplifying the administrative and installation process for Independent Connections Providers.

This customer-centric approach exemplifies the innovation mindset of the Energy Assets Group. As a metering, data analytics and utilities network design, construction and adoption business, we have extensive relationships with energy suppliers, housing developers, brokers, specialist suppliers and end user brands. This positions us strongly to be force for progress in the EV evolution. Watch this space, as they say.

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