UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced an additional £2.5 million to fund the installation of another 1,000 new chargepoints. The funding will support the on-street residential chargepoint scheme. The scheme, launched in 2017, provides access to EV charging for household that do not have home charging infrastructure. It is part of the broader £1.5 billion investment underpinned by the Road to Zero strategy.
Grant Shapps said, “It’s fantastic that there are now more than 20,000 publicly accessible chargepoints and double the number of electric vehicle charge points than petrol stations, but we want to do much more.” The UK government is also investing £37 million to develop new charging solutions for households without access to off-street parking. The chargepoints can be built into existing infrastructure like lampposts.
It is indeed good to note the continued commitment of the UK government to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. In particular, urban areas will most benefit from on-street public EV charging infrastructure, as a significant number of households in the UK do not have access to private parking. However, we believe the government will need to commit significantly more capital to urban areas in the UK. Currently a number of households living in dense city centers are unable to own and drive electric cars, due to the limited available residential charging infrastructure.
The July 2019, new car registrations update, is another sign of the decline of petrol and diesel cars in favour of fast increasing all-electric electric vehicles. Another interesting observations from the SMMT market update is the much stronger performance of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) compared to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). A sign that BEVs are now maturing in terms of battery technology and range.
The increase in EV sales is also being witnessed in other markets. In California, EVs have reached nearly 10% of all new car sales.
There is no doubt that all-electric or pure electric car sales are increasing, in particular, capturing market share at the expense of diesel cars and PHEVs. We at e-zoomed expect this theme to continue to dominate with BEVs gaining most from the significant decline in diesel sales. We also predict that PHEVs will eventually be phased out, as automotive manufacturers focus on developing a portfolio of only BEVs.
According to the BBC, Orkney, part of the Orkney and Shetland archipelago, is leading the charge on electric vehicles in the UK. Orkney is already known for its leadership in renewable energy, producing more than it consumes. Wind energy commenced in the 1950s and over the past decade the island has also been involved with wave and tidal electricity.
EVs like the ubiquitous Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe are common sight in Orkney, with over 200 EVs on the road (2% of total cars and vans on the road). However, the acquisition costs of EVs are placing zero-emissions cars beyond the reach of younger drivers that seek the green credentials of EVs.
We at e-zoomed are not surprised that Orkney is fast emerging as one of the leading communities for EV adoption in the UK. Scotland has developed significant renewable energy generation over the past decade, in particular, wind energy, establishing strong green credentials.