Electric Car News Roundup – 15

electric car news

Electric Car Chargepoints To Be Installed In All Future Homes In World First

The Department of Transport and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles has launched a consultation proposing that new-build homes be fitted with electric car charging infrastructure.  If approved by parliament, it will be legislated via the UK building regulations.  The UK government is keen to encourage the further adoption of EVs by making home charging easier for EV owners. 

The UK will be the first country globally to enforce such measures for new-build residential properties, reinforcing its leadership in the race to net zero emissions.  Under the proposal, all new homes with a dedicated parking will require an electric car home charingpoint installed, to enable:

  • Easier charging 
  • Cheaper charging and;
  • More convenience for EV drivers 
New Homes
New Homes

The UK government has already taken steps to encourage the uptake of home charging infrastructure by providing up to £500 grant towards the cost of supply and installation (Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme). 

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The UK government continues to deliver on its vision as outlined in the Road to Zero Strategy. Legislating the installation of home charging electric vehicle infrastructure is a significant milestone in the fast growing EV industry.  

However, equally important will be enforcing the installation of EV charging points in current housing stock.  Range anxiety and lack of charging infrastructure have been significant concerns of potential EV buyers and any step in alleviating such concerns will result in the higher uptake of electric vehicles in the UK.  

Jaguar Wins £500m Loan Guarantee From No 10 To Build Electric Cars 

Jaguar automotive manufacturer
Jaguar (credit: FT)

The outgoing UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, has approved a £500 million loan guarantee to the automotive behemoth Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) to encourage the company to build EVs in the Midlands. The government envisions that the loan would also result in the UK meeting its environmental commitments. The loan is a combination of funding sourced via the UK Export Finance and commercial lenders. 

Executives from Nissan, Vauxhall, Aston Martin, Shell and BP, also attended the Downing street roundtable event. 

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This is another piece of good news for the UK automotive sector.  The key for the success of such initiatives by the government is the stability and continuity by the new prime minister of the UK.  Any reversal or change in such initiatives by the new prime minister will derail the nascent electric vehicle industry.  The UK automotive sector has witnessed a very challenging trading period over the past few years and desperately needs a stable and robust framework of policy creation and legislation.  

MG ZS EV: First 1,000 UK Buyers Receive £7,000 Discount 

MG all electric electric vehicle ZS
MG All-Electric ZS (credit: Autocar)

MG has announced that it will match the UK government plug-in car grant (PiCG) of £3,500 for the first 1,000 ZS EV buyers in the UK.  This will position MG’s first all-electric model significantly below the Hyundai Kona Electric and the Kia e-Niro.   

The first 1,000 buyers will also receive a free home charging point.  The discounts bring the entry-level ZS variant, the ‘Excite’ down to £21,495.  This places the ZS EV as one of the cheapest electric cars in the UK.  The model was first revealed in China in 2018 at the Guangzhou Motor Show. 

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It is difficult to overestimate the importance of competitive pricing, in particular of electric vehicles compared to traditional petrol or diesel cars (ICE).  The higher prices associated with EVs has been detrimental to the uptake of EVs in the UK.  It is therefore very encouraging to see OEMs also commit their balance sheets to reduce the cost of acquisition for potential electric car owners.  We would hope that this is the commencement of a wider trend of other automotive manufacturers also ‘matching’ the UK plug-in car grant.  

Apart form the above, the MG announcement potentially also signals the start of increased competition from electric car manufacturers for leadership in the EV industry. 

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Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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