The UK government has announced the funding of up to £40 million across 12 projects to ‘revolutionise the experience of owning electric vehicles in the UK’. These projects include:
- Solar-powered forecourts
- Underground charging systems and;
- EV wireless charging systems
Char.gy, a EV charging company has been awarded £2.3 million to develop innovative solutions for wireless charging, in particular residential streets. Wireless charging will make redundant the need for using cables on streets and pilot schemes are expected soon.
The announcement comes a year since the launch of the governments ‘Road to Zero Strategy’ to assist the transition to low emission transportation. Since the launch of the Road to Zero Strategy, the UK has witnesses more than a 60% increase in the sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) compared to 2018.
The UK governments strong commitment to the scaling of the UK EV market has set a high benchmark globally. Charging infrastructure has been a key concern for potential EV owners. The UK market is galloping at a fast pace in the deployment of public electric car charging infrastructure and recently achieved a significant milestone by surpassing the number of petrol filling stations in the UK.
The world of EVs and charging will evolve significantly and quickly with innovative solutions like wireless charging, autonomous driving and artificial intelligence supported solutions. We predict the change will be far more encompassing and faster than current predictions and market expectations.
Hot on the heels of the recent Jaguar Land Rover announcement, BMW has also announced its intention to invest in the UK automotive sector. The global car company has confirmed that the production of the all-electric Mini will commence in November 2019.
The EVs will be manufactured in Cowley, with deliveries starting in March 2020. The news will further boost the UK automotive industry which has witnessed significant uncertainty due to Brexit.
Moreover this will be Mini’s first attempt at producing an affordable mass market battery electric vehicle. The all-electric Mini will start at £24,400 including the UK governments Plug-In Car Grant (PiCG).
Certainly the respite required by the UK car sector, given the very challenging, trading and investment environment over the past few years. The fall-out from the ongoing Brexit fiasco, has made a difficult market more challenging. However, it is clear that boardrooms across the global automotive sector recognise the long term importance of the UK market, for both production and demand. Let us hope that James Dyson will follow suit!
The latest research findings by insurance behemoth Admiral, has revealed that registrations of electric and hybrid vehicles have increased 95% between 2016 and 2018. The research, which assessed 8,500 customers over a two year period, also found a national divide of ownership between the north and south. The research across 50 cities concluded that the north has 35% fewer electric vehicle registrations compared to the south. The top cities were Cardiff, Oxford and Bristol.
The north-south divide does not surprise us. Even a cursory glance at the distribution of public charging points in the UK offer us some insights. The distribution is skewed towards the south in comparison to northern regions. To encourage further adoption of low emission vehicles in the north, installing rapid/ fast charging electric car infrastructure is imperative.