Today the Government published is UK electric vehicle infrastructure strategy, the vision and action plan for electric vehicle charging infrastructure within the United Kingdom.
A few thoughts from Jeremy Yapp, Head of Flexible Energy Systems and manager of the BEAMA EV Infrastructure Group:
- The UK is already on track to meet the target of 300,000 charge points by 2030. This ambition is meaningless if it does not translate into a better experience for EV drivers. It also needs to be visible to ICE drivers; the gap between the actual experience of driving an EV and the infrastructure anxiety of those who don’t remains significant.
- The proposed £450m Local EV Infrastructure Fund is a significant intervention and should be welcomed. Alongside the £950m Rapid Charge Fund and other initiatives, it is delivering a scenario where access to capital is no longer the ‘critical path’ for the infrastructure rollout. Instead, there are other factors limiting take-up.
- Now we need to improve planning (including electricity system planning), cut red tape for public and private procurement and installation (including the costs of grid connections), continue to support the take-up of private off-street charge points, and – wait for it – reduce the waiting times and sticker prices of electric vehicles.
I attended the SMMT Electrified Conference this week and heard a lot about how infrastructure anxiety is supposedly holding back EV sales. Unfortunately there were no speakers or panellists representing the infrastructure supply chain (perhaps they’ll ask me next time). And I didn’t hear much about vehicle availability or vehicle prices either, but I hope to see some improvement on both issues as the Zero-emission vehicle mandate begins to take effect.