Episode 5 – Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy

Transcript:

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the time for transition. We are switching to Electric Vehicle. And the UK plays an important role in this transition. The UK can expect to see fewer and fewer new petrol and diesel cars in showrooms each year over the next ten years as part of the Government’s new plan to force manufacturers to accelerate the switch to electric vehicles.

Our round-up of the latest green news, products, and deals will keep you up to speed from renewable energy to electric vehicles. Hi Guys, my name is Charlie, and once again, welcome to Civils Bites podcast.

Electric Vehicle, Electric Vehicle ChargePoint (EVCP), Mobility, Infrastructure, Circular Economy, Whole Life Cycle Costing
Electric Vehicle, Electric Vehicle ChargePoint (EVCP), Mobility, Infrastructure, Circular Economy, Whole Life Cycle Costing

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy

Meera Vadher is a Director at Flint Global. She was until recently Special Adviser to the Transport Secretary and, before that, Chief of Staff to Mayor Andy Street.

Love them or loath them, Electric Vehicles (EVs) are booming. EV sales were the auto sector’s standout success last year. More EVs were sold than in the previous five years combined, and 2022 is the year EVs outsell diesel cars.

Fears about fuel resilience and the rising cost of petrol and diesel will lead to more families taking the plunge, perhaps sooner than envisaged.

Greater EV adoption means we reduce our energy vulnerability. But this is not a quick fix, given that only two percent of UK cars are electric or hybrid (as of December 2021).

The long-awaited UK electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure strategy, the Government’s plan for building the infrastructure around future EV demand projections, encouraging consumers to buy in confidence that there will be adequate charge points for all, was released late last month.

The Government accepts that the pace of electric vehicle infrastructure deployment is too slow. By 2030 ten million vehicles, a quarter of all cars and vans, will need to be zero-emission at the tailpipe to meet national climate commitments. The Government wants to increase the number of charge points tenfold to 300,000.

The solution? 

Three broad solutions are offered:

  • Invest in the strategic road network.
  • Develop and implement local strategies.
  • Implement consumer-focused reforms.

Of the three, the most impactful will be the local measures, as they will force local authorities to have a plan; £1.6bn of funding is confirmed, but largely from existing sources. The Treasury is holding its line of not announcing funding outside of set-piece Treasury events.

The key tools to achieve this ambitious target are the £950m Rapid Charging Fund, a newly announced £450m Local EV Infrastructure Fund, and upcoming legislation to regulate charge points, driving the shift towards open data and contactless payment.

However, this does not mean Government can start rolling out more charge points from now. There is much more detailed work to do ahead of implementation, and we won’t see a material shift in installation pace until at least mid-2023.

Electric Vehicle, Electric Vehicle ChargePoint (EVCP), Mobility, Infrastructure, Circular Economy, Whole Life Cycle Costing
Electric Vehicle, Electric Vehicle ChargePoint (EVCP), Mobility, Infrastructure, Circular Economy, Whole Life Cycle Costing

Deploying funding on the Strategic Road Network

The Government has previously said that there would be at least six, but up to nine, ultra-rapid charge points per motorway service area. The strategy takes this further, pushing for more than 12 of these charge points at some sites.

Significantly, there will be further consultation on mandating that service area operators and large fuel retailers must meet minimum ChargePoint numbers at specific sites.

We can expect this consultation fairly soon as the Government will be keen to get any legislation passed in the next session of Parliament, which starts after the Queen’s Speech on 10 May (popcorn ready).

However, the £950m Rapid Charging Fund will not go live until 2023 because of further consultation, which is much later than expected. The next few months will be used to flesh out the details between departments, where there is likely some disagreement on the best use of the fund.

Electric Vehicle, Electric Vehicle ChargePoint (EVCP), Mobility, Infrastructure, Circular Economy, Whole Life Cycle Costing
Electric Vehicle, Electric Vehicle ChargePoint (EVCP), Mobility, Infrastructure, Circular Economy, Whole Life Cycle Costing

Local Charging Strategies

The Government says it will legislate for a statutory obligation on Local Authorities to develop and implement local charging strategies. They will also be responsible for planning for the electrification of fleets and developing new commercial models.

The strategy points to the potential to consolidate charging funds for greater transparency and clarity for investors and operators.

This part of the strategy is important given the Government’s criticism for spatial disparities in EV charging infrastructure. By giving LAs new duties, the Government can assess progress and determine future funding for their successful delivery.

Expect some shaming of (Labour-led) councils in future Transport Orals and talk of Levelling Up vehicle electrification.

Of the total £1.6bn allocated to EV infrastructure under this Government, around £500m will be used for local charging infrastructure.

Of that, £450m of that is for local charging schemes, and £50m is reserved for helping Local Authorities properly resource themselves to develop their plans; much needed in many areas of the country that have not been able to take advantage of previous funding schemes because of capacity constraints.

Consumer-focused interventions

The Government will introduce legislation to regulate the ChargePoint market. This will ensure open data, price transparency, payment methods (contactless), and reliability.

The upcoming legislation is also expected to cover minimum standards and require all chargers to be smart. ChargePoint will need to meet 99 per cent reliability standards by the end of 2023, putting pressure on providers to maintain and upgrade ChargePoint’s regularly.

EV drivers are constantly frustrated by the different payment mechanisms and apps required on other charge points, let alone when charge points are out of use. Moving to a contactless, easier-to-understand pricing system, where you know the ChargePoint will be working, should help debunk range anxiety and ease-of-use fears.

Cost Management, Circular Economy, Whole Life Cycle Costing, Civil Engineering, Enabling Works, Pragmatic Approach, Charge Point (EVCP)
Cost Management, Circular Economy, Whole Life Cycle Costing, Civil Engineering, Enabling Works, Pragmatic Approach, Electric Vehicle Charge Point (EVCP)

Gaps and opportunities

There are still some gaps and opportunities for the Government to simplify delivery. For example, instead of announcing planning reform for charge points, it has committed to exploring options for introducing a unified consent process, including a method for obtaining planning permission and highway consent simultaneously.

The strategy does not focus on the future of motoring taxes or the issue of electricity supply.

Given the recent headlines about automotive supply chain issues exacerbating issues in domestic car production, it is easy to forget about the long-term need to build more charge points. The Government has stayed true to its word by publishing this strategy, albeit delayed, and its aim to reach 300,000 public charge points by 2030, despite the wider issues in the sector.

It is clear from the Prime Minister’s comments on the strategy and the narrative surrounding it that the focus on net-zero going forward will be hinged on the simple message of “driving down our dependence on external energy supplies.”

For those who say that Net Zero is dead, it’s not. It’s just having a makeover.

Electric Cars’ More Cost-Effective Than Petrol Rivals’

  • Electric vehicles are more cost-effective long-term than petrol/diesel rivals’
  • Annual running costs for petrol/diesel vehicles ‘are twice that of EVs.’

Electric vehicles work out more cost-effective to own over several years compared with cars running on traditional fuels such as petrol and diesel, according to research from LV=.

The insurer’s Electric Car Cost index analysed outright ownership and car finance deals and the running costs of nine popular electric vehicles against their petrol or diesel rivals over an extended period. 

Cost Management, Circular Economy, Whole Life Cycle Costing, Civil Engineering, Enabling Works, Pragmatic Approach, Charge Point (EVCP)
Cost Management, Circular Economy, Whole Life Cycle Costing, Civil Engineering, Enabling Works, Pragmatic Approach, Electric Vehicle Charge Point (EVCP)

What’s Happening In The UK Energy Market?

Currently, there are no energy deals priced below standard tariffs, so we have suspended our switching service.

According to LV=’s findings, three of the electric cars, the Nissan Leaf, VW ID3, and MG ZS EV worked out cheaper to own over seven years than their petrol or diesel equivalents. The purchase price, tax, insurance, fuel, and maintenance costs were all considered.

LV= said that the overall savings gained from electric cars were heavily influenced by their lower average annual running costs. It calculated a figure of £1,304pa for electric vehicles compared with £2,610pa for their petrol and diesel counterparts.

LV= said: “Within seven years of purchase, electric car owners who buy their vehicle will save money compared with those who purchased a petrol or diesel car due to the regular saving that comes with the lower running costs.

“Additionally, with electric cars traditionally having a longer life span and requiring less maintenance, the savings can be even bigger.”

Smart Energy Plan to Help Cut Bills

· Government announces plans to help consumers cut their energy bills

· ‘Smart’ systems will save £10bn in energy sector costs 

The UK government and Ofgem, the energy regulator, have announced plans for smart technologies to help consumers cut their bills and boost energy efficiency as demand for electricity grows and fossil fuels are phased out. 

The Government estimated that unleashing the full potential of smart systems and flexibility within the energy sector could reduce the system’s costs by up to £10 billion a year by 2050.

This saving could be reflected in lower energy bills for consumers.

The Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan and Energy Digitalisation Strategy were revealed by the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. The initiative aims to deliver the commitments made by the Government in its recent Energy White Paper.

The Government said smart and flexible energy systems will be needed if the UK meets its commitment to tackling climate change by achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. It is predicted that reducing the use of fossil fuels will coincide with increased consumer demand for electricity. 

This will require a system that guarantees a supply of clean energy from renewable sources “even when the wind is not blowing, or the sun is not shining,” the Government said.

In a separate move to help consumers take control of their energy use and reduce bills, the Government has also called for evidence on technologies that allow electric vehicles to export electricity from their batteries back to the grid or homes during times of higher demand.

Cost Management, Circular Economy, Whole Life Cycle Costing, Civil Engineering, Enabling Works, Pragmatic Approach,Charge Point (EVCP)
Cost Management, Circular Economy, Whole Life Cycle Costing, Civil Engineering, Enabling Works, Pragmatic Approach, Electric Vehicle Charge Point (EVCP)

EV Chargers Sent To Coventry

  • Coventry has more public electric vehicle chargers per capita than anywhere else in the UK
  • London has the largest number of public chargers overall
  • Interactive map shows the location of nearest public chargers

Coventry has more public electric vehicle (EV) chargers per capita than anywhere else in the UK, according to the latest research from Carwow, the new and used car platform.

Most EV owners charge their car from home. But with one EV charger for every 890 people, Carwow said the West Midlands city leads the way, followed by Milton Keynes (1,027) and London (1,630).

At 5,683, London tops the table with the highest public EV charge points, followed by Coventry (486) and Nottingham (343).

Carwow has designed an interactive map to show drivers the location of their nearest public EV charging point.

Carwow also calculated that, for the first time, the range for the average EV on sale in the UK is now just over 200 miles on a single charge. It said the breakthrough was down to huge investment and innovation by EV manufacturers.

So this is the future of Electric Vehicles. I hope you have a better perspective on how Electric Vehicle infrastructure Strategy. I would ask for your leave. Don’t forget to hit the like button if you enjoyed the podcast. 

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