Seven British firms are aiming to improve electric vehicle (EV) by forming the Electric Vehicle Fleet Accelerator (EVFA). These businesses have also committed to converting their cars to EVs by 2030. However, to make this possible, they are demanding assistance from the government with the change.
The seven firms include BP, BT, Direct Line Group, Royal Mail, ScottishPower, Seven Trent, and Tesco. In total, their cars are about 70,000 in number and have identified four main areas to deliver UK’s EV ambitions.
Frustrations facing EV drivers
The major challenge amidst potential drivers is the concern of using and paying for public charging units. Building trust and making these units as simple as possible, like petrol cars, is key.
While there have been major improvements in technology, several EV drivers are faced with complexity and frustration with charging their cars. Besides having to worry about the availability of these charge points, sometimes, they are not even in good working conditions. Upon finding a reliable unit, another concern among EV drivers is the inability to be able to pay easily (with too many processes involved).
Currently, there are only about 9% of public charge points in the UK with contactless bank account payments. Charging should be a seamless experience for everyone.
While home charging helps reduce cost, people may not benefit from smart charging features in the future.
Innovations to accelerate the ambition
“The electrification of all EVs across the UK will mean a doubling of demand through our grid network and it won’t be ready without urgent action and investment in the grid system – and this investment must happen now and must come ahead of increasing demand,” Keith Anderson, CEO of ScottishPower, said.
These four areas are:
- Future-proofing the electricity network infrastructure: guaranteeing that price controls and funding measures show the true state of the challenge.
- Enabling the UK-wide rollout of charging infrastructure: setting clear funding frameworks, fast-tracking EV charging infrastructure, and aligning with local authorities to unlock land for charging infrastructure.
- Overcoming demand obstacles: providing safety and interoperability, increasing capital support for grid reinforcement costs, and access to public charging networks.
- Expanding the supply of UK-made vehicles
According to the group, procurement of the electric delivery van could unlock about £50 billion in infrastructure and fleets over the next five years. This move would add “future-proofing” the grid and presenting charging standards, next tо thе еxраnѕіоn of рublіс сhаrgіng infrastructure.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I wholeheartedly welcome this commitment by leading employers to fully electrify their van fleets by 2030. This announcement will be a major boost to British vehicle production.
“The government is committed to providing the electric charging points and other infrastructure the UK needs as we build back greener.”