Skip navigation
Powerstar

Power resilience for a net zero world

Contact Us

Blog

How does the UK solve the EV infrastructure challenge?

Date

Sector

Any

Application

Technologies

In November 2020, the UK declared an ambitious plan to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, with hybrid vehicles following in 2035. Over a year on, the picture looks very different as energy prices have soared, while there are growing doubts over the UK’s ability to service a huge increase in EVs on the roads with sufficient charging infrastructure.

Concerns around how EV infrastructure in the UK is lagging behind the rapid increase in EV sales will do little to allay the ‘charging anxiety’ that has become the most commonly cited reason for motorists delaying the purchase of an EV. In a 2021 survey of UK drivers, 37% stated that a lack of charging infrastructure, particularly fast chargers, was their chief concern.

Servicing the Growth in EV Sales

Sales of EVs have grown rapidly in recent years, including a nearly two-fold increase between 2020 and 2021, when sales jumped from 108,000 to 190,000. Sales are continuing to grow, with hybrid or electric vehicles making up 72% of the growth in new car registrations during January 2022.

While sales of electric vehicles themselves are growing at a healthy rate, there are growing concerns the infrastructure needed to keep them on the road is not increasing at the same rate. Car manufacturers including Volkswagen have highlighted this mismatch, with a 76% increase in pure EVs over the past year seeing only a 30% increase in charging infrastructure.

By 2030, the Government intends one in every three vehicles on the road to be fully electric. Currently, they account for just one in 100. While the South East and Scotland are on course to install their share of the 430,000 rapid chargers needed to support them, a further 52% of UK councils spent nothing on EV charging infrastructure in the year proceeding August 2021. Two thirds have also received complaints about the availability or reliability of charging points over the same period.

What does the energy crisis mean for EV?

One of the primary drivers of EV uptake, setting aside sustainability, is lower running costs, typically enough to offset a higher initial purchase price. With the rapid increase of UK electricity prices, this sum is no longer so convincing. Taking an average September 2021 rate of 24p per kWh, the cost of running an EV doubled. With some rapid chargers costing as much as 69p per kWh, EVs become similar in running cost, if not slightly higher, than fossil fuel engines.

The current energy crisis is expected to continue, but taking a longer view of energy prices, while the markets will remain volatile over the next decade prices will decline compared to the record highs seen recently. Over the lifespan of a typical EV, prices will generally trend significantly lower than the spikes seen in September and since, allowing EVs to maintain their economic advantage over internal combustion engines.

One way to minimise both volatile energy costs and the slow rate of infrastructure rollout when it comes to your own EV fleets is to take greater control of your site energy use. The installation of on-site EV charging makes your organisation much less vulnerable to problems surrounding a lack of available infrastructure, particularly for the growing number of staff and visitors that will commute using electric vehicles.

Similarly, on-site generation, such as solar PV, can be used to dramatically reduce the cost of the electricity used by your EV chargers. Both of these technologies work much more effectively when incorporated into a site-wide microgrid that is controlled by a battery energy storage system (BESS). This allows on-site generation and EV charging to be balanced much more effectively, storing additional power generated when conditions are good and then accessing it at another time to charge EVs when convenient.

Find out more about Powerstar’s battery-buffered EV charging solutions here

EV Charging

You might also be interested in

Blog

Balancing Resilience with Net Zero

The race to achieve net zero, and mitigate the most damaging effects of rising global temperatures, means that companies are facing enormous changes in how they operate.

Blog

How to Use Energy Storage to Achieve Net Zero

Every type of business has a responsibility to improve daily operations to reduce carbon emissions. The Government is also putting more pressure on certain industries to be more aware of their carbon footprint and to become more environmentally friendly.

Cookies

This website uses cookies. You can read more information about why we do this, and what they are used for here.

Accept Decline