The EV industry has seen a problem for many years where the lack of public charging points for EVs was a deal-breaker for customers going electric. Many people didn’t feel like they could make the switch to a greener vehicle until there was an extensive infrastructure of public charging stations to support their busy lifestyle.
However, there seems to be a turning point happening all over the UK as charging points are now seen as a smart investment. With EVs taking a smaller hit in sales than traditional vehicles due to the coronavirus pandemic, it seems like this market will bounce back better than ever. This means public charging points are a necessity to support the rise of EVs on the road.
In the past month, Germany included public charging points in its economic budget and the EU announced that it wants to increase public chargers by 800,000 by 2025. Both of these facts set a precedent that we need to be investing EV charging points, not only to support our country’s zero carbon target, but also because this investment in infrastructure will create jobs to give the economy an extra boost.
The types of companies investing in public charging points are major oil and utility companies that clearly see the need to diversify their company to keep up with the changing market. For example, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, which bought over the charging network NewMotion in 2017, now owns 142,000 chargers across Europe. Their rival, BP Plc, bought Chargemaster and its 7,000 charge points in 2018. These companies are thought to see the EV market as a way to save their companies and a life-line for when the inevitable crash of the oil market occurs.
In the UK, during a second round of funding, a further £80 million was raised to support the government’s campaign to finance Britain’s EV charging infrastructure. Overall, £400 million is needed for this, but the fund manager’s say they are well on track to meet the target. Private investors have been pledging money for this fund and then the treasury has committed to matching this investment pound-for-pound to reach the goal.
The government claims to have supported the installation of more than 24,000 public charging points, including 2400 rapid chargers as part of its road to zero strategy. The Transport Secretary announced in January 2020 that government funding would be doubled to £10 million for the installation of charge points on residential streets so that those without off-road parking could have the option of an EV as their next car.
So what does all this mean for the world of EV? More major companies are looking to get involved with the public charging point market and to support the government in its endeavour to create the infrastructure needed for the boom in EV sales. It also means that if you had previously been put-off buying an EV because of the lack of public charging points, this will not be a problem for you in just a couple of years.
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