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May 2021
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Let the network take charge

Cecilia Routledge, Global Head of E-Mobility for vehicle charging specialist CTEK

2021 is the year for the EV charging infrastructure to shape up

By Cecilia Routledge, Global Head of E-Mobility for vehicle charging specialist CTEK

The Government has committed to phase out new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, 10 years earlier than originally planned. This is a key step on the ‘road to zero’ for net zero emissions in the UK by 2050. And, as the number of rechargeable vehicles on Britain’s roads increases, the need for a robust, extensive charging network becomes ever more critical – not only to meet the needs of today’s electric cars, but also because the availability of public charging stations is a key driver for motorists considering making the switch to electric.

Research from UK think tank Policy Exchange reveals that, by 2030, the UK is likely to need around 400,000 public charge points, meaning that charge points need to be installed five times faster than the current rate. So 2021 really is the year when the EV charging infrastructure needs to start shaping up.

Cecilia Routledge, Global Head of E-Mobility for vehicle charging specialist CTEK, gives her views on the trends that will shape the growth of the UK charging infrastructure in 2021.

  • Government funding and incentives will drive expansion. In line with the Government’s vision to have one of the best electric vehicle infrastructure networks in the world, their 10 point plan for a green industrial revolution published last November has committed £1.3 billion to accelerate infrastructure roll out with a focus on rapid charge points for motorways and major roads, as well as more on-street charge points near homes and workplaces, in a bid to make electric vehicle charging as easy as refuelling a petrol or diesel vehicle. This includes £20m of funding committed to the On-Street Residential Grant Scheme for 2021/21, which offers local authorities 75% of the capital costs to procure and install on-street charging points.
  • Charging infrastructure will become a ‘must have’ for new builds and refurbs. Charging infrastructure will increasingly be front of mind for urban developers and architects during the planning process. To support the current and future take up of electric vehicles, action is needed now to make buildings e-fit for the future, and a Government consultation is underway on proposals to make charging points mandatory for all new builds.

For non-residential buildings, the Government’s proposals for mandatory EV charging points go further to also cover buildings under refurbishment and, longer term (by 2025), existing non-residential buildings, too.

  • Smart charging will come to the fore. As the number of vehicles requiring charge increases, focus will turn to the impact this may have on the National Grid, especially as CTEK’s research reveals most people plug in when they get home from work, when there is already peak demand for electricity.

CTEK Chargestorm Connected 2, EV charging point

There is a Government consultation underway proposing that all EV charge points sold or installed in the UK must have smart charging functionality included. Smart charging, which is incorporated into CTEK’s Chargestorm® Connected 2 charging points as standard, allows users to plug in and set their vehicles to charge during off-peak hours, when there may be cheaper tariffs and lots of clean, renewable electricity generation available too.

  • Continued debate on the charging infrastructure. We can expect further debate on the charging infrastructure, everything from payment standards to smart charging, to transmission capacity and load balancing. The market is also under review by the Competition and Markets Authority, whose study on the charging sector is looking to establish how investment can be encouraged, while also making sure this fast-growing sector works well for UK drivers.

The future of sustainable transport lies with rechargeable vehicles, and we expect 2021 to be the year when charging infrastructure is at the forefront of development to support the Government’s drive to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles.

CTEK is the leading global brand in battery care and power management and, with over 10 year’s experience in EV charging technologies. CTEK’s E-mobility solutions are available globally. Products range from individual EV charge points for home charging to larger corporate and commercial installations with multiple charging stations, load balancing and seamless integration with monitoring and payment equipment.

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