In this week’s EV Roundup, SSE and Zest have opened new chargepoints, while charging anxiety is resulting in drivers willing to pay to secure a chargepoint in advance. A campaign by char.gy and Vauxhall is also encouraging local authorities to develop plans to roll out domestic charging for drivers without access to off-road parking.
char.gy and Vauxhall partner on Electric Streets of Britain campaign
Chargepoint installer char.gy has been selected by Vauxhall to partner in the Electric Streets of Britain initiative to develop on-street charging.
The campaign will see the companies working with local authorities to plan and deliver new on-street chargepoints for the 40% of British households without driveways.
The companies hope to demonstrate how chargepoints can be installed with minimum disruption and to demonstrate their usefulness to residents without driveways.
Data from Transport for London shows that 80% of all EV charging takes place at home, meaning domestic chargepoints need to be expanded to prevent EV adoption stalling.
In urban areas, up to 60% of UK households lack access to off-street parking, and char.gy say that the Electric Streets of Britain campaign will help accelerate adoption of on-street chargepoints.
The campaign will see Vauxhall Motors provide an enablement fund to local authorities to deliver their chargepoint rollout plans.
John Lewis, chief executive of char.gy, said: “We are delighted to be part of this collaboration with Vauxhall, a fellow British brand dedicated to sustainable mobility. Our track record demonstrates our capability to deploy charging points precisely where they are needed, enabling residents to access affordable overnight charging options and maintain economical driving practices.”
James Taylor, managing director of Vauxhall, added: “As a company dedicated to collaborating with local councils to provide easily accessible and cost-effective charging solutions for residents, char.gy stands out as a perfect ally for this new initiative.”
SSE opens 10-bay EV charging hub in Wiltshire
SSE Energy Solutions has opened a new public 10-bay EV charging hub at its Spa Road depot in Melksham, Wiltshire.
The 5 Dual Head ultra-rapid 150kW chargers will service SSE’s local fleet of electric vehicles as well as being available to the general public. The high-powered charging units can allow drivers to recharge their vehicles in as short a time as possible.
SSE has plans to build 500 ultra-rapid EV charging hubs in the UK and Ireland by 2030 with a number of sites already open or under construction. The company has also committed to transition its fleet of 2,500 vehicles to electric, with over 70% of the fleet already electrified.
According to ZapMap, there was only one public ultra-rapid EV charge point for Melksham’s 18,000 residents prior to the new hub.
Jonathan Richardson, electric vehicle construction manager for SSE, said: “At SSE, we approach EV infrastructure with what we like to call ‘Whole Systems Thinking’. This means pursuing every avenue to expand the UK’s charging network – including partnerships with land and property developers, collaborations with local authorities, and, in instances like Melksham, providing publicly-accessible ultra-rapid charging on our own premises.”
Simon Gray, head of fleet at SSE, said: “We’re delighted that the UK and Welsh governments are recognising EV infrastructure as a priority in the path to Net Zero, pledging earlier this summer [June 2023] £7 million and £15 million respectively to boost the country’s more rural EV charging capabilities.
“SSE too is putting its money where its mouth is. As part of our Net Zero Acceleration Plan, we’re investing £10 million a day to unleash the low-carbon infrastructure that the UK needs for its net zero transition as part of our commitment to invest £12.5 billion in clean energy solutions by 2026.
67% of UK EV drivers would pay to reserve a charging bay says new report
A new report by SMS says the UK’s public charging infrastructure needs a reboot to be ready for future demand, with the slow rollout causing drivers frustration.
The lack of availability and accessibility of chargepoints means that 67% of those polled said they would be prepared to pay a premium to reserve a public charging bay to ensure they can charge their EVs.
27% of drivers would be willing to pay up to £10 and 33% would pay up to £5 to avoid ‘charge anxiety’. 7% would be prepared to pay over £10, according to the study of over 1,000 UK EV drivers.
Although 94% of respondents said they were happy with their cars, 67% said they wish they had known more about public EV chargepoint accessibility before buying their EV.
Only 5% of people said they relied solely on their home chargepoint, and 20% remain totally reliant on public chargepoints and have no chargepoint availability at home or work.
70% of EV drivers still have limited public charging options in their area, with 81% saying they had to wait for a public charge point. 30% of people said they had to wait from 30 minutes to an hour to access a chargepoint, and 27% between one to two hours.
Mark Winn, head of EV strategy at SMS said: “Home EV charging may be on the rise, but it’s critical that the UK’s growing number of EV drivers have adequate access to fully functioning public EV charge points while they are on the move. However, in the race to meet EV charging expectations, targets and market share, companies have deployed – and continue to install – the wrong type of chargers, in the wrong location.”
“Added to this, the payment options are either substandard or created to monopolise the market, and infrastructure maintenance seems to be firmly off the ‘to-do’ list. This is creating a ‘perfect storm’ of customer dissatisfaction, frustration and charge anxiety for EV drivers, and the future of electric motoring in the UK is coming under unfair scrutiny as a result. We simply must do more,” Winn added.
Zest opens more rapid EV chargepoints in North Yorkshire
EV chargepoint installer Zest has announced the installation of six new chargepoints across three sites in Yorkshire.
The chargepoints have been installed at Cleveland Way Car Park in Helmsley, Water Lane Car Park in Malton, and Eastgate Car Park in Pickering.
Zest partnered with North Yorkshire District Council to install the chargepoints, which will be operated and maintained by Zest. Yorkshire contractors Jones Electric carried out the installation.
Councillor Keane Duncan, North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for highways and transportation said: “We’re delighted to partner with Zest to provide rapid charge points in Helmsley, Malton, and Pickering. Our strategy is to support North Yorkshire residents and businesses, and ensure we remain a destination of choice for visitors with electric vehicles. As the EV market continues to grow, we are determined to keep pace with the demand for a high-quality charging experience.”
Robin Heap, Zest chief executive, said: “These high-quality micro hubs inject vitality to rural towns, making it easier to switch to EV, attracting new visitors and encouraging business to invest. North Yorkshire Council is backing its ambitious strategy with bold action, and we are proud they chose to work with Zest.”
Two other charging facilities in Pickering and Norton-on-Derwent will be added in the next phase of the rollout.