The Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce has identified five key “enabling conditions” for the UK to increase the number of electric vehicles (EV) chargepoints by tenfold, requiring a £7 billion investment by 2035 mostly from the private sector.
The first of these conditions outlined in the Taskforce’s latest report, Charging the Future: Drivers for Success 2035, is the need for public charging to ramp up ahead of demand in order for drivers to rest assured that there will be available chargepoints when they decide to switch to an EV.
An estimated 253,00-661,000 chargers will be needed in the UK to meet demand, with a central estimation of 490,000 from the Taskforce. This is higher than the 300,000 target set by government for 2030.
Philip New, CEO at Energy Systems Catapult and the EV Energy Taskforce chair, said: “A key challenge in making the UK’s ambition to electrify road transport deliverable, is to define the type and scale of infrastructure that we’ll need and agree a coherent view of the goal and the order and priority of the steps needed to get us there.”
The second key point in the Taskforce's report, is around the need to provide local authorities with the necessary resources to scale up public chargepoints alongside securing local energy needs. This should involve Distributed Network Operators, who should collaborate with the transport planning departments from local authorities.
This is an issue that has been flagged before, include in data collected by Centrica last year that suggested local authorities are not installing chargepoints fast enough.
Next, the report highlights the importance of making sure that public chargers are being integrated into the energy system, and that they are easy to access. Long-distance trips will need 60,000 chargepoints by 2035 to be strategically placed along the road network for example, a tenfold increase of current numbers.
With the increased demand of electricity coming from the transport sector, which is expected to rise to 55TWh per year by 2035, smart charging is an essential part of the charging rollout in the UK. The reports fourth point highlights how this will be key to providing flexibility to the grid and reducing the cost of charging an EV, both at home or when using a slow-speed public chargers where it can reduce the price by 25%.
The last key point from the report is around the importance of correctly informing consumers, to allow them to switch to a new technology confidently, and ensure those without an access to private charging aren’t at a disadvantage.
More than half of public chargers will be needed to provide a solution to drivers without a private parking and local rapid-hub charging is seen as a “key part of this mix”.
More than 2.5 million battery electric cars will be needed to be sold each year by 2030 to ensure the UK is on target to decarbonise its transport system, which is a 13-fold increase from last years numbers.
“With greater certainty, we can build the confidence of those thinking of buying an electric vehicle, investing in a chargepoint or reinforcing the distribution network,” said New.