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Up to 40,000 EV chargers need to be installed per month by 2035, report suggests

Connected Kerb's Armadillo charger. Image: Connected Kerb.

Connected Kerb's Armadillo charger. Image: Connected Kerb.

Up to 40,000 chargers would need to be installed per month between now and 2035 for every motorist without private parking to have access to a dedicated charger.

This is according to a new report from EV charging company Connected Kerb. However, the report states that a more realistic measure would be one charger for every four of these motorists, requiring 10,000 chargers to be installed per month within that time frame.

This is dramatically contrasted by the number of EV chargers installed at the end of 2019, which Connected Kerb said was standing at 19,000.

In its research, it conducted a detailed questionnaire with 500 people with an interest in EVs, which included 212 existing EV owners. Of these, 64% said they do the majority of their charging overnight, with 11% using public rapid chargers, 5% ultra-fast chargers and 5% charging at work.

In addition, 51% said public rapid chargers were only useful when they were away from home, with 29% saying they were often unavailable, 29% saying they were often broken and 24% saying they were expensive.

Connected Kerb’s report therefore gives recommendations for rolling out EV infrastructure that is fit for purpose, it said.

The rollout of charging infrastructure should be deployed just ahead of local demand, as if there are too many chargers the spaces will sit empty and if there are too few this will act as a disincentive for EV adoption. This therefore requires careful planning and modelling using data to identify viable locations which are likely to see a gradual uptake in EVs, the report said.

Specific deployment programmes should also be designed for disadvantaged communities to avoid a two-tier system, and customer focused payment models should be created.

Deployment should be coordinated between the public and private sector, it said, suggesting local authorities, builders and employers should coordinate activity on charging to ensure roll out matches demand.

EV infrastructure creates a wide range of new investment and business opportunities, the report states, which could be attractive in the current period of low interest rates and momentum behind green investment.

It goes on to suggest that the next stage should focus on deployments, with long term sustainable business models, clear success metrics and agreed procurement processes that are designed to give confidence in the long-term strategy and attract wider sources of investment and business buy-in.

Other recommendations include:

  • Putting charging infrastructure where drivers want to charge.
  • Combining deployment with engagement.
  • Designing charging infrastructure to be long lasting and scalable.
  • Deploying as part of a ‘smart clean cities’ strategy and national energy strategy.

Connected Kerb also commissioned a more general survey across 1,000 people in the general population, which found that the main objectives to EV adoption are upfront cost (53%), access to charging (45%) and range (38%).

Chris Pateman-Jones, CEO of Connected Kerb, said people need to feel that switching is cheaper and more convenient for EVs to become mainstream, which means "deployment of charging infrastructure that is aligned to the reality of their existing routines".

"Creating an EV charging infrastructure that enables the majority of the UK to move to electric vehicles in 15 years needs bold thinking and significant investment.

"Critically, it means moving from piecemeal deployment of charging stations that no one really wants, to a strategic infrastructure plan directly aligned to user needs," he added.

The company itself recently announced it would be rolling out wireless charging in London, the Midlands and Scotland in the first half of 2020.


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