The UK has been ranked the fifth best-prepared nation for the electric vehicle (EV) transition by EY, but complacency must be resisted if it is to maintain this rank for another year.
According to the professional services partnership EY’s latest EV Country Readiness Index the UK ranks fifth out of the world’s top 20 markets “despite intensifying challenges around supply and regulation”.
China remains in the top spot in the rankings, followed by Norway. The US has jumped an impressive four places and now overtakes the UK in third.
The UK’s overall ranking remains unchanged, largely due to significant demand for new EVs with Battery EV (BEV) and Plug-in Hybrid EV (PHEV) sales expected to rise to 26% this year – up from 21% last year – which is well above the average across all 20 markets which sits at 19%.
Additionally, 71% of new vehicles sold between this year and 2027 in the UK are forecast to be EVs – an 11% rise from 2022.
Overall, the UK remains ranked sixth for the EV transition in terms of demand.
The nation’s ranking for EV supply has fallen to 8th this year, down from 7th in 2022. This was accompanied by a fall in regulatory ranking as the UK moved from third to fourth behind Norway, China and the US.
Moreover, although UK EV sales are expected to grow by 36% in 2023 compared to 2022 (a 22.7% increase), it still lags at almost 50% lower than the average across the top 20 markets (64%).
The UK government has ramped up government and regulatory support for the EV transition, including a £1.6 billion investment into the development of the nation’s charging infrastructure. This funding includes a £950 million grant for the Rapid Charging Fund (RCF) for the installation of Direct Current (DC) chargers, noted EY.
“It’s encouraging that the UK remains one of the frontrunners in pursuit of an effective transition towards EV adoption, but there is still scope for significant improvement. As the clear global leader according to the Index, China has demonstrated the impact that appropriate regulation along with a localised supply chain and robust infrastructure implementation can have. There are lessons to be learned from that for the UK market, and the onus will continue to be on Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and the Government to collaborate on this challenge going forward,” said Maria Bengtsson, EY’s UK EV Lead.
“Potential delays to and a lack of clarity on the Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) Mandate, along with uncertainty around plans and progress on the supply side are particular challenges the UK continues to navigate, while regulatory incentives have room for improvement, particularly when compared with legislation brought about in other competing markets. In the US, for example, the Inflation Reduction Act has contributed to the country climbing four places into third within the Index’s rankings. However, there are positives to take into account, including recent encouraging sales growth, particularly for new EVs, driven by increasing popularity among consumers and businesses.”
Earlier this month, data from New Automotive revealed that EV registrations had increased by over 70% since August 2022, but chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), Mike Hawes, voiced concern over continuing this trajectory amidst lacking information around the ZEV mandate which is set to come into force on 1 January 2024.
Current± publisher Solar Media is hosting its EV World Congress event in London this 10-11 October. The conference will focus on some of the key discussion points from across the EV sector including delivering coherent EV charging strategies, whether the UK is on course for its 2030 charging target, vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology and more. More information, including how to attend, can be read here.