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Speeding up the move to electric cars

We will be discussing the shift towards electric vehicles in the UK at our Healthy Cities forum on 9th October at The Crystal Building in London’s docklands.

The Renewable Energy Association, the UK’s largest trade association for renewable energy and clean technologies, has launched its “Forward View” for the evolution of the UK’s electric vehicle market.

The Association has been outlining the rapid pace of technological change expected by the organisation between 2017 and 2040, when the Government’s ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles will come into force.

REA says its “Forward Look” anticipates that consumer behaviour will change as electric vehicles become more widespread. The report anticipates that:

  • A significant increase in miles driven electrically, in fully electric and extended range EVs, prompting a shift away from traditional filling stations, with the majority of charging taking place at home and at work. This would be supplemented by public charging at supermarkets and other retail sites, public car parks, and at charging “hubs” along major motorways.

  • Such charging could be supplemented by smart tariffs (which could allow consumers to charge at different prices, depending on need and grid capability), onsite renewable energy, and onsite battery storage

  • The UK could grow its existing auto manufacturing supply base, particularly if new investment in battery manufacturing facilities is secured and a reliable and extensive charge infrastructure system is put in place to make EVs an easy option for consumers.

The REA is calling for key Government interventions to support this shift, including:

  • Consistent minimum quantity and specification for EV charging at all new supermarkets, car parks, and other retail outlets over a certain size. Such sites should have a minimum level of EV charging installed, with the planning to add further capacity later

  • Regulation to require the installation of three-phase electricity supply in all new homes and integrated charging into all residential developments

  • Encouragement of the use of onsite renewables and energy storage at major charge stations to provide low-cost, low-carbon power and reduce grid stress

  • The speedy enactment of the Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan launched by the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy in July

If such changes are implemented the REA believes that Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles could make up 50 per cent on new vehicle sales in the UK by 2025.

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