Electric Vehicles – what’s slowing the rise?

Electric Vehicles were set for a strong year with manufacturers set to release more than 75 new electric models across 2020.

Pre-covid-19 the automotive industry had seen declining registrations on traditionally fuelled models, in March 2020 year on year registrations on new petrol and diesel models were down 49% and 61% respectively, while alternatively fuelled vehicles (EV’s and PHEV’s) had seen a 61% increase year on year.

2020 has been a year that presented many challenges, a global pandemic slowing global growth and manufacturing production, as well as national lockdowns affecting retailer’s ability to deliver vehicles to customers.

These challenges were going to affect the industry exponentially, but this combined with a large number of supporting businesses and government agencies furloughing staff meant the infrastructure industry struggled to support the consumers.

It’s not all Covid-19

This is not all directly Covid-19 related. A number of the installers we talked to in our research mentioned being owed large sums of money in grant payments from government departments. These stem back nearly 12 months, some amounts owed are over six figure sums.

It seems the meteoric rise of electric vehicles not only took the automotive industry by surprise but also the government and supporting departments, the demand for chargepoints at both a business and domestic level has increased massively with the majority of installers overwhelmed with work.

The bottlenecks for larger electric vehicle expansion now lie with the Automotive Industry and government departments who manage the grants and incentives.

The appetite from businesses is now becoming more apparent with large fleet operators calling on the government to do more. The UK Electric Fleets Coalition whose members collectively operate over 400,000 vehicles run by international non-profit The Climate Group are made up of members including BT, Anglian Water, DPD, Centrica and Openreach.

The UK Electric Fleets Coalition have suggested the government introduce new measures to build back better following Covid-19, they are recommending a comprehensive package which includes the following measures.

  • Set a 2030 target: 100% of new car and van sales to be fully electric by 2030 (with exceptions for the small number of vehicles where this may not be possible).
  • Stimulate supply to meet business demand: Introduce a zero-emission vehicle mandate to require vehicle manufacturers to produce an annually increasing percentage of zero-emission vehicles.
  • Drive demand: Extend grants for electric vehicles and charging points through to at least 2022, when EVs are expected to start competing on price with conventional vehicles.
  • Invest in infrastructure: Speed up the roll out of public charge-points across the UK for use by any payment system.

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