The Electric Vehicle Revolution is upon us but looking at current data and trends in the sector it looks like there may still be some hurdles to overcome.
With a huge customer demand for Electric Vehicles and a shift in marketing from major car companies EV charging points have doubled in the UK between 2017 – 2019 (according to data sourced from RAC and Zap Map). The rapid growth has also been linked to the governments decision to bring forward a ban on petrol, diesel and hybrid cars to 2035, but is the UK ready?
The government has said it “will not own or operate a charge point network now or in the future”, instead it will be left to the private sector to build and maintain a stable and effective network that will be supported by funding initiatives worth £400m.
Compliance checking software companies such as EV-comply have built desktop & mobile applications for charge point installers to track and automate processes which will ultimately help to improve the speed and accuracy of public and private charge point installations throughout the UK going forward.
What is needed is more than just an extra quantity of charge points though, the quality of charging will also have to change which can be achieved by making EV charging faster, smarter and easier than it is today.
Here are some key examples of how this can be achieved;
Teslas supercharger boasts charging of up to 80% in 30 minutes and this is the most common high speed charging system on the market today. Porsche and BMW are currently developing rival products and have prototypes delivering charges equivalent to 99km in under 5 minutes.
With the right infrastructure EVs can be turned into ‘batteries on wheels’ with bi-directional charging being introduced. This allows EV owners to give energy back to the grid with Vehicle to grid transfers helping to stabilise energy supplies as demands rise (potentially lowering EV owners tariffs in the process).
Long term charging goals are to remove cables all together – wireless charging is a common sight with smartphones these days and the technology can be also applied to EVs. Fortum (a company based in Norway) has created a fast wireless charging network for taxi fleets in Oslo and aims to make the city’s entire fleet have zero emissions by 2023. Another startup named ‘Lightyear’ has created an even easier solution using Solar and claim to have built “the worlds first long-range solar charging car” which is expected to be made available to the public to purchase mid 2021.
The future is moving forward, but powered in a different way.
Author: Jordan Reynolds MBCS, CCO of EV-comply.