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'Fuel Crisis' Leads to Spike in EV Interest - How Can Businesses Prepare?

'Fuel Crisis' Leads to Spike in EV Interest - How Can Businesses Prepare?
30 September 2021 | Updated 06 October 2021
 

In light of fuel supply issues throughout the UK, more drivers than ever are considering electric vehicles.

Car sales website carwow recorded that searches for EVs on its site increased by 56 per cent on Sunday 26 September. The organisation has also seen a 94 per cent surge in visits to their EV advice hub, as people look to learn more about living with EVs. Google trends data also indicates similar recent spikes:

 

Image

Picture: a graph showing a sharp rise in searches for electrics vehicles from September 5 onwards. Information correct as of 30 September

 

The Petrol Retailers Association, who represents 5,500 stations, estimated that more than a quarter (27 per cent) of its members' fuel stations were currently out of fuel (Thursday 30 September).

With the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars in the UK, such interest is only predicted to continue. However, adequate charging remains a stumbling block. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)  recently published a report raising concerns about charge point deployment, stating that access to suitable charging can be a “postcode lottery.”

Katie Hickford, Analyst at Cornwall Insight, said:

"As of 1 July 2021, the UK averaged 36 charging devices per 100,000 people, up from 34 per 100,000 in April. London and Scotland have the highest charging provision per 100,000 people, with 83 and 47 devices respectively.

“Currently, the approach to EV charge point rollout appears to be scattergun, with some Local Authorities securing funding to install charge points, whilst others have not."

"There is no doubt that these limitations are one of the factors preventing widespread adoption by the public, and the sooner these are solved, the better.”

 

The Workplace Charging Scheme Grant

 

A good starting point of businesses looking for help with EV charging installations is the Workplace Charging Scheme.

The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) is a voucher-based programme  that provides support towards the up-front costs of the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charge points.

It can reduce costs by up to £14,000, and is capped at £350 per charge point socket, up to 40 sockets per applicant business.

It's available to any business, charity or public authority, so long as you have sufficient off-street parking, and that your charging stations are installed by an OZEV-approved workplace charging station installer.

Find out more about the scheme and apply here.

 

How Can Businesses Better Prepare for the Transition to EVs?

 

Zenpark, a business working in the Parking-as-a-Service industry, believes that shared workplace charging is the answer. They are looking to revolutionise the parking real estate sector by launching its Plug&Share solution.

Plug&Share is aimed at real estate builders and owners who wish to deploy an efficient charging service for electric vehicles while limiting their costs. Their solution allows any private charging station to be shared between several users, thanks to booking charging slots.

Zenpark, who has ten projects already in operation and nearly 150 projects won in France, says that this model provides a cost-effective solution, as fewer charging points are needed.

William Rosenfeld, CEO and Co-Founder of Zenpark spoke about the benefits of shared public charging systems:

“… A private charging station shows a usage rate of only around 3 per cent on average. In other words, it is only used [for] 43 minutes per day, or less than one day per month, to satisfy the needs of one user. The current model of deployment, 1 station for 1 vehicle, is, therefore, an absurdity. In a building, it would be like having one elevator per apartment. 

“With the mass adoption of the sharing economy, we believe we will be able to deploy and operate nearly 250 charging hubs over the next 5 years."

 

Disruption-Free Charging

 

One problem is that not, only can commercial electric charging points costly and time-consuming, customers can face major disruption during the installation process; holes have to be dug, cement made, poured and left to dry and then stations installed. There’s also the added disruption caused by EV charging manufacturers changing fixing arrangements from one model to another.

It was from these problems that EV Blocks was launched in 2020. This charging solution has a universal adaptor plate (Patent pending) for the blocks, installation of electric vehicle charging stations and changing charging points are made much simpler because projects can commence before chargers have been specified or even selected.

Charging blocks can also be installed for future-proofing installations at the civil works stage, and can be installed in any weather conditions, thus reducing time and lost productivity.

 

Picture: a photograph of an electric car being charged

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 30 September 2021

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