UK prime minister Boris Johnson will announce a new electric vehicle strategy on Monday, centering on measures to ensure drivers have more places to charge as the EV transition picks up pace.
The new measures to be announced by Johnson will include 145,000 chargers in new homes and buildings, adding to 250,000 home and workplace points already installed in the UK.
Additionally, existing buildings undergoing “largescale renovations” with more than 10 spaces will be required to install points, under new rules.
According to the statement on the announcement released by the UK government, it will also look into “easier and simpler” ways for drivers to pay for charging while travelling such as a contactless payment system.
Johnson will describe the announcement as a “pivotal moment”, underlining the importance of adapting the UK economy to the “green industrial revolution.”
Electric vehicles are already becoming a common sight in the UK; in October, battery electric vehicle (BEVs) sales rose 73.1% from 2020 and now account for 15.2% of the entire market. Sitting atop the broader auto sales leaderboard is the ubiquitous Tesla Model 3, having outsold the Vauxhall Corsa and BMW 3 series in September.
Including BEVs and plug-hybrids, almost one in every five cars sold is a plug-in car in the UK, driven by carrot and stick measures such as low emissions zones and £2,500 ($A4,643) plug-in car grants to encourage drivers to make the switch as the country looks to ban petrol and diesel vehicle sales by 2030.
A recent petrol shortage also saw online searches for electric vehicles surge by 1600%, underlining the increasing interest in escaping the tyranny of the petrol bowser.
Accelerating charging infrastructure investment to support the transition to electric vehicles was one of the pillars of the British government’s wide-ranging national Net Zero Strategy statement released in October in the lead up to the COP26 summit.
In 2022, battery electric car sales are tipped to outnumber diesel car sales according to the UK auto industry body SMMT, making the need for increased charging infrastructure all the more urgent.
To date in October 2021, more than 141,000 battery electric cars have been sold, an 86% increase from 2020. According to projection sy the SMMT, 2021 will see more battery electric cars sold than the entire number sold from 2010 to 2019.
The increasing electric vehicle sales in the UK have also resulted in a large secondhand car market, which is experiencing unprecedented demand.
A recent report from the SMMT says that 56.4% more used BEVs and PHEVs changed hands in the third quarter of 2021 than in 2020, thanks to an “ever-growing” choice of new zero-emissions models.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.