UK’s electric vehicle infrastructure receives £37m investment
On the face of it owning and running an electric vehicle (EV) sounds like a perfect win-win scenario. You invest in a new, smooth, quiet electric car, which you take home and plug-in to charge every night. All the while you are doing your bit to cut global emissions and help the environment.
As we all know the widespread roll-out of EVs is not without some considerable challenges – not least ongoing range anxiety. However, there is a far more practical problem. The stereotypical image of an electric car owner is of someone who drives the ten or 15 miles home from work, pulls up on the drive, and plugs-in their vehicle to charge overnight, so that it’s ready for the drive to work the next day.
The reality though is that only around one in four people in the country actually has a driveway – which obviously makes the physical act of charging the car problematic. This is something that hasn’t been lost on the UK Government with the recent announcement of added investment to develop the UK’s electric charge point infrastructure.
Revolutionising the EV experience
Twelve projects around the country will receive a share of £37m to support the creation of innovations including wireless charging technologies, meaning electric vehicles of the future could be charged discreetly and without the need to plug in a cable.
The news comes on the one-year anniversary of the government’s Road to Zero strategy, which has driven a 60% increase in battery electric vehicle registrations this year compared to the same period in 2018.
Future of Mobility Minister, Michael Ellis, said: “We’re charging up the transport revolution and investing in technologies to transform the experience for electric vehicle drivers. Ensuring the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles is reliable and innovative is encouraging more people to join the record numbers of ultra-low emission vehicle users already on UK roads.”
Furthermore, a smart city consultancy firm, Urban Foresight, has been awarded £3m to roll-out pop up charge points that are built into the pavement to provide charge points for EV users who don’t have access to off-street parking. Additional projects to receive a share of the funding will include:
- The renovation of car parks to allow for mass overnight charging
- A project leveraging existing Virgin Media physical and online infrastructure to deliver cost-effective and widespread charging, using high speed internet connections to better share information online on charging progress and parking spaces
- A cutting edge storage and advanced electronics project that will deliver semi-rapid charging using a low power grid connection minimising the need for costly substation upgrades
- The development and deployment of wireless charging technology on residential streets without the need for trailing cables and additional infrastructure.
- Solar powered forecourts