On 20 September 2023 the UK Prime Minister Rushi Sunak announced that the 2030 ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars is being pushed back to 2035. Rolling back the 2030 ban on new sales of petrol and diesel cars risks the UK’s position as a world leader on electric vehicles. We’re on the cusp of making real headway in our transition to net zero tailpipe emissions for road transport and this is key to improved air quality and health outcomes. Both industry and the driving community need certainty; businesses are investing heavily in electric car production, EV charging infrastructure, skills and training, and the supply chain.
Now is the time to double down on our efforts, rather than steering away from our commitment to decarbonising road transport. Electric cars have lower running costs, are good for the planet, and good for our health. Public appetite for battery electric cars is still growing with 1 in 5 new cars registered in August being battery electric.
Policy considerations aside, whether you have already embraced EV, or are thinking about making the switch, here’s some food for thought around affordability, charging, and innovation in this space.
- Affordability: Business leasing and EV salary sacrifice schemes are offering affordable access to electric cars, thanks to sustained low rates of Benefit in Kind. In parallel, second hand electric car sales are ‘soaring to new levels’, making EVs more affordable to more people across our communities.
- Public charging: The Government goal is to have a minimum of 300,000 public chargers rolled out by 2030 but they have also said there could potentially be more than double that number. We currently have over 45k public chargers. Reassuringly, Government is implementing a series of improvements to public charging under the Public Charge Point Regulations 2023, covering reliability – on average a 99% rate of reliability must be maintained (although only applies to chargers above 50kW), enforcing a 24/7 helpline, and pricing must be transparent – so you know what you’ve paid! Contactless payment must also be available – on new chargers above 8kW and existing rapid chargers above 50kW. It also supports open data and promotes interoperability and payment roaming services.
The formation of a new trade body for charge point operators should help accelerate public charging roll-out; ChargeUK is committed to investing £6bn in charging infrastructure by 2030.
- Innovation: Lots of neat innovation especially in the on-street charging space, with cable gully companies emerging, so that people can charge using their own electricity supply, rather than paying more for public charging. And of course, campaign body FairCharge is lobbying for reduced VAT on public charging to bring it in line with home charging costs.