MORE than 28,000 public charging points will be needed in the UK to service an estimated seven million electric vehicles by 2030.
New analysis from Deloitte suggests delivering this infrastructure will require a capital expenditure of around £1.6 bn between 2020 and 2030.
With 13,500 points in the UK currently, that is around half the required number – most of which are likely to be replaced due to technological improvements in the next 10 years.
Mark Lillie, Power and Utilities Leader at Deloitte, said: “A shortage of public charging points will seriously hamper the adoption of electric vehicles.
“Yet only a continued uptake of EVs will provide the confidence to invest in, and develop, a charging infrastructure – a classic ‘chicken and egg’ scenario.
“However, the Government has set ambitious targets for 2030 through its Industrial Strategy Grand Challenges, for EVs to make up 60% of all new car sales and 30% of the total number of vehicles sold.
“At today’s volumes that would equate to 1.4m units sold per year and a total of 11.5m EVs in circulation.
“At present the EV charging industry is not profitable and it could take until 2023 when EVs make up at least 5% of vehicles in circulation that it becomes so.
“Therefore companies looking to capitalise on this prospective boom will have to get into the market now but be prepared to wait for their returns.”
The analysis from Deloitte divides the EV charging market into four segments. ‘Home charging’ and ‘fleet charging’ (for fleets of public transport vehicles or taxis) are two options for private charging.
The two public propositions are ‘around town’, offered as an amenity to attract footfall, and ’en route’, akin to the petrol stations of today.
Duncan Barnes from Deloitte Digital, added: “The viability of this market centres around the availability of public charging points.
While the most popular places for charging vehicles are currently at home or work, this could change in the future as ‘range anxiety’ – how far you can drive in a single charge – is addressed by an increased network of public points.”
Deloitte’s analysis notes that AC charging is currently the dominant technology, making up close to 90% of public chargers in the EU and 83 per cent in the UK.
This is likely to remain the case in the short to medium-term. However, DC chargers, which offer much faster charging speeds, are growing above the overall average rate for public chargers.
Barnes said: “The market will have to decide between these two types of charging.
Broadly speaking slow chargers that work with existing voltage and amperage but take time to power a vehicle fully, versus fast chargers that require a much larger amount of power.
“While DC fast-charging points may cost more up front to set up, the faster speed allows operators to charge a premium over the retail electricity price, and this could be the one to watch.”
Meanwhile, EV drivers in the UK can now charge their vehicles in less than 20 minutes via IONITY’s 350kW charge network.
IONITY is a joint venture between Daimler, Ford, BMW and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche, that aims to increase the feasibility of EVs by establishing convenient High-Power Charging (HPC) sites across Europe.
The first UK station equipped with four High Power chargers, each capable of charging up to 350kW and located in Maidstone will soon be joined by locations in Milton Keynes and Gretna Green.
The network has been designed to enable pan-European travel, with a focus on ultra-fast charging times and convenient motorway locations.
High Power Charging is widely regarded as essential to the increased adoption of electric vehicles, making long distance journeys far more viable than the much slower 50kW alternatives.
With the latest generation of electric vehicles providing much improved performance, efficiency and comfort, the new network will ease range anxiety for existing and potential EV owners.
ONITY’s 350kW UK charging network is future-proofed, delivering infrastructure capable of charging times as low as 8 minutes depending on the capacity of the vehicle’s battery, thus making e-mobility a convenient, reliable and everyday experience.
For all of its UK stations, IONITY is partnering with energy technology specialists, Octopus Energy to ensure the entire network is powered by renewable sources.
Octopus Energy’s ‘Electric Juice’ will provide every charge point with 100% renewable energy, greatly reducing the environmental impact of a journey and providing peace of mind for environmentally conscious drivers.
The Maidstone site is launched in partnership with Motor Fuel Group, the largest independent forecourt operator in the UK.