“Electric Vehicles and charging infrastructure are key to the future decentralised energy system that will lead to a smarter, cleaner and cheaper market, but we need to make sure we are having a no regrets revolution, and that starts with ensuring we are putting in smart chargers that will give homeowners and the grid flexibility.
“The government also needs to make sure we are not overlooking easy and cost effective solutions for better air quality and climate targets available right now, with biofuels able to provide significant reductions in road transport immediately”
Nick Molho, executive director, Aldersgate Group: “Given the UK’s strengths in manufacturing ultra-low emissions vehicles and world leading battery research, it is essential that the government provides strong regulatory and policy support to accelerate the transition to zero emission vehicles and ensure that UK businesses are amongst the best placed to capitalise on this emerging market. This requires building on the charging infrastructure measures announced today by bringing forward the phase out date for the sale of conventional petrol and diesel vehicles, providing support for the purchase of ultra-low emission vans beyond October 2018 and cars beyond 2020, and delivering on its commitment to simplify the regime for drivers to access local charging points.”
Amy Stray, energy specialist, Osborne Clarke lawyers: “Uptake of EVs – and their charging requirements – has consequences for the electricity grid. Existing electricity networks are already under pressure, and while infrastructure will undoubtedly need to be upgraded, consumers also need play their part alongside the digital revolution in supporting the Road to Zero.
“On current charging trends, existing infrastructure is unlikely to be able to support the EV surge in the right timescales at the right cost. Smart charging behaviour – with EVs being charged during the night and smart grid management systems returning power to the grid when the EV is not in use – could help balance supply and demand.”
Dagoberto Cedillos, strategy and innovation lead, Open Energi: “Decarbonising transport is vital if the UK is to meet its carbon commitments and make urgent improvements to air quality. Prioritising charging infrastructure and the impact of electric vehicles (EVs) on the electricity system is vital to create the foundations of a successful EV strategy and align sustainable energy and transport needs for the future.
“Government seems to have recognised this, and has made welcome commitments to continue grants for chargers, expand on-street charging access, help fund charging infrastructure, address barriers to grid connections and consult on requirements for charge points in new dwellings and workplaces. Wisely government will not own or operate a chargepoint network, which is clearly unnecessary given the level of private sector interest and innovation already underway in this space.”
Erik Fairbairn, chief executive and founder, Pod Point: “In headline, the strategy shows some sensible proposals to increase the amount of EV charging infrastructure across the UK, with a good understanding of the need to rollout charging across homes, workplace, and public locations.
“The rollout of EV charging has been accelerating rapidly over the past couple of years, mainly through heavy investment from private companies such as Pod Point who are dedicated to building national infrastructure. It is good to see this additional support from the government, which will allow for further acceleration.
“The strategy however is disappointing in that there is no movement on the government’s 2040 ban of internal combustion vehicles. At Pod Point we see a clear path which would allow internal combustion vehicles to be banned in 2030, some ten years earlier.”