New analysis suggests market poised for a decade of rapid growth, despite coronavirus impact, as UK Power Networks steps up EV services
The UK's fast-expanding electric vehicle (EV) charger market is set to continue its bull run, despite the challenges presented by the coronavirus crisis.
That is the conclusion of a new analysis released yesterday by energy market research firm Delta-EE, which predicts the market will see 29 per cent year-on-year growth in charge point sales through to 2030, even as new vehicle sales slow.
"We expect a significant drop in new vehicle sales in 2020 due to COVID-19 - as much as a 30 per cent reduction," acknowledged John Murray, head of EVs at Delta-EE. "But we believe charge point installations will continue to grow across all segments, backed by renewed government funding. As we know, availability of charge points is one of the key barriers to widespread EV adoption. We're all eager to see the transition to electric happen as quickly as possible, but if more emphasis is put on the infrastructure behind it, we could see an accelerated EV uptake in line with the government's vision."
Recent reports have suggested that increased funding for EV charging infrastructure could be one of the key components of the government's imminent green recovery package, alongside plans to boost EV grants and pull forward the phase out date for the sale of petrol and diesel cars.
The new analysis from Delta-EE highlights how there is a case for on-street and fast-charge points being treated as a priority by the government.
The report suggests that based on current trends rapid chargers will still only account for less than two per cent of on-street chargers by 2030, while rapid chargers in destination locations, such as shopping malls and hotels, will move from a market share of 18 per cent today to six per cent in 2030 due to an expected growth in the number of slower chargers being rolled out.
Murray said there were concerns within the industry that a failure to deliver sufficient numbers of fast-chargers capable of recharging EV batteries in under half an hour could hamper the uptake of plug in vehicles.
"BP recently revealed through research in France, Germany, Spain and the UK that the availability of charge points was second only to price as the most significant barrier to EV adoption," he said. "They also stated ultra-fast charging will be key to EV uptake with the public. The private and public sectors will need to collaborate on and implement policy that is necessary to make this a reality."
In addition, the new research suggests the dominance of home chargers could be challenged in the coming decade. By 2030, the majority of charge points are still expected to be installed at home, accounting for 71 per cent of the market. But home chargers' market share will have decreased by five percentage points over the decade as an increasing number of EV owners will not have access to off-street parking.
The analysis predicts workplace chargers will command an increasing market share, but Murray acknowledged there is currently uncertainty about how working and commuting patterns will evolve.
"While workplace charging currently looks set for the biggest growth, COVID-19 may also have a lasting impact on working practices and mobility habits," he said. "The reality is that for people with EVs, and no access to off-street parking, they will need to charge their vehicles somehow, and workplace charging will still play a very important role in this."
The report comes in the same week as grid operator UK Power Networks kicked off two new initiatives in support of the expanding EV charging sector.
The company today launched a new 'Charge Challenge' inviting people to use its open data and other open source channels to predict when and where the next generation of EV charge points should be located.
Data specialists at the company have forecasted a more than 10-fold increase in EV uptake over the next 10 years, with up to 3.6 million electric vehicles on roads in London, the South and South East of England by 2030. And while its in-house team are working to forecast when and where EV 'hotspots' that require more charge points will emerge, the company is now inviting others to share data and run their own forecasts as part of the new competition.
"We are determined to push boundaries and create a culture of open innovation and data sharing to facilitate the net zero revolution," said Ian Cameron, head of customer services and innovation. "We're launching this challenge because to be truly innovative we can't do this alone - we want to co-create this open data sharing environment with interested parties from across the board to come forward and help us lead the charge."
The move comes just a day after the company also launched a series of free advice surgeries to help local councils identify where to deploy EV charge points to meet future demand and minimise costs.
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