Is there about to be an electric vehicle revolution? We spoke to Jordan Reynolds, CCO of EV-comply, who shared his thoughts with us. He covers everything EV including electric vehicles and UK infrastructure, compliance checking software and how we can achieve better quality charging.
Electric Vehicles & UK Infrastructure
It may seem that an electric vehicle revolution is upon us but current data and trends in the sector bring to light some hurdles that we are yet to overcome.
With huge customer demand for electric vehicles and major car companies shifting their marketing, EV charging points have doubled in the UK between 2017 – 2019 . The rapid growth has also been linked to the government’s decision to bring forward a ban on new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars in 2040. But, is the UK ready?
The government has said that it “will not own or operate a charge point network now or in the future”. Instead, it will be left to the private sector to build and maintain a stable and effective network that will be supported by funding initiatives worth £400m.
Compliance checking software companies such as EV-comply have built desktop and mobile applications for charge point installers to track and automate processes which will ultimately help to improve the speed and accuracy of public and private charge point installations throughout the UK going forward.
What is needed is more than just an extra quantity of charge points though, the quality of charging will also have to change. This can be achieved by making EV charging faster, smarter and easier than it is today.
How we can achieve better quality charging
Tesla’s supercharger boasts charging of up to 80% in 30 minutes and this is the most common high-speed charging system on the market today. Porsche and BMW are currently developing rival products and have prototypes delivering charges equivalent to 99km in under 5 minutes.
With the right infrastructure, electric vehicles can be turned into ‘batteries on wheels’ with bi-directional charging being introduced. This allows electric vehicle owners to give energy back to the grid with vehicle-to-grid transfers helping to stabilise energy supplies as demands rise. This could also potentially lower electric vehicle owners’ tariffs in the process.
Long-term charging goals are to remove cables altogether. Wireless charging is a common sight with smartphones these days and the technology can be also applied to electric vehicles. Fortum (a Norway based company) has created a fast, wireless charging network for taxi fleets in Oslo and aims to make the city’s entire fleet have zero emissions by 2023. Another startup named ‘Lightyear’ has created an even easier solution using Solar and claims to have built “the world’s first long-range solar charging car” which is expected to be made available to the public to purchase mid-2021.
The world is moving forward, but it is just powered in a different way.
 Data taken from the Zap-Map Database of public charging points: the 2017 data was from 13 November 2017 where there was a total of 7,986 devices of which 573 were located in supermarkets (7.2% of total) and the 2019 data was from 31 December 2019 when there was a total of 16,960 devices of which 1,115 were located in supermarkets (6.6% of total). Growth in supermarket charge devices between the two periods was 95% while the overall growth of charge devices was 112%.