EV chargepoint analysis for Q3
The latest news from the world of EVs
Hello and welcome back to The Fast Charge, a weekly British EV newsletter.
In today’s edition… do we have enough chargers per car, and will the Chancellor announce road tax for EV owners.
As ever, if you have any thoughts or feedback, my contact details are below or simply reply to this email.
New EV chargepoint analysis
Last Wednesday the government published its latest quarterly chargepoint statistics. The headline figures are that we now have 34,637 chargers, with some 2,262 being installed over the last three months alone - more than ever before.
That’s a 34% increase in 12 months, which is a superb amount.
Are there enough chargers to each car?
At present, there are around 570,000 battery-electric cars on British roads – a population that’s increasing by about 60,000 every three months. That’s an astounding pace, but there are questions about whether our charger rollout is keeping up.
As of this month, there are now 17 electric cars to each public chargepoint. And when you look at solely rapid chargers, that becomes about 90 cars to each charger – this is double what it was two years ago. However, given most people recharge at home, it shouldn’t be too much of a concern at present - though perhaps not for much longer.
Which are the fastest-growing regions?
The West Midlands and Yorkshire & Humber are the fastest-growing regions for EV charger installations – recording a 16.7% and 13.9% uptake respectively.
To date, London has been the region experiencing the quickest growth, though in the third quarter of 2022 it only managed to increase by 5.2%. But, given a third of all charging devices are in the capital, perhaps its growth has already peaked.
In a worrying sign, the number of installations in the North East region reduced by -1.1% over the past three months. Although, the North West boosted its numbers by 184 new devices and had the highest growth of rapid devices compared to other regions.
Those planning road trips across the famous North Coast 500 in Scotland are also in luck, the country noted a strong 9.5% uptake in devices, adding to its already high number of EV chargers.
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In the last week
BATTERY SURVIVES: It’s been a rough couple of months for Britishvolt, the gigafactory development in Blythe. According to several reports yesterday, it almost went into administration after asking to draw down early on a £100m government loan but being prevented from doing so. However, sources have since confirmed it has secured cash for the business to stay afloat in the short to medium term. Read more.
WESTMINSTER WATCH: As you will have no doubt already seen, Rishi Sunak last week appointed his cabinet. The key people for the EV sector are Mark Harper, the new Transport Secretary, and Grant Shapps the new Business Secretary. Grant is the proud owner of a Tesla Model Y and has been at the forefront of the EV revolution, so I’m sure the industry will find an ally in him. Less is known about Harper’s views on EVs, so we’ll need to perhaps wait and see. However, he is supported by several great appointments to DfT, namely Huw Merriam MP (formerly Chair of the Transport Committee), Richard Holden MP (who has visited and promoted various EV projects in the past), and Jesse Norman – I previously worked with the latter at HMRC and can attest to his fondness for transport and infrastructure. If you want to learn more about Rishi’s new cabinet, read my analysis here (or get in touch).
TOUGH STATEMENT: While the Chancellor’s fiscal statement has been pushed back away from Halloween to 17 November, it could still hold a potential horror for EV drivers: new taxes. Based on a report in the Sunday Telegraph, Jeremy Hunt may announce changes to require owners of EVs to begin paying vehicle excise duty (road tax) from the 2025/26 financial year. A Whitehall source told the Telegraph: “Everyone knows that electric vehicles will have to be subject to road tax at some point. The Treasury is considering when that should be while ensuring uptake isn’t disincentivised in the short-term.” I feel like everyone knew this day may come, but if the consumer experience doesn’t improve then it will be difficult to implement. Read more.
DISCOUNT PRICING: The EV charging aggregator, Bonnet, is introducing a new pricing structure from 8 November that will offer drivers packages that will take up to 15% off the standard network rate for charging up your car. The entry-level ‘Light Boost’ will cost £2 per month and gives drivers a 10% discount, and a ‘Turbo Boost’ which will cost £8 will take 15% off the costs. This new structure replaces the current 50p cap and ‘Refill’ system. Read more.
LOWER PRICING: The rapid charging network Osprey, which only recently bumped up its prices to £1 per kWh, announced last week it would be dropping its prices to 79p per kWh from today (1 November). Osprey has said they are able to make the price cut by “passing on a saving enabled by the Government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme.” Read more.
SUPER QUICK: The EV charging operator GRIDSERVE has installed the UK’s “fastest EV charger” at its Braintree Electric Forecourt. The charger in question is the ABB Terra 360kW charger, which can add 100 miles of range in less than five minutes. The device is equipped with contactless payment, easy access for wheelchair users, and is positioned to allow heavy goods vehicles and cars towing caravans an area to charge. Read more.
NO FARE: Sad news as the maker of electric black cabs, LEVC, has announced it is making 140 job cuts in the UK. The carmaker, which is owned by Geely, said it had been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and would be looking for voluntary redundancies. The move forms part of a package of measures to improve cash flow. Read more.
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