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Third quarter of EV charger growth in a row | Latest analysis
The latest news from the world of EVs
Good morning, I’m Tom Riley and welcome back to The Fast Charge, a British EV newsletter.
The top story in today’s edition… the UK’s EV charging network had its biggest quarter for growth, making it the third such quarter in a row. Boom! As usual, I have delved into the data and pulled out various stats.
Elsewhere… van start-up Arrival has been told it will be delisted from the Nasdaq unless it files its delayed annual report for 2022, and reforming grid connections gets mentioned by the King.
And, yes, you are quite correct, this email comes a day later than usual. The official reason is now I can provide insights on the King’s Speech – unofficially, I fell asleep on the sofa. As ever, if you have any thoughts or ideas, please do get in touch. To do so, simply reply to this email.
Analysis of new EV charger statistics
Background: Last Wednesday, the Department for Transport published the latest batch of official quarterly EV charger statistics for the UK. The latest figures revealed there are now 49,220 public charge points in the country, up to the end of September 2023. The new update also revealed there are now 8,908 rapid chargers above 50kW. See here.
Overall… It was a huge quarter for charger growth, with 5,200 being added since July. That means the public charging network has had three consecutive quarters of growth. Many of these new devices were rapid chargers too.
Interestingly… In this edition, the government decided to update how it defines charging speed. Whereas previously, a rapid charger was one above 25kW, now they are above 50kW. Likewise, ultra-rapid chargers were once measured as being 100kW and above, now it’s 150kW plus.
Why the change? While it’s ruddy annoying for bores like me with a billion charts, it’s fundamentally a good sign of how far (and fast) charging technology has moved in recent years. 50kW chargers used to be the fastest around, now they’re considered slow-ish. It also indicates that the government is expecting to see a great many more networks deploying 150kW chargers – there are currently 2,844 such devices in the UK.
However… While that’s spiffing, before we get too carried away, I’d like to point out most electric cars – certainly many of those in the used market – will be unable to fully benefit from these 150kW chargers, as the maximum speed their car can accept sits below this. That makes about a third of all rapid chargers in the UK quite exclusive to people with high-end vehicles. Though, hopefully, that will change as car makers improve their battery tech.
Don’t know about charging speeds? Read my previous article here.
Huge jump: Elsewhere in the statistics, due to DfT now defining slow chargers as being between 3-8kW in speed (previously 3-6kW), the number of devices in this bracket has doubled – now making up 62% of all chargers in the UK, or 30,737. What this reveals is that it’s about two-thirds of the UK public network that do not have to offer contactless payments to drivers – as under the new charge point regulations, it’s only 8kW chargers and above that need to offer it.
Likewise… speaking of the regulations, based on the latest statistics, 99% reliability applies to 18% of the public network, which is those 50kW+.
‘Overnight charger’… In the update by DfT, they explain the huge increase in the slow charging category – aka. due to 16,000+ of the 7kW devices being added to the mix of about 14,000+ lamppost 3kW ones – as saying the “standard speed for an ‘overnight’ charger” is 7kW. However, is that right? It certainly is if you have a driveway, but surely not in public.
One suspects… most of these 7kW devices are what destinations (like pubs, shops, and tourist spots) have installed for passing visitors. I can think of only a couple of places near me where people use 7kW chargers – like Source London – but nobody uses them overnight if they can help it (not least because of the price), that’s where lampposts come into play. Am I wrong though? Let me know!
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Arrival set to be delisted from the Nasdaq
Background: As readers will be familiar, the ongoing saga of Arrival’s seemingly slow death continues. The future of British EV start-up – valued at £9.5bn two years ago – has been in the balance for many months, with investors getting increasingly frustrated and the company’s patents seemingly being put up as debt collateral.
In the latest development… An SEC filing by Arrival on Friday revealed the company has received notice from the Nasdaq Stock Market that, due to non-filing of an annual report for 2022, the firm is at risk of being delisted – a hugely embarrassing moment.
According to Nasdaq… If my read is right, unless they submitted an appeal by close of play yesterday (7 November), they will now undergo the process of being delisted.
In response… Arrival has said very little, only that “the company is working diligently to file the 2022 Annual Report as soon as practical.” Which I think we all know is a phrase roughly translated as… ‘It’s not ready yet, and we don’t know when it will be’.
👉 If you are not sure about the context above, you can give my article a read of how Arrival went from a UK unicorn two years ago to this moment here. I also note the story has now been picked up by TechCrunch and the Daily Telegraph too.
Top EV stories last week…
👑 The King’s speech, delivered yesterday by His Majesty, contained little of note, but reforming grid connections did get a mention! Huzzah! The only other slightly relevant bits were the Bills on Autonomous Vehicles, which feels about as timely as the metaverse, and also the curtailing of pedicabs – the outrageously expensive tricycles. See the full King’s Speech detail here.
🪙 Last week OVO announced that it had reduced its home EV charging rate to just 7p per kWh – which is the cheapest in the UK. Read more.
🚗 Bloomberg has written a good feature about how leasing EVs through company car schemes has become an increasingly popular way for many to go electric affordably. Read it here (pos paywall).
💷 How to make electric cars affordable? Autocar has done a great deep dive looking at how we’ll overcome the high list prices. Read more.
📈 The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders published their latest figures yesterday. They reveal that 23,942 new EVs were registered in October, which is 20% more than this time last year. Despite the continued growth, SMMT warned that one if four EV registrations are private buyers compared to fleets. SMMT also downgraded their EV uptake for this year by -1.7% to 324,000 cars.
🗻 Toyota, a carmaker desperately playing catch-up, is featured in a big FT read about how it wants to fight back against Tesla and take control of the assembly line (going against ‘gigacasting’). Read here (paywall).
📱 Porsche has revealed that its new EV models will have the ability to watch TikTok in the car, this is no doubt a feature we’ll see added to several other EVs potentially - though might it use lots of mobile data? Read more.
🗺️ Zapmap has updated its map branding to an array of new colours and status markers. Much softer look, though, it’s not gone down well in some online EV forums.
🔌 Trojan Energy, an Aberdeen-based charge point firm, has launched a £2 million growth plan after being backed by the Scottish government. Trojan has developed plug-into-the-ground devices which are already in use publicly. See my video here of the ones in Hampstead.
🚢 Due to recent battery-led fires on boats, and generally more ships transporting batteries globally, the shipping industry has been moving to better protect vessels. Read more (paywall).
5️⃣ Finally, by my count, there will probably be five editions left of The Fast Charge this year. I already have a few big features in the pipeline; however, if you have any ideas for the others, please do let me know!
By Tom Riley | Check my Linktree for LinkedIn, Twitter and TikTok