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EV charging

Michael O’Loughlin on EV charging

I’ve yet to see a convincing case study for investing in EV charging points. Many of these studies point to Norway’s success but in other EU countries we don’t see the government conviction, consumer interest or meaningful execution. In fact with the exception of some neighbouring countries to Norway, the majority of other EU countries are doing the bare minimum.

Currently in the UK we have in the region of 32 million cars(38 million total vehicles) with around 450,000 of those being pure-electric.Of course, we have a growing hybrid population supported by the company car market (50%-plus of new car sales) that benefit from lower benefit-in-kind but these are still heavy users of carbon fuels. In normal years motorists in theUK purchase around 2.1 million new cars and in 2021 we are seeing the pure-electric car making up 9.5% of YTD sales. I’ve no doubt that this number will increase but the maths suggest that by 2030 we could have 3-4 million pure-electric cars on our roads.

While attending the ReFuel event in September we were informed by the National Grid that the vast majority of these drivers were charging at home and with 63% of UK motorists parking on driveways and 9% on private land this is unlikely to change. The consumer will always take the easy option.

The UK Highways report also suggests that car ownership will increase by 11% by 2050 so this suggests we will still have around 32 million combustion engines by 2030!

Also, with our average annual mileage of 7,400, the vast majority will not need a top-up outside of the home.

Currently in the combustion world, we have 8,400 service stations each with say 10 fuelling positions. By 2030 I reckon we’ll have at least five million EV charging points, many on driveways. Maybe we will have20-plus million charging points by 2035!

So in short we won’t enjoy the monopoly we have today and can probably budget that EV cash margin will only replace 15% of our current fuel cash margin.

So what’s the business case for investing in EV charging points? Well, maybe it’s to keep your bank manager happy!

Published date:
October 20, 2021