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UK must spend 1.6bn on 28,000 EV charge points, says Deloitte

The UK will need to spend 1.6bn on 28,000 public electric vehicle (EV) charge points for the estimated seven million EVs that will be on the road by 2030, according to Deloitte.

The financial consultants published the analysis that looked at how the UK can accelerate its EV market through its charging infrastructure and warned that the UK must invest heavily if it is to catch up to more mature markets such as China.

There are around 13,500 points currently in the UK currently most of which will need to be replaced due to technological improvements over the next decade.

Deloittes analysis notes that AC charging is currently the dominant technology, making up close to 90% of public chargers in the EU and 83% in the UK.

They say this is likely to remain the case in the short to medium-term. However, they recommend DC chargers, which offer much faster-charging speeds to consumers.

Deloitte says they expect three three EV charging business models to develop in the UK over the next decade.

  • A public model, where government bodies offer funding that private companies use to recover at least a portion of the investment costs.
  • A utility model, where electricity companies finance and own the infrastructure, and recover the investment, operating and maintenance costs through electricity tariffs.
  • An integrated charging model, where independent specialists, auto original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), oil and gas firms, hardware manufacturers and other new entrants to the EV charging field operate in specific segments and work with partners to deliver a joined-up service.

Mark Lillie, Power & Utilities Leader at Deloitte, said: ‘A shortage of public charging points will seriously hamper the adoption of electric vehicles. Yet only a continued uptake of EVs will provide the confidence to invest in, and develop, a charging infrastructure – a classic “chicken and egg” scenario.

‘However, the government has set ambitious targets for 2030 through its Industrial Strategy Grand Challenges, for EVs to make up 60% of all new car sales and 30% of the total number of vehicles sold. At todays volumes that would equate to 1.4 million units sold per year and a total of 11.5 million EVs in circulation.

‘At present the EV charging industry is not profitable and it could take until 2023 when EVs make up at least 5% of vehicles in circulation that it becomes so. Therefore companies looking to capitalise on this prospective boom will have to get into the market now but be prepared to wait for their returns.’

In March, a consultation on a new industry-wide EV Governance Framework (EVGF) was launched to accelerate the take-up of EVs in the UK.

The EVGF will include common rules and standards such as on smart charging and data sharing to help the market operate more efficiently, champion innovation and boost sluggish consumer confidence in EVs.

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