EV Network Requires ‘Massive Investment’ Says SMMT

Sun 10th Jan 2021

The UK’s most influential motoring trade body, the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders has said being ready for the total ban on new petrol and diesel engines by 2030 will be a huge challenge.

Electric and PHEV vehicles accounted for 10 per cent of all new car registrations last year, up from 3.1 per cent in 2019, a year-on-year increase of 185.9 per cent.

Mike Hawes, leader of the SMMT, has said that while the difficulties being encountered - a lack of charging infrastructure, shortage of batteries and affordable price points - will be felt by industries around the world, it is up to the UK to take the lead.

 “What matters to achieve this target is having a strong industrial strategy from government that really ensures the UK remains competitive, attracts investment and remains a strong market [for EVs]. It’s a global challenge and one where the UK needs to take the lead and move as quickly as it can,” Hawes said.

“We need a massive investment in infrastructure of something in the tune of £16 billion, with a lot going into public on-street charging.

"We’re still in the early adopter mode of EV sales but rapidly getting beyond that. One of the key things holding people back isn’t the range now but the availability of charging infrastructure. The gap is charging at home. In the same way people charge a phone overnight, people will want to charge at home when they park overnight.

“That’s fine if you’ve got a drive or designated spot, but around half of vehicle owners don't have a designated spot, so they’ll depend on public on-street charging. You need the assurance that you’ll be able to charge when you get home. I don’t think it’s for the car industry to be finding that infrastructure, it’s for the energy providers; it’s a market opportunity that the government needs to facilitate.”