Boris Johnson has announced that all new homes in England will be required to install electric vehicle charging points from 2022, alongside all new construction projects, workplace and retail buildings.
This is in an effort to improve on the somewhat lacking electric infrastructure in the UK, which is certainly growing, and currently sits at around 48,000 public charging points available today in almost 18,000 locations (according to Zap-Map).
Despite this number ever-rising, it is distinctly far away from what will be necessary for the entirety of the UK to zip about by purely electric means. It’s also a far reach from France, Germany and the Netherlands in mainland Europe, all charging ahead to make up 70 percent of charging points in the EU.
Back home in the UK, ambitions are high. The Boris administration is aiming to install 145,000 charging points by 2030 – you can’t fault the lofty targets that he sets, but this is also to be considered in tandem with the pencilled-in ban on the sale of new internal combustion engines by 2030 (2035 for motorcycles) and zero tailpipe emissions from 2035.
As quoted in a speech at the annual Confederation of British Industry conference, BoJo commented: ‘We’re regulating so as to require new homes and buildings to have EV charging points, with another 145,000 charging points to be installed thanks to these regulations.’
Requiring new homes and new building projects to install electric charging points is a good start, but the cost of these is also worth thinking about. Some government incentives are available for the installation of charging points at existing houses, and depending on which you go for, the price can be around £800 – £1000.
As an example, a friend of Visordown had a charge point installed at their home for a total cost of £890, including a £350 OLEV grant which the electricians applied for on their behalf.
Sticking with incentives, and just last week it was announced that the electric two-wheeled plug-in grant has been pulled for motorcycles priced over £10,000, and reduced considerably for motorcycles & scooters priced under that – from a grant of up to £1,500, to a £500 grant for bikes, and up to £150 for scooters.
Incentives like this were never set to continue forever, and it could be referred to as an ‘early sign-up bonus’ to switch to electric. The same can be said for the zero road tax for electric vehicles, which is sure to change in the coming years – otherwise in 2035 nobody will be paying road tax. Imagine the pot holes.
As the country looks forward to an electric future, jigs of the electric infrastructure are inevitable as the gov figure out what they think is best to do.
Electric incentives will continue to be slashed as time passes, more charging points will need to be installed, and our future may be fighting over the 2 plugs in the local Tesco car park until more are installed at existing establishments.
It’s also worth thinking about the Gogoro swappable battery network building traction in Asia, plus the work that the ‘big manufacturers’ are doing behind the scenes on the ‘swappable batteries motorcycle consortium’.
When we tested the Energica Eva Ribelle RS earlier this year we were conveniently posted up at Gridserve, the all-electric forecourt, for the bikes to be recharged between rides. Until alternatives (like hydrogen propulsion and synthetic fuels) appear, short stopovers at forecourts are what we all have to look forward to.
If the electric vehicle is the way forward, more charge points are vital – the UK government are on it!
But, electric power remains a relatively cheap means of transport, and as the support system grows the switch over looks a little less daunting.
Either way, one fella even managed to circumnavigate the UK on a Zero motorcycle. Fair play!