Is this the end of the Shell or Esso garage? An extraordinary array of new concepts is set to transform our streets and cityscapes as Britain prepares to switch from petrol to electric cars. But which technology will prevail? Will we be plugging our electric cars to residential street lamp-posts? Attaching them to connected kerbs? Parking over induction pads? Or driving to super-fast charging bays that will replace redundant petrol stations? Until now buyers of electric cars have mainly been early adopters wealthy enough to afford the high initial outlay, and with a private driveway at home where they can safely connect their vehicle to an overnight charger. But what if you live in a flat or terraced home? In London, four out of five cars are parked on the street, and owners can’t sling a cable across the path and into their home. And it’s not just a big city thing; in Dundee, 51% of residents live in tenements – prompting the local council to pioneer Britain’s most advanced car charging infrastructure. This week Dundee opened its latest set of 20 fast-charging bays on top of a city centre multi-storey car park – largely powered by solar panels. The city is by far the most advanced in the UK in switching to electric vehicles, with 20% of local taxis already entirely electric. Fraser Crichton at Dundee city council says it shares the same challenge as London in building an infrastructure for charging. But it says the answer is not to use street lamps. “We have some lamp-post charging, but they are problematic. You are still running a cable from the car to the charging point and creating a trip hazard. We wanted to steer away from charging infrastructure on the street and avoid more street clutter.” Crucial to Dundee’s approach is control over the assets. Unlike most English city councils, Dundee never sold off municipal assets such as car parks, and is now in a better position to convert them. “The busiest [charging] hub is in the poorest area of the city and we built it first to show that e-mobility wasn’t all about wealthy Tesla drivers.” While only 2%-3% of the city’s cars are electric, that’s already much higher than the rest of the UK, and Dundee says it could swiftly add to existing capacity to hit 15%.
Guardian 5th Oct 2019 read more »
MG has struck a three-year preferred supplier deal with electric vehicle (EV) charge point manufacturer Pod Point, just days after the UK-based motor company began delivering its first ever fully-electric car to customers. The deal announced yesterday means MG customers buying its new ZS model, described as a “family-friendly” EV capable of travelling up to 163 miles on a single charge, will be encouraged to purchase their home charging points from Pod Point.
Business Green 7th Oct 2019 read more »
Electric vehicles are being outpaced by the growth of SUVs. Public support for EVs has to be won before carbon reduction targets can be met.
FT 7th Oct 2019 read more »