EVer onwards: Positives for electric vehicles around World EV Day
Updated: Sep 12, 2020
September 9th was the first World EV (electric vehicle) Day. It proved to be a week during which the EV sector received some important fillips. Let’s take a look at a few.
The UK Department for Transport (DfT) marked World EV Day by announcing initiatives – none of which could honestly be classified as earth-shattering but taken together should advance the cause of EVs. £12m funding was pledged for research and development into innovative technologies, one of which may lead to a six minute battery charge.
The DfT have also collaborated with Autotrader to develop a dedicated EV section on Autotrader’s website to assist with buying an EV. This will be further facilitated by Highways England allowing businesses a free trail of electric vehicles for two months.
On the same day, roadside support specialists Automobile Association (AA) confirmed it will launch a dedicated EV Support Service for EV drivers and charging networks. This follows a successful pilot project with chargepoint services unit, SWARCO, during the summer.
Later in the week, a number of retailers enrolled into a new partnership which will see the UK’s first electric forecourt open in November in Braintree, Essex. It will be the first of over 100 such sites to be built by Gridserve over the next five years. 30 vehicles can be charged simultaneously enabling cars to add 200 miles of range in 20 minutes while the drivers can relax, eat and shop at the facilities in the forecourt.
Car manufacturers, Nissan, announced on World EV Day that they had produced their 500,000th Nissan LEAF. It was manufactured at the company’s plant in Sunderland. The Nissan Leaf was the world’s first mass-market 100% EV and the Sunderland plant has delivered 175,000 since it began producing them in 2013.
Uber announced on the day before World EV Day that they have committed to become a net-zero emissions organisation by 2030. They also aim to have 100% of their bookings being performed in electric vehicles by 2040 across Canada, US and Europe with a UK target of all journeys in either EVs or hybrid-electric vehicles by 2025.
It’s not all good news though. In the previous week, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reported that almost half of the drivers questioned in a survey didn't anticipate switching to an EV before 2035. The main reasons cited were high prices and a lack of local charging points.
However, this discouraging news was tempered on September 10th when the SMMT revealed their latest vehicle registration data showing a YTD increase over 2019 of EV and hybrid-EV registrations of just under 40%.