This week has seen the release of a new report from electric vehicle (EV) trade group RECHARGE UK.
The report – which was produced with support from Zapmap, as well as ChargeSafe, Field Dynamics, GreenFlux, Syzygy and Trojan Energy – provides a roadmap of how the industry can both accelerate charge point deployment and meet the energy demand on the grid by 2030 from public charging.
Based on input from all six partners, including Zapmap charge point utilisation data, RECHARGE UK’s report provides insight into which parts of the UK are likely to experience high levels of public charging demand, and will therefore require significant improvements to local energy networks and the deployment of flexible energy solutions.
Overall, the South East will continue to have the highest level of demand for charging, due to the high number of electric vehicles in the area, but there will be significant demand for charging across the whole of the UK.
Indeed, the report has identified three hotspots outside the South East for public charging energy demand in 2030: the postcode areas of Birmingham, Glasgow and Sheffield.
Because it has the largest vehicle count of any part of the UK, with 1.1 million vehicles today, Birmingham is expected to have the largest demand for energy in the UK of 339.9 GWh – out of a total 10,868 GWh.
Significant energy demand will therefore be put on Birmingham by 2030 and, in order to futureproof, the report says that local authorities must begin examining where grid reinforcement is most likely to be needed over the next seven years. Glasgow is the second largest with 231 GWh of demand, closely followed by Sheffield and Peterborough.
RECHARGE UK and partners with MPs at the launch of the report.
The report also calls for infrastructure-specific solutions to resolve geographic inequality in charge point deployment, ensuring that no areas are left behind in the shift to electric vehicles. In aid of this, it contains four recommendations to ensure charge point deployment keeps up with the growth in EV sales in the UK:
- Take action now to plan for public charging demand
- Implement the recommendations and guidance within the report to accelerate network deployment
- Support industry to address skills gaps
- Ensure there are multiple charge point types in safe and accessible locations
“This report focuses on a wide range of areas that have a vital influence over the whole UK's ability to accelerate the rollout of electric vehicle charging infrastructure,” said Mark Constable, Chair of RECHARGE UK.
“The government has addressed several barriers already with financial incentives in many parts of the EV market. We hope they will go on to address some of the process challenges in both legislation and market operations – none of which was written with the transition to EVs in mind.”
At present, there are almost 45,000 public charge points in the UK, serving around 2% of vehicles on the road. In June 2023, pure-electric vehicles made up approximately 18% of new car sales.
However, following the introduction of the Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate in 2024, they will make up as much as 80% of new car sales and 70% of new van sales by 2030 – rising to 100% of both by 2035. This means there will be approximately 11 million EVs on the road by 2030, up from around 810,000 today.
“EV chargers, in particular ultra-rapids, are rolling out at pace now. We’re making good progress, but there are plenty of challenges ahead and gaps that need to be bridged in readiness for the 2030 deadline,” said Melanie Shufflebotham, Co-founder & COO at Zapmap.
“This new report does a great job of summarising the critical issues, from the cross-industry collaboration needed across planning and electricity supply to the green skills gaps we need to address.
“Crucially, it forecasts the amount of energy we will need for public charging by 2030 and 2050, and highlights the broad regional distribution of chargers that will be needed. It is vital reading for anyone working on the shift to electric vehicles."
RECHARGE UK is the EV arm of the REA (Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology) and was previously known as the REA EV Forum.
For further information, you can find RECHARGE UK’s report here: ‘Charging forward to 2030’.