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Electric cars require ‘extra support’ to meet net zero targets amid greater demand for more EV chargers


Experts are calling on the Government to introduce measures to help the UK accelerate the pace of rolling out electric cars and the necessary infrastructure to support them.

With the launch of the Zero Emission Vehicle mandate earlier this month, the Government is making a clear movement towards an electric future.


From this year, manufacturers are required to meet annual targets with 22 per cent of new cars sold in 2024 needing to be zero emission, rising up to 100 per cent in 2035.

However, there are still some doubts over whether the UK will be able to meet the ambitious net zero targets as drivers and businesses remaining somewhat hesitant.

There are almost 54,000 EV chargers around the UK

GETTY

Paul Holland, managing director for UK/ANZ fleet at FLEETCOR, spoke about what the UK still needs to ensure the rollout of electric vehicles is successful.

He said: “The Government has a vital role to play to drive the use and future incentivisation of EV to businesses – the first is around support to lower the price of fuel.

“Whether fleets use petrol, diesel, electricity or, as is increasingly likely, a combination of all of the above, they are all reporting that the prices they pay at the plug or pump are eating away at their profits.”

The latest data from Zapmap shows that there are 53,906 electric car chargers around the UK, across 31,000 different locations, as of December 2023.

While this does represent a 45 per cent increase in the number of charging devices since the same time in 2022, there were just 877 new chargers installed in December.

The Government is still aiming to have 300,000 public chargers installed around the UK by the end of the decade to meet the demand of EV drivers.

Previous data suggested that the UK could install its 100,000th public charger in 2025, although this would require massive investment from the Government and private sector.

Holland also highlighted the current issues around the infrastructure across the UK, although noted that more could be done to help drivers.

He added: “Despite the huge rise in the number of EV charging points in the UK, there is less support for alternative fuels, which can significantly improve the sustainability of the UK’s fleets, especially those that use HGVs that cannot use electric charging.”

Some vehicle manufacturers have invested heavily in alternative fuels like hydrogen, with brands like Tevva and HVS, pushing for the widespread development of hydrogen vehicles and the creation of a nationwide refuelling network.

Other brands like Toyota and Hyundai have moved forward with hydrogen vehicle technology for passenger cars which have piqued the interest of the motoring industry.

Paul Holland also highlighted the need for extra benefits from the Government as many are still calling for more incentives to help the wider public and businesses make the switch.

He continued, saying: “Finally, there needs to be extra support for smaller fleets.

“Although a significant number of larger fleets are already using EVs, smaller companies often lack the ready cash to buy EVs.

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Electric car chargers

Experts have consistently called for a larger rollout of EV chargers

PA

“These smaller fleets make up a significant number of the vehicles on the road, so giving them incentives to be more flexible with the kinds of vehicles they use would make them more competitive and drive growth.”



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