3m UK charging points needed by 2040 for electric vehicles to thrive

For electric vehicles (EVs) to take off in the UK, an additional three million charging points will need to be installed at commercial and industrial sites by 2040 according to a report from Aurora Energy Research.

Work places, supermarket car parks and motorway service stations are among the areas which must provide EV facilities, as only around 60 per cent of households have access to private parking.

The study also found that businesses could profit from investing in charging infrastructure by making their users pay for the electricity. For example, supermarket car parks and motorway service stations could see a profitable business case by charging a premium of 5-6p per kWh above retail electricity prices, assuming high levels of utilisation.

Adding technology such as solar panels, energy storage or enabling EVs to supply electricity back to the grid when it is in high demand will support lower consumer prices for electricity, according to the report. This would represent a “huge expansion” of EV infrastructure as there are currently only around 14,000 public charging points across the UK.

Aurora based its analysis on the number of EVs on the road reaching 35 million by 2040.

Aurora’s head of flexible energy and battery storage Dr Felix Chow-Kambitsch said the roll-out of EVs over the next 20 years would “radically transform Great Britain’s energy system”. He added that commercial and industrial sites had a “key role to play in meeting high levels of consumer away-from-home EV charging”.

A previous study for motoring research charity the RAC Foundation found that growth in EV car use could be stalled by limitations in the public charging network.

The mass market appeal of ultra-green vehicles may be restricted without widespread, reliable and easy-to-use charging points, the report warned.

It was announced last week that Government grants for new electric and hybrid cars will be slashed. Motoring groups claimed the decision will leave the UK struggling to meet targets to reduce vehicle emissions.

In August a report found that schemes designed to promote the use of sustainable travel options, such as walking, cycling or the installation of electric car charging points, are being hampered by a lack of local council funding. 

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