Almost one in four consumers are planning to buy an electric vehicle (EV) or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) in the next five years, according to research by OFGEM, equating to about 6.5 million (24%) UK households.
Rapid growth in EV sales and the urgent need for infrastructure to support it creates business opportunities for tradespeople with electrical skills who want to train in EV charge point installation.
Should EV charging stations come first, or electric vehicles?
The number of EVs on UK roads is expected to exceed diesel vehicles by 2030 and sales figures remain high, despite successive reductions and eventual removal of the plug-in car grant:
- More than half of new cars sold are EVs
- Battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales have risen by 70% in the last year
- Over 25% of new cars sold as of December 2021 were BEVs – EVs that run solely on a battery with no combustion engine parts, compared to less than 2% in 2019.
What we lack is charging infrastructure to support the continued growth of EVs. OFGEM’s research also shows that range anxiety is a major barrier to uptake: 36% of consumers who said they were unlikely to switch to EVs were worried about charging facilities in their area.
How many EV charge points do we need?
The government has stated its ambition that no-one should be more than 30 miles from a public charge point, backed up by £500 million allocated to the Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) scheme to improve fast-charging networks.
Rapid charging is key to e-mobility and funding is also going towards the installation of 6,000 rapid charge points along UK motorways by 2035.
Overall, we need an average of 35,000 EV charge points installed every year up to 2030, compared to 7,600 in 2021.
Can an electric vehicle charge itself?
There is a type of vehicle known as a ‘self-charging’ hybrid, which uses an internal combustion engine (ICE) alongside a small battery pack and electric motor. It charges the battery with excess energy that would usually be lost while breaking, kicking in for a mile or so to improve fuel consumption.
The technology to self-charge pure electric vehicles does not yet exist. However, a Dutch start-up recently launched the first production ready solar powered EV that under optimal conditions can meet most people’s daily commutes and trips without ever having to plug in.
Mass deployment of truly self-charging cars is a long way off, what we need to meet net zero 2050 is lots more public and private chargers!
How can I become an EV charge point installer?
We deliver a Level 3 qualification in EV charge point installation, which covers the installation of dedicated conductive charging equipment for the charging of pure electric and plug-in hybrid electric road vehicles (PHEV) and includes the extended range of electric vehicles (E-REV).
The course is designed to upskill tradespeople with existing electrical qualifications.