Electric vehicles are rather like mobile phones – a few early adopters take the lead and bit by bit, the rest of us follow, until everyone has one.

 

By 2020, it’s estimated there will be more than one million electric vehicles (EVs) on UK roads, according to research by Emu Analytics – up from around 170,000 currently.

 

And the government is hoping that most new cars will be electric by 2030, ahead of a phase out of sales of conventional petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040.

 

News saturation

Certainly, EVs are a hot topic – a Google news search brings up 33.8 million results. And not a day goes by without another EV-related announcement from a car manufacturer, technology firm, research company or other organisation.

 

In the last few weeks alone:

  • BT has announced plans to offer an EV-only company car scheme.
  • Fleet Managers in other organisations are set to follow, with 89% saying EVs will play a “dominant role” in their fleets before 2030, in a survey by fleet management solutions provider Geotab.
  • BMW has pledged to have 25 EV or hybrid models on sale by 2025.
  • And Harley Davidson has unveiled its first fully electric motorbike, the Livewire.

 

Charging infrastructure essential

But EVs do not operate in isolation – they need a charging infrastructure to provide ‘fuel’. And it’s the development of this that is key for the successful roll out of EVs.

 

According to the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), an additional 25,000 charging points are needed across the UK by 2030 to meet demand.

 

It says this could be met by a combination of public and private investment, with chargers in urban environments likely to be installed by companies such as supermarkets and leisure providers hoping to attract customers.

 

Far fewer chargers are expected to be needed for long-distance en-route charging – for example at motorway service stations. The CCC estimates around 1,170 will need to be installed by 2030, which is a relatively modest increase on the 500 or so currently available.

 

Battery ranges reducing en-route charging

This is because increased battery range is expected to reduce the current 27% of trips that need en-route charging to less than 1% by 2030.

 

When cars do refuel, most will also do so using rapid-charging technology.

 

But while this may be more convenient for drivers, the growth in EV charging could create a potential headache for National Grid, whose job it is to balance energy supply and demand.

 

It’s here that battery storage is expected to play a key role.

 

EVs fuelling growth in battery storage

Indeed, the growth in EVs is contributing to huge expected growth in the energy storage market, which is estimated to reach $1.2 trillion by 2040, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

 

Certainly, at npower Business Solutions, we find as many customers are interested in EV charging infrastructure as they are in battery storage solutions – and our expert teams can help with both.

 

To find out more about EV charging, or for help and support with EV hardware or software requirements, get in touch with our EV Team via evcharging@npower.com.

 

And for battery storage and more about flexible energy management in general, talk to our Energy HQ team. You can reach them via email at energyhq@npower-business-solutions.com, or by calling 0800 994 9382 or visiting the Energy HQ website.