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Response to Mayor of London’s plans for an ‘electrical’ revolution

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 - 09:34
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Following our report* on Monday highlighting London Mayor, Sadiq Khan’s plan for developing the infrastructure for more electric and hybrid powered vehicles on the Capital’s streets, there has been some response to that plan from some of the major players and stakeholders in the scheme.

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), welcomes the initiative by the Mayor of London which it believes is crucial to achieve the sea-change in urban mobility.  However, IMI Chief Executive, Steve Nash, is concerned the plan only focuses on the charging infrastructure and did not address the current gap in skills for those likely to need to work on electric vehicles in the future.

“The IMI has been championing the setting of standards to ensure that technicians are appropriately qualified to work on electrified vehicles through the IMI TechSafe banner. And we are keen that the Mayor of London endorses this standard so that motorists adopting this new technology can have confidence that those working on their vehicles are safe. By adopting a standard for those working on electric vehicles that people can trust, we also believe that the costs of insuring and servicing electric vehicles will come down, making them accessible to all.”

With a clear focus on the challenges facing motorists and the insurers and garages supporting them, and working with an industry-wide group, the IMI has created the EV Professional Standard to give technicians an easy way to certify their EV competence through the IMI TechSafe banner.

Sebastian Speight, Managing Director of Infrastructure at Ingenious, said: “There is a justifiable concern about the drag on the adoption of electric vehicles in the UK due to the limits on the speed of rolling out the associated charging infrastructure. There are currently a number of market participants developing and implementing strategies for rolling out charging infrastructure but there is also a reasonable degree of uncertainty about the future patterns of consumer behaviour which creates a level of risk in these business models which has a closer fit with strategic or venture capital rather than more traditional infrastructure capital. These uncertainties are around the technology type (AC versus DC), charging location and fear of stranded assets and convergence of operating systems. A closer involvement from public stakeholders should enable greater visibility on these risks and increase the availability of private capital.”

Mat Watson, motoring expert at carwow, said: “This is a welcome statement from Mayor Kahn, and one which clearly highlights his continued dedication to introduce meaningful changes within London Transport operations. Brits are currently reluctant to make the change until they know that the infrastructure will be there to support them, and we hope to see other local governments replicating this and committing to targets. Our own research showed lack of charging points is the number one barrier for drivers (67 per cent), alongside ‘range anxiety’ – the fear that one charge wouldn’t get UK drivers where they need to go (55 per cent).

“Since the introduction of the ULEZ just over two months ago (April 8th), we’ve witnessed the following:

  • Demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles in London is up 77% vs. 44% across the rest of the UK
  • Pure electric car searches in London are up 123% vs. 56% across the rest of the UK
  • From the start of May 2018, there has been a 56% year-on-year increase in searches for hybrid vehicles, with a further 92% increase in electric vehicle quotes on the carwow website.

“Despite these positive indicators, just 12% of all searches from London since ULEZ was introduced have been for alternatively fuelled vehicles; and an even lower 7% across the rest of the UK. Customers need the reassurance that electric vehicles will get them where they need to go, safely and without the hassle of finding a charging point. Hopefully Mayor Kahn’s pledge today will help to reassure potential buyers that they will not regret making the change.”

* ChargePoint Supports Mayor of London Deliver EV Rapid Charging Promise

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