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Alison Bell's blog: A bright future for electric vehicles

Date: 19 July 2017

It was reassuring to see in the Queen's Speech the introduction of the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill. Whilst the UK is already Europe's largest market for zero emission capable cars, accounting for almost a quarter of European Union electric car and plug-in hybrid registrations in 2016, there are still concerns amongst fleet managers around the whole life cost and the day-to-day running of such vehicles.

Research we conducted recently found that 85% of motorists would consider buying an electric vehicle. However, 69% said that the lack of charging points across the UK would be the biggest deterrent. The move therefore to install more charging points is a critical and positive step in giving fleet buyers and motorists more confidence to choose EV or hybrid.  Yet there is still a long way to go to achieve total buy-in and reach the goal of zero-emission on our roads by 2050.

Earlier this year, both Total and Shell confirmed their intention to install charging points at their stations across the UK, in a reassuring step forward towards making every petrol station offer charging facilities. Easy access to charging points is crucial to the successful take-up of electric vehicles in the future and the new Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill is set to ensure this is addressed.

The UK government is committed to investing in the future of EVs, by eliminating purchasing and operating barriers. Drivers are already making the shift to plug-in vehicles in London in line with Government plans to make it an ultra-low emission zone in 2019, to promote clean-air. In fact, the government's plans now include a significant number of other towns and cities, which will be following London's lead.

Uptake of electric vehicles has been slow, but it's important to realise that cost isn't always the biggest hurdle, it is access to charging points and limited mileage range of the vehicle. Our research clearly shows there is an appetite for electrical vehicles but motorists do have their reservations when it comes to the day-to-day running of the vehicle. Hopefully this Bill should move forward plans to invest in infrastructure for electric vehicles, helping more people get on the road to a zero emissions future.



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