The Electric Nation project installs the last of 673 domestic smart chargers throughout the U.K. as part of a trial with owners of more than 40 makes and models of electric vehicles.
Western Power Distribution’s Electric Nation says the final smart-charger installation caps more than two years of work. Project partner DriveElectric led the recruiting for the trial.
“The high level of interest that we’ve received from EV drivers to be participants in Electric Nation has reinforced the view that we’re now at a tipping point with EVs,” DriveElectric Managing Director Mike Potter says in a statement.
The project will assess the smart-charging technology and feedback from trial participants.
The U.K. is ending the sale of new conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2040. By then, it expects most new cars and vans to be zero-emissions and all new cars and vans to have significant zero-emissions capability. By 2050 it wants almost every car and van to be zero-emissions.
“We want to see at least 50%, and as many as 70%, of new car sales and up to 40% of new van sales being ultra-low emission by 2030,” says “Road to Zero” (below, left), a strategy roadmap for increased EV adoption published by the U.K. government.
The government says it will lead the way by ensuring 25% of its car fleet is ultra-low-emissions by 2022 and 100% by 2030. It also plans to invest £1.5 billion ($1.97 billion) in ultra-low-emissions vehicles by 2020.
The “Road to Zero” paper includes initiatives such as a push for charge points to be installed in newly built homes and for new street light poles to include charging points.
A £400 million ($525 million) Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund will help speed the rollout of charging infrastructure by funding companies that produce and install charge points.
There already are about 14,000 public charge points (including more than 1,300 rapid chargers) across the U.K. “Highways England is committed to ensuring there is a charge point every 20 miles (32km) along the strategic road network by 2020,” the paper says.
Up to £500 ($656) will be available to EV owners who put in a charge point in their home, and there will be increased grants for workplaces to install charge points from £300 ($394) per socket to 75% of the purchase and installation costs, capped at £500.
Plug-in car and van grants will continue at current rates at least until October and in some form until at least 2020, giving consumers significant savings when buying a new EV.
There now are more than 150,000 ULEVs on British roads. The report says an adequate vehicle supply is a key U.K. constraint with only 38 models now eligible for the plug-in car grant, compared with hundreds of conventional vehicle options.
“Road to Zero” says a 2025 review of the uptake of ultra-low-emissions vehicles (ULEVs) will consider what interventions are required if not enough progress is being made.
Driving the change is the government’s commitment to be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than it inherited.
“Our approach is deliberately holistic,” the “Road to Zero” paper says. “Adequate vehicle supply, a strong consumer base, the right market conditions and a fit for purpose infrastructure network are all vital to meeting our ambitions.”