Stephen Irish is a founding and Managing Director – Commercial, Hyperdrive Innovation, and has substantial experience in technology development and product delivery. His degree thesis was on electric and hybrid vehicle technology almost 20 years ago.
A mass rollout of electric vehicles (EVs) was once a futuristic fantasy. But today, advances in technology combined with commercial developments indicate that this reality isn’t too far away.
The resounding voice of EV industry players was that without the right charging infrastructure, EVs will never truly realise their potential. But there are signs that this is changing. Transport for London (TfL), for example, has appointed a consortium of suppliers who will provide rapid charging points around London, whilst also being responsible for their operations and maintenance. Then there is Pod Point who recently announced its partnership with Savills to install charging points across its managed retail parks and shopping centres around the country.
This notable increase in supply of charging points correlates well with the appetite for electric vehicles, despite the impact of recent government cuts to subsidies for green cars which saw sales of EVs and hybrids fall for the first time in almost four years.
However, if we look at the overall growth of EV uptake over the past few years, there is a sunnier outlook. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), in 2013, only 3,500 of the newly registered cars in the UK were plug-in full EVs or hybrids. By the end of May this year, the number is more than 100,000 with over 40 models available on the current market. Furthermore, UK car sales hit a record high of 2.69 million vehicles last year. Of this, alternative fuel models, mainly plug-in EVs and hybrids, demonstrated faster growth than conventional cars.
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