By Hannah Collishaw, director of E.ON Drive in the UK
With transport currently accounting for around a third of the UK’s carbon emissions, it’s no surprise that policymakers are placing the sector under increased scrutiny.
Last year, the Government’s Road to Zero Strategy confirmed its ambition for at least half of new cars to be ultra-low emission by 2030 and that it will end the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040.
So, it’s time to embrace the idea that all new cars and vans will need to be effectively zero emission by 2040 and it’s time for fleet operators and personal car owners alike to take up the challenge of reducing emissions onto roads. For businesses in the UK, it’s time to drive into the future.
Boost the planet and your portfolio
Businesses have an opportunity to place themselves at the forefront of a transport revolution. With the right investments, businesses and workplaces can become the fuel stops of the future – and government will help them do it.
The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) supports the wider adoption of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the UK and offers a range of grants, including the OLEV Charging Scheme – worth up to £10,000 – which is eligible to companies installing workplace electric vehicle charging points.
Fleet managers should also capitalise on the largest plug-in grants – worth up to £8,000 – which are available for electric vans.
In addition, pure electric cars are exempt from paying Vehicle Excise Duty and road tax is reduced in the first year for vehicles that emit less than 75g/km CO2.
There are the lower running costs too – with electric vehicles costing as little as 2p per mile to drive, compared to 10-12p for their petrol or diesel counterparts. Furthermore, with fewer moving parts in an electric vehicle, they have 20-30% lower service, maintenance and repair costs compared to traditional internal combustion engine alternatives.
Despite this, companies remain hesitant to adopt electric vehicles due to the myths surrounding electric vehicles which have perpetuated in the public sphere.
One of the most prevalent is ‘range anxiety’ – the worry that your vehicle will run out of charge before you reach your destination – partly driven by a misconception around the current state of our charging network.
According to recent research conducted by Nissan, drivers now have more public places to charge electric cars than they do to fill up with petrol or diesel.
This represents a monumental milestone, but it is also a huge opportunity that we, as a nation, cannot afford to waste.
We must now build on this momentum and ensure that our charging infrastructure continues to grow at a pace that can sustain and further encourage the uptake of electric vehicles.
Developing our charging infrastructure
Though charging infrastructure is not just about quantity. It’s the availability of the fastest charging points, in the right locations, that will be key to driving the switch to electric vehicles.
The provision of ultra-fast charging (UFC) facilities is one of the crucial next steps to charge the transition to electric mobility.
E.ON recently opened its first UFC points in the UK and already operate more than 3,000 charge points across Europe. These UFC stations can deliver up to 175kW of electricity, enabling vehicles to add approximately 100 miles to their battery’s range in as little as 10 minutes.
Accelerating the transition
We will be doing our bit to guarantee that the country’s charging infrastructure expands, and we encourage other companies to explore further innovation and provision of charging technology to enable us to keep pace with the increased demand.
As the transition to electric mobility increasingly becomes the new normal, we will accelerate on the road to a zero carbon future.