At the start of this year I found myself considering buying an electric vehicle. This was a stark contrast to 12 months ago, when I had been eyeing up a petrol-guzzling hot hatch to take on trips up and down the country. My role in the Siemens eMobility team has brought me much closer to the market and shown me all the great benefits of putting down the petrol pump and picking up the charging cable.
So, what’s changed?
2020 is quickly becoming the year of the Electric Vehicle. Last year saw the number of plug-in cars registered in the UK rise to over 200,000. With the growth in uptake of electric cars comes an increased demand for places to charge. As of today, over 120,000 home chargers have been installed in the UK, along with over 24,000 public charge points. So, what’s stalling the switch to electric for me? Like many people my age, I am concerned about the impact of my purchasing decisions on the environment and want to do everything I can to help. Unfortunately, like many people my age, I don’t have the option to charge a car at home.
Prices for electricity at rapid charging hubs can be around 10 times higher than a flexible home energy tariff from an EV-friendly electricity provider, and with around 1/3 of UK residents lacking the ability to charge at home, what is being done to address this growing inequality in the market?
Siemens and ubitricity have been busy in London recently, and have converted over 1,300 lamp posts to provide on-street charging capability for EV drivers as part of the #LetLondonBreathe campaign to improve air quality. These lamppost chargers enable residents without off-street parking to fill up their car batteries with 100% renewable energy, at a cheaper price than what they would expect to pay at a rapid charger. The charging sockets easily integrate into the existing lamppost housing and avoid a large portion of the infrastructure modifications usually required to install a new on-street charger. The sockets blend into their environment, and don’t take up as much space as a standard charging unit.
We’re celebrating the conversion of the UK’s first “Electric Avenue”, with 24 lamppost sockets in Westminster. If this trend continues across the UK, the decision I need to make on whether to change to electric or not will become an easy one! Click here to find out more.