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What kind of power is essential for the UK’s success?

The EV summit 2020 which took place recently came from the Oxford theoretically, but like so many situation made it go online this year. It was the latest of the series to feature many powerful speakers and companies such as EDF, E.On and SSEN ( Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks ) as well as the infrastructure suppliers and car makers like Citroen, Mini and Hyundai UK. The main discussion of the panels were the role of original equipment manufacturers ( OEMs ), electric buses and the development of the UK’s charging infrastructure , its sustainability and most interestingly through a business point of view and its investment. They all agreed that the biggest bang per buck would come from these charging points which was shared between companies , venture capitalists , private equity investors and the Governments.

The representative of SSEN saw this infrastructure as a public service responsibility. There had been some distortion on the subject of EVs and the industry had to respond immediately, in SSEN’s view, with facts such as the real cost-per-mile of electric cars. The main question was if it was 2p per mile or that the ICE figure of 16p per mile? There was a need for 325,000 public charging points and now the figure currently stands at 18,000. The 65 per cent of the UK homes have private parking or their own drive away points. This certainly means that more than 30 per cent of the population does not have the private parking or charging points, and they can take advantage of this flexible off peak tariffs. Smart chargers from the companies such as Ohme, optimize these points.

Other possible solutions would include curbside charging which are installed by the local authorities. The charging station networks can be built by these companies like Shell. Another idea could be, these supermarkets offering their customers free charging whilst they do their weekly shopping at the stores. Charging networks need to be more extensive, and more consistent. Rather than having a different RFID card for each company, there should be a call for one card to cover them all. After all, with an ICE car you can fill up anywhere and pay with same debit or credit card; why shouldn’t it be the same for EVs? This will be a smart solution of all.

Henrik Andersen, the CEO of Vestas, the world’s biggest wind turbine company and sponsor of Formula E. Vestas produced 100GW of wind power across 79 countries, and those turbines could go carbon-negative after three to four months of maneuver. That contained all engineering and general company-wide discharges. From January, all new enterprise vehicles would be electric (battery or hybrid). Julia Poliscanova, the Immobility director of the Brussels-based NGO Transport and Environment, admitted that battery power-driven vehicles may not be the best solution, but she believed that it was the best they had as of now. Her aim was to have 100 per cent of new vehicle sales electric, by 2030. “Oil is extracted and burned, gone forever,” she said. “Lithium, cobalt etc, once mined and used in batteries can be recycled.” To conclude, a common refrain across the panel was that the trial and error of the usage of electric vehicles lead way to only fewer people wanting to go back to ICE power after usage.

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