From forecourts to car parks: how public EV charging will power our Net Zero transport system | by Abundance | Jun, 2022



When it comes to delivering a low carbon future, tackling transport is a big deal. The sector was responsible for 27% of UK carbon emissions in 2019, and a whopping 91% of that came from our roads. Many people point to the need to promote active and public transport to cut the 300 billion vehicle miles we put in annually — undoubtedly an essential part of any Net Zero transport system.

But what to do about the remaining car journeys? That’s where public EV charging comes in. The Government recognises the need for urgent action. They estimate that up to 300,000 public chargers will be needed for the 10m EVs that will be on our roads. And with monthly installation rates currently running at 638, there clearly is a long way to go.

A complicated market, needing a range of solutions

As drivers, the idea of filling up our car conjures up a single connotation. We drive to a petrol station and then, usually less than five minutes later, we are on our way with a full tank (and sometimes a Mars bar, or £20 of shopping we didn’t know we needed). But the idea that we will be simply replacing the UK’s 8,000 petrol stations with ‘electric’ charging stations just doesn’t fit with the technology of EVs. Currently, most chargers require users to wait for 2–4 hours to charge an EV battery.

Broadly speaking the public EV charging market splits into these four categories:

  • At home
    Users topping up their vehicles at the roadside, or on their private drives. This area is often delivered by householders’ own investments in charger technology, or by councils or housing developers (as in the case of Cotswold and Camden councils, who are currently raising funds for public EV charging projects through Abundance)
  • At work
    Providing charging facilities for workers to top up as they work their shifts or overnight for fleet vehicles makes sense, particularly for people who don’t have access to charging at home
  • Destination
    This approach involves identifying and placing chargers at destinations where people typically park their cars, such as hotels, leisure facilities, golf courses, restaurants and shopping destinations
  • En route
    This is the closest analogy to our current way of ‘filling up’, at motorway service stations

We need to see exponential growth in all these categories if we are to reach the 300,000 chargers we need. And that means backing the companies, like EVC, who have identified ways to rapidly deploy chargers in locations that people actually want to use them.

EVC’s approach: location, location, location…

EVC has a unique approach to build a sustainable business in this busy market. They are leveraging their experience in the UK car parking management sector to find the best sites with the potential to create destination chargers, as well as supporting residential developers to include chargers in their parking facilities.

They focus on having a detailed understanding of supply and demand to ensure that both drivers and the EV charging networks can get what they need. That is chargers in the right places for drivers, that are used enough to make it commercially worthwhile for the companies who install them.

Siting chargers in such locations has obvious advantages for users and the companies installing them. To increase EV uptake, it needs to be easy for motorists to top up, on the go, in a way that fits their lifestyle. And, for a company like EVC, placing chargers in locations that are already a destination for motorists can ensure that their chargers are used enough to make them commercially viable (you can see more information about the performance of EVC’s current chargers here).

“We are taking a pragmatic approach to building a substantial network in the UK.. Our model, targeting businesses with a proposition that takes the hassle out of hosting chargers. This lets us secure exclusive contracts to grow our business with long term client relationships that allow us to expand the charging facilities to suit the changing demands as motorists transition to electric vehicles.” — Nick Ballamy, EVC

Long term partnerships create a resilient business model for EVC

The final part of the puzzle for a successful EV charging business is building long term partnerships. That’s why EVC focuses on creating long term relationships with the owners of multiple destination sites. They have exclusive rights to install chargers at over 200 locations usually for the next 20+ years.

Taking a long term view has obvious advantages for both parties. For EVC, it means they can respond to the needs of drivers by upgrading and increasing their charging infrastructure as needed over the course of their long term contracts. And for their clients — who include Hampton by Hilton, ibis Hotels, Best Western Hotels, Holiday Inn, Scottish Golf and housing developers like Galliard Homes — they get to provide a state of the art EV charging service for their customers with no cost or hassle.

EVC is open for investment on Abundance now. You can find out more details and invest here.

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