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Report advocates reserving public fast-chargers for battery-only vehicles

Fri 14 December 2018 | Back to news list

A new report from the RAC Foundation finds that widespread confusion over how fast electric vehicles can be recharged could be undermining efforts to provide an adequate public chargepoint network. It concludes that some public access chargepoints should be reserved for battery-only vehicles rather than 'blocked' by plug-in hybrids which are unable to charge at a high rate. Meanwhile a separate report highlights the opportunities for recharging at commercial and industrial sites.

The RAC Foundation's report says that the latest battery-only cars need only five minutes at the quickest ‘Rapid’ chargepoints to take on enough electricity to add about 15 miles of range. However, because of the limitations of their on-board control units, it will take almost all plug-in hybrids an hour or so – or twelve times as long – to achieve a similar thing.

This mismatch means that expensive, high-specification equipment which is essential to battery-only vehicles on long journeys could be blocked by other, slower-charging vehicles.

The warning appears in a new report - Development of the UK Public Chargepoint Network – for the RAC Foundation by Harold Dermott.

The author argues that until plug-in hybrids have both a greater electric-only range and can accept electricity at a faster rate, chargepoints at motorway service areas should be reserved solely for battery-only cars.

The report also notes that whilst there has been an improvement in the reliability of public chargepoints in the last year – resulting in a reduction of out of service chargepoints from 14.8% (one in seven) to 8.3% (one in twelve) – there are still too many malfunctions.

Meanwhile, a report by Aurora Energy (for Eaton, with NatWest and Lombard in partnership with the Renewable Energy Association) highlights the scale of the commercial opportunity for EV charging.

The report “Opportunities in Electric Vehicle Charging at Commercial and Industrial Sites”  says that Commercial and Industry (C&I) sites will have an important role to play in providing charging infrastructure for EVs. It examines the future opportunities presented by C&I charging in Great Britain and Germany.

The report anticipates that the number of electric vehicles in the UK and Germany will grow rapidly.  Aurora’s forecast sees 17m and 23m by 2040 in UK and Germany respectively.

This growth in electric vehicles is expected to transform electricity systems by increasing electricity demand and affecting electricity prices.

The report says that as the fleet of electric vehicles grows, the investment opportunity for C&I EV charging could reach £2bn-£6bn in GB and €3bn-€8bn in Germany.

In addition to this, adding vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capabilities, on-site energy storage or solar panels can enhance the business cases for C&I electric vehicle charging. These technologies could unlock savings on electricity costs, reduce the scale of network upgrades needed, and provide extra revenues from the capacity market.



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