Low Emission Vehicles Update – Part I
December 2020 to January 2021 was a busy period for the electric vehicle (EV) sector. The following are the major sector headlines for December. January will be covered in Part II of this update.
- The Electricity and Gas (Internal Markets) (No.2) Regulations 2020 were published along with an explanatory memorandum. The Regulations came into force on 31 December 2020 and place prohibitions on District Network Operators, owning or operating EV chargepoints, to encourage market competition.
- The Welsh government published its strategy to achieve a substantial increase in the number of EV chargepoints in Wales. Stemming from a vision that by 2025 all users of electric cars and vans in Wales will be confident that they can access EV charging infrastructure when and where they need it, the proposed £30m investment will be utilised over five years to help accelerate this market. A consultation on the strategy has also been launched as part of the Welsh government’s ongoing efforts to support the transition to low emission vehicles. Over the next decade, the strategy identifies the need for between 30,000 and 50,000 fast chargers and 2,000 to 3,500 rapid/ultra-rapid chargers.
- It was announced that Nottinghamshire Country Council’s fleet management service, Via East Midlands, will partner with energy storage company Cheesecake Energy Ltd (CEL) to pilot chargepoints for a new fleet of electric buses. The trial will be funded by Innovate UK. CEL has said that the chargepoints will be used to store excess energy as well as power the Council’s buses.
- GridServe, in partnership with Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC, announced the launch of the UK’s first net-zero EV leasing business, GridServe Electric Vehicle Solutions. The business was launched in tandem with the opening of the UK’s first all-electric car charging forecourt in Braintree, Essex. The forecourt will use energy derived from a subsidy-free solar farm at Clayhill in Bedfordshire. GridServe intends to open more than 100 electric forecourts over the next 5 years. Charging at the forecourts will be included in GridServe’s monthly vehicle lease payments.
- The Department for Transport announced the launch of green number plates for zero emissions vehicles on 8 December 2020. Transport Minister, Rachel Maclean, added that the move underlined the government’s commitment to tackling poor air quality in the UK’s towns and cities and builds on the government’s previous announcement to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in the UK by 2030.
- Bolt announced the next phase of its plans to expedite the adoption of EVs in London through its ‘Zero Emission Transition’. The company confirmed that it is committing £250,000 to improve EV infrastructure in the city and is partnering with Splend to offer EV packages to those considering the transition, including a brand new EV insurance, servicing and maintenance solution. The company is also set to partner with Ubitricity to bring more chargepoints to streets and will work with councils to speed up the installation of further public chargepoints.
- Irish electric charging network provider EasyGo announced that it would be installing rapid charging units at 180 phone boxes across the country, in partnership with Irish telecoms company, Eir. The new charging units, provided by Australian company Tritium, will join EasyGo’s existing network of 1,200 chargepoints in the Republic of Ireland.
- Alfen announced that it had signed a 3 year framework agreement to supply EV chargers for British Gas’ business and employees as well for Centrica’s premises. Centrica will also offer Alfen’s chargers to its commercial customers who are planning to electrify their fleets. Furthermore, Alfen offer ‘Smart Charging Network’ and ‘Active Load Balancing’ solutions which can optimise local grid capacity, allowing British Gas, Centrica and its customers to connect up to 100 chargepoints in a single installation and balance the available power across all vehicles charging, thus maximising charging speed and avoiding overloading of the local electricity supply.
- EDF announced the launch of its cheapest EV tariff yet. In light of the government’s announcement of a ban on all petrol and diesel cars by 2030, EDF’s “GoElectric” tariff offers a rate of just 4.5p/kWh. According to EDF, this would charge a standard 40kW battery for £1.80.
- The Climate Change Committee (CCC) released its Sixth Carbon Budget and accompanying policy report. The CCC recommended an ambitious target of a 78% reduction in emissions relative to 1990, which is a 63% reduction from 2019. The “scale up” transition from 2020 to 2030 makes EVs and charging technology a central part of building supply chains and new markets for low carbon consumers. Full summary in our blog article.
- BP Pulse (formerly BP Chargemaster) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with FreeWire Technologies to deploy its ‘Boost Charger’ within its UK operations. The Boost Charger deploys battery-integrated charging which removes the need for reliance on high-power grid connection by connecting to the existing low-voltage grid connections.
The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.
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