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EV Charging Infrastructure: Minimising the environmental impact

EVs are a green technology. EV chargers should be too. Considering the benefits of an EV driving nation, rolling out the enabling charging infrastructure is an environmental no-brainer. But charging infrastructure itself also adds to overall emissions. The greener the infrastructure, therefore, the quicker the payback. Published May 2020.

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EV Charging Infrastructure: Minimising the environmental impact

EVs are a green technology. EV chargers should be too. Considering the benefits of an EV driving nation, rolling out the enabling charging infrastructure is an environmental no-brainer. But charging infrastructure itself also adds to overall emissions. The greener the infrastructure, therefore, the quicker the payback. Published May 2020.

EVs don't produce emissions whilst being driven, but they are not emissions-free. Some emissions are generated in order to manufacture them, power them, and produce the infrastructure to charge them.

Fortunately, in countries like Britain, where much energy generation comes from renewables, EVs produce far less emissions per km than internal combustion engine (ICE) equivalents. In these markets it then takes 2-4 years to offset battery manufacture emissions, known as ‘payback’. Over time the electricity mix gets cleaner and payback falls, whereas ICE vehicles offer little room for efficiency improvements.

Considering the benefits of an EV driving nation, rolling out the enabling charging infrastructure is an environmental no-brainer. But charging infrastructure itself also adds to overall emissions. The greener the infrastructure, therefore, the quicker the payback. So far, this has received little attention.

As we ramp up charge points from thousands to millions, we must look at minimising their environmental impact, otherwise we may face backlash against a supposedly green industry.

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Electric Vehicles: Moving from early adopters to mainstream buyers

We have commissioned this report to highlight the current inadequacy of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and to provide insight into what future charging infrastructure should look like to maximise...

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Electric Vehicles: Moving from early adopters to mainstream buyers

We have commissioned this report to highlight the current inadequacy of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and to provide insight into what future charging infrastructure should look like to maximise electric vehicle uptake. Published March 2020.

  • For current EVs drivers 80% of charging is done at home
  • 64% do the majority of their EV charging overnight
  • 67% of existing EV drivers would not have bought an EV if they did not have access to overnight charging
  • Of those who do not own EVs, 40% said they do not have somewhere to park it overnight where they could charge it
  • 89% said they would be encouraged to make their next car purchase an EV if they were offered access to a space where they could charge.

For EVs to become mainstream, people need to feel that the switch will be cheaper and more convenient, which means deployment of charging infrastructure that is aligned to the reality of their existing routines. Creating an EV charging infrastructure that enables the majority of the UK to move to electric vehicles in 15 years needs bold thinking and significant investment.

Critically, it means moving from piecemeal deployment of charging stations that no one really wants, to a strategic infrastructure plan directly aligned to user needs.

Chris Pateman-Jones CEO

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Charging into an EV future, discovering EV benefits for workplaces

The EV future promises not just to benefit the planet, but employers and employees too. Fully realising this means investing in quality solutions and collaborating with the right electric vehicle charge point provider. Find out more about all EV benefits now in our report.

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Charging into an EV future

The EV future promises not just to benefit the planet, but employers and employees too. Fully realising this means investing in quality solutions and collaborating with the right electric vehicle charge point provider. 

Here are some key considerations for businesses aiming to make the transition in a way that makes sense from both an economic and environmental perspective. 

EV business benefits 

Alongside the environmental benefits of zero emission EVs, business adoption offers clear financial benefits. Charging an EV is three times cheaper than filling up. EVs are also exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) taxes and the London Congestion Charge and come with a 100% first year capital allowance (FYA), which means businesses can deduct the cost from their pre-tax profits in the year they acquire the vehicles. 

Workplace Charging Scheme 

The economic case for business investment in EV is strengthened by the government’s Workplace Charging Scheme, which offers vouchers that businesses can put towards the cost of purchasing and installing EV charge points. 

Charging solution lifespan 

Gaining the full financial savings and environmental benefits of investing in EVs also means avoiding the need to frequently update or replace your company’s charging solution. 

We’ve seen solutions on the market with lifespans of just five years, despite the fact that high-quality solutions exist that last over three times as long. Longer lifespan solutions are more cost-efficient, less disruptive and better for the environment. 

 Environmental concerns 

 Avoiding charging solutions made of non-recycled or non-recyclable materials is also key to ensuring the EV sector can fully deliver its potential environmental benefits.  

We believe that the route to truly green transport is through more widespread availability of green charging infrastructure. This should involve building long life charging points that are manufactured using recycled materials, keeping the carbon costs of producing chargers close to zero. 

Making the transition 

Ultimately, working with a trusted partner on their transition will ensure that businesses are best placed to realise the full potential of all of the environmental and economic benefits of EVs. With the right partner, businesses can ensure their EV transition generates a source of revenue, offers convenience to employees, slashes their environmental impact and represents a cost-efficient long-term investment. 

Find out more by downloading our report