Trade body says transition could take place much faster than public or government anticipates

The government has been urged to develop a clear strategy for the development of charging infrastructure to accelerate the shift towards electric vehicles (EVs).

In a new report, the Renewable Energy Association says the transition could take place much more rapidly than either the government or the public anticipates.

The document was produced in response to the government’s announcement earlier this year that it would ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles starting in 2040.

With the right support, the REA believes that electric and plug-in hybrids could make up 50 per cent of new vehicles sales by as soon as 2025.

The trade body says the central government, in collaboration with local authorities, should launch an EV roll-out strategy which covers “everything from building regulations to manufacturing, power generation and charging infrastructure, so barriers can be minimized and electric vehicles become an obvious choice for consumers.”

The report also calls for the implementation of a number of specific measures. It says distribution network operators should be given clear directions as to their future role in the power system as active participants rather than passive infrastructure owners.

Building codes should be altered to include requirements for new homes, offices, shopping centres and public buildings to feature EV charging infrastructure, solar generation and energy storage.

Regulations should also require the installation of three-phase electricity supplies in all new housing and the use of onsite renewables and energy storage should be encouraged at major charging stations to reduce stress on the grid, particularly in rural areas with weaker connections.

“It’s essential that government is factoring in this historic shift into new building regulations, infrastructure investment, and energy policy so that the transition is as smooth as possible and Britain benefits from its current leadership position,” said REA head of electric vehicles Matthew Trevaskis.

“One key point in this report is that the way people interact with charging will be substantially different than how they interact with petrol fill ups at present.

“By the time the government’s 2040 diesel and petrol vehicle ban comes into play, we believe it to be likely that a viable alternative system will already be in place. The 2040 ban was a useful first step, and what’s needed now is a clear national and regional charging strategy.”

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