leech andrew NEW

The UK EV market has reached a tipping point where better supply, lower prices and greater access to charging means that market momentum is guaranteed for the next decade. The priority now must be in investing in better resources for the 40% of the nation who cannot charge at home and who risk being left behind in the electric evolution.

So says Andrew Leech (pictured), founder and managing director of salary sacrifice and fleet management specialist, Fleet Evolution, who believes that the EV market for the 60% of those drivers who have access to home charging is now assured and only going to get better.

It is the remainder of potential EV drivers who live in densely populated urban areas with no access to home charging where the greatest amount of thought, investment and strategic planning is now required, particularly at a local government level.

Fleet Evolution has had a record start to the year with burgeoning sales in Q1 as more drivers than ever before commit to switching to an electric car.

“This year looks set to be our most successful year on record and we are seeing increased orders for several reasons: much improved support from the vehicle manufacturers with 15-18% discounts on even volume models, with greater supply, shorter lead times and wider choice.

“It has never been easier to choose an affordable EV with a range that is suitable to meet your needs. And the growth of large electric charging hubs at a national level, plus a big increase in the national charging infrastructure, means the future of the electric revolution for the 60% looks decidedly rosy and assured,” he said.

However, Leech said more needed to be done for those drivers who have held off switching to an EV because of inadequate charging options due to the nature of their habitation.

“Where we need to see a coherent strategy from local government is in large conurbations where people park in the street, sometimes outside their own house, but not always, and where lack of charging is holding them back.”

Leech said a typical example was the Greater London area within the M25 where some 75% of residents had no access to home charging. And he cited the need for greater use of and support for cross-pavement charging solutions, such as the recently televised ‘charge gully’, which connect to individual home chargers and don’t require trenching or subterranean infrastructure.

Leech also welcomed the recent government announcement that EV drivers without off-street parking can now access a 75% charge point grant up to a maximum of £350.

The grant can be applied for by drivers of eligible EVs that own or rent a residential property in which they live. They must have adequate on-street parking and permission from their local council to install a cross-pavement charging solution between their home and the approved parking space.

“We need better, more joined-up thinking from local government to provide these types of better resources for potential EV drivers who don’t have access to a garage or driveway. “There could be greater policing of parking outside residents’ homes, for example, with fines for those who take someone else’s parking space, plus wider use of lamp-post charging.

“We need a strategy that focuses on and connects with the 40% who are in danger of being left behind in the electric revolution. And that will require greater action, more investment and a coherent, joined-up thinking from local authorities across the land,” he said.

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