By: Chris Pateman-Jones, CEO of electric vehicle charging infrastructure company Connected Kerb
Release of LEVI funding:
“The LEVI Fund marks one of the biggest moments in the UK’s EV transition, by providing local authorities across England with the necessary funding and expertise to deploy chargers further and faster than ever before.
“However, a core focus for councils must be to ensure that the grant funding is intelligently deployed, to ensure charge point rollouts are equitable. This means putting a focus on the sites that actually need the funding to get off the ground.”
The political landscape surrounding the EV industry:
“The electric vehicle transition has become a frontline political issue over the past year – from pushing back the phase out of new petrol and diesel cars to 2035, to the likes of ULEZ. To transform the UK’s transport system at the pace and scale science demands, a supportive political environment in 2024 will be key.
“But political controversy doesn’t change the facts – the EV transition is well underway and accelerating at pace. EV sales have continued to soar month on month, and the ZEV mandate, set to begin in January 2024 will see car manufacturers sell an increasing number of EVs every year. So, charge point operators, like us at Connected Kerb, need to remain laser-focused on providing the reliable, affordable, and convenient charging infrastructure that’ll make 2024 the best year yet for EV drivers across the UK.”
“Driver experience will be a core focus for 2024. As more people make the switch to EVs, it’s increasingly important that all drivers can find, use, and pay for charging with ease.
“The Public Chargepoint Regulations implemented this year provided a real boost for drivers’ hopes of an even better user experience, one that Connected Kerb has always been committed to delivering.
“We’ll also see independent bodies like Zap-Map becoming increasingly important in 2024 as a single source of truth for drivers, rightly holding networks to account for maintaining high standards for user experience.”
“As the EV charging networks scale at pace to meet growing demand, the EV charging industry must find way to become a smarter part of the UK’s energy system – smart charging makes this possible.
“The choice to schedule a charge when electricity is at its cheapest will become a game charger in shifting public perceptions on EVs, whilst making charging far less of a burden on the power grid.
“We know from experience that smart charging works brilliantly for both drivers and networks. Our Agile Streets trial – the first public smart charging trial in the UK – highlighted the significant efficiency and cost benefits. Scaling public smart charging solutions across our network will be a key focus for 2024.”
Misinformation about EVs:
“The move from early adoption to mass market has seen misinformation reach new heights. Underpinned by today’s 24-hour news cycle, misinformation spreads far and wide in no time.
“There is a real need for the industry to unite to tackle mistruths and bring clarity to consumers. Otherwise, we’ll witness a sea of confusion amongst new and prospective EV drivers which will inevitably have a negative impact on uptake.
“Uniting the industry will therefore be key for 2024. The new industry body, ChargeUK, has already laid the groundwork for a stronger, more collaborative EV industry, whilst bringing together Government and other key stakeholders to accelerate overcome key challenges and drive forward the EV transition at the pace and scale required to reach net zero.”
“Whilst the number of EVs on the UK’s roads has grown month in, month out, demand for EVs from individual buyers has slowed down since mid-2023, with growth in EV registrations mainly driven by business fleets. However, in 2024 this is likely to change.
“Factors such as cheaper models of EVs due to hit the market in 2024, through to volatile oil prices, will likely have a positive influence individual uptake of EVs, as they become increasingly affordable to own and operate.
“As ever, Connected Kerb is focused on making it as easy as possible for all drivers to access reliable and convenient charging infrastructure throughout the UK – giving drivers more and more confidence in the transition to electric.”
Consolidation within the EV charging market:
“2023 saw major milestones hit for the EV industry, including the installation of the UK’s 50,000th public EV charger. However, it also saw major challenges for the entire industry.
“As we enter 2024, smaller networks may struggle to remain competitive in the face of rising interest rates, leading to a consolidation of operators.”