As the UK endeavours to meet its climate-neutral goals, VolkerSmart Technologies tells us how they are supporting the infrastructure for electric vehicles
It’s no surprise that there has been a steady increase in the number of electric vehicles on UK roads since ZapMap began reporting in 2019. With less than 100,000 electric cars on roads in 2019, compared to almost one million today, it’s welcome news that more people are making the switch.
Why switch to an electric car?
According to EDF Energy, electric cars have promising advantages, including a reduction in carbon emissions and noise pollution, no congestion charges, lower running costs, better government funding, renewable energy tariffs, and more.
In today’s world, there’s a huge host of makes and models to choose from, but this wasn’t always the case. Just a decade ago, there were only a handful of car models, and going further than 50 miles was a risk, with charging facilities few and far between. Thanks to the advances in technology, more backing from local authorities, and with climate change hammered home to us all, we are seeing a drastic increase in sales.
With more electric cars, there is a need for more charging hubs to keep Britain moving. Today, there are almost 80,000 publicly available sockets in over 30,000 locations across the UK. This compares with just under 17,000 sockets in 2019, according to ZapMap. So, in 2023, that’s one charger for every 12 electric cars; is that enough? Possibly, but with some areas of the UK more advanced in EV charging rollout than others, it poses the question of whether everyone has the same opportunity to make the switch.
Infrastructure for electric vehicles: What more needs to be done?
The UK government has set a path for all new cars to have zero emissions by 2035 and 80% by 2030. With 43% more public charge points this year than last year, according to GOV.UK, this gives investors confidence to invest in the industry and puts the country well on track for the government target of 300,000 charge points by 2030.
A £343m Capital Fund has been allocated to contribute towards the cost of installing electric vehicle charging points through LEVI funding. This includes charging hardware, electrical connections, and civil engineering costs. Each local authority in the UK has been allocated funding to support their rollout of electric charging points, which can be found here.
With 80,000 chargers available by the end of 2023, that gives us six years to achieve this goal – certainly a challenge, but with the backing of local authorities, we think it’s achievable. Do you?
VolkerSmart Technologies, a subsidiary of highway services provider VolkerHighways, has been delivering publicly accessible electric vehicle charge points on behalf of private or public organisations or charge point operators since 2018. After spotting a ‘gap in the market’ in 2015 for smarter infrastructure solutions, they drew upon the experience of their electrical division to diversify into this emerging market.
Following a slow start due to a lack of government incentives for local authorities and the small number of electric cars available, as well as an increase in people working from home due to COVID-19, it allowed VolkerSmart Technologies to build its supply chain and collaborative relationships with many charge point operators and local authorities.
In 2021, as the UK returned to normal routines, VolkerSmart Technologies hit its 1,000 EV charging points milestone.
During the past couple of years, the business has worked on the Go Ultra Low City Scheme in London, Go Ultra Low Scheme in Oxford, Park, and Charge Oxfordshire and has been awarded various frameworks, such as SSE, Crown Commercial Services, Efficiency East Midlands, Pagabo and more.
Today, VolkerSmart Technologies has installed over 6,000 charging sockets. The business provides a full project management turnkey solution helping with the infrastructure for electric vehicles. It can draw upon the skills of its in-house independent connections team, removing the need to wait for third-party connections. As well as our in-house traffic management and surfacing divisions, where needed, securing on-time delivery. A total win-win for clients!
Moving in line with the EV market has enabled the business to achieve a wealth of experience ahead of the EV ‘boom’ that we’ve seen this year, providing build reassurance to clients. We are independent in selecting equipment, which allows us to put forward a cost-effective solution that reflects the client’s budget, site requirements, build programme, and finance model.
For more information about VolkerSmart Technologies, please email firstname.lastname@example.org