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Calling all investors: UK is falling short of electric vehicle infrastructure

It seems the electric vehicle market has presented an opportunity for investors to plug the chargepoint gap across the UK.
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Following French president Emmanuel Macron’s decision to only manufacture electric and hybrid cars from 2019 onwards, Britain is set to ban petrol and diesel vehicles. It won’t be enforced until 2040, but according to HSBC Commercial Banking, the UK is adapting at much too slow a pace.

The government made clear that embracing electric vehicles would reduce carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. However, currently there are nearly 17,000 people in the UK for every publicly-available electric vehicle chargepoint. When long-distance travel is taken into account, the need for more  infrastructure becomes “urgent”.

It is thought that the number of electric vehicle chargepoints registered in the UK will grow exponentially in the next five years – but HSBC warns this is unlikely unless investment increases.

Scott McClurg, head of energy and sustainability for HSBC Corporate Banking, said: “Chargepoints are a vital barometer for the health of the electric vehicle market. Infrastructure is fundamental to the successful transition to emission-free driving and so far the UK is falling short in many regions.

“While the major forecourt owners plan how to balance rising demand for chargepoints with the ongoing need for petrol and diesel pumps, there is an opportunity for investors to plug the chargepoint gap across the UK.”

To further highlight the issue, the bank found out how the various UK regions were doing in terms of electric vehicle infrastructure. Only four regions have what HSBC called “an above average” number of public chargepoints per person. The North East came out as the leader of the pack, with 3,931 chargepoints. This was follwed by Scotland, Northern Ireland and the South East.

London didn’t make the cut, with around 17,500 people sharing each public chargepoint.

“National Grid recently announced plans to overcome the challenge of long-distance electric vehicle travel,” McClurg added. “Urgent attention must now be given to local, urban solutions as more consumers and businesses transition to electric vehicles.

“If London is to shift to electric vehicles in the long term, the overall volume of chargepoints has to improve across the board. While there are clear opportunities to meet rising demand through the private sector, local authorities and central government are also looking closely at this space to ensure the right infrastructure is in place.”

Here are the HSBC results in full:

REGION

TOTAL PUBLICLY-FUNDED

CHARGEPOINTS

POPULATION

People per chargepoint

NORTH EAST

664

2,610,000

3,931

SCOTLAND

743

5,295,000

7,127

NORTHERN IRELAND

185

1,811,000

9,789

SOUTH EAST

572

8,793,000

15,372

LONDON

497

8,788,000

17,682

SOUTH WEST

262

5,340,000

20,382

WEST MIDLANDS

206

5,675,000

27,549

NORTH WEST

244

7,052,000

28,902

EAST MIDLANDS

142

4,533,000

31,923

EAST

172

5,847,000

33,994

YORKSHIRE

103

5,338,000

51,825

WALES

31

3,063,000

98,806

TOTAL

3,821

64,145,000

16,787

 

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About Author

Shané Schutte

Shané Schutte is the deputy editor of Real Business, with a particular specialism in employment and business law, human resources, information technology and sales/marketing.

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