5 challenges facing the EV revolution

UK government’s commitment to Net Zero Carbon emissions – they’ve pledged to ban all petrol and diesel cars by 2040 – and improvements in battery technology, allowing even faster charging, have also contributed to an upsurge in sales of Electric Vehicles (EVs).

However, there are still a number of obstacles that need to be overcome before the United Kingdom catches up with other countries where the take-up has been much higher.

Here’s our rundown of some of the challenges faced.

  1. Change takes time

Encouraging people to switch to electric vehicles (EVs) is at the heart of the government’s efforts to tackle climate change. This is due to transport accounting for 23% of the UK’s CO2 emissions.

With sales of electrical vehicles up 70 per cent on last year, things seem to be moving in the right direction; however, these are still only relatively small gains.

One of the UK’s best-selling cars is the all-electric Tesla Model 3. But its success doesn’t change the fact that only about 1.1% of new cars sold this year are electric

Bigger changes are needed to meet the government’s net-zero carbon emission target, starting with improved infrastructure (more EV charging points).

Changes to the tax system may also be required due to EV users paying lower taxes and having a zero-spend on fuel: both good sources of income for the government.

Consumers also need to be convinced that electric vehicles suit their needs, which is perhaps the hardest challenge.

Nonetheless, the government plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in 2040, a move criticised by MPs who want the U.K to fall into line with nearby countries such as Ireland and Iceland and have the change made by 2030,

One of the consumers’ major concerns is range anxiety i.e. how far you can drive without your battery running down.

A petrol or diesel car is simple to fill up when fuel gets low, and doesn’t take long – unless you get distracted by the goods on offer in the garage shop!

If things were as straightforward with EVs, selling them wouldn’t be that much of a problem, but they’re not.

The vehicles currently on the market don’t last more than 100 miles and take over 8 hours to charge – this is a hurdle that needs overcoming before silencing the doubters.

2 Limited choice

The number of vans on the UK roads are increasing faster than any other type of vehicle due to the increase in online shopping.

Small e-vans are already available, and the choice is likely to increase. However, it is a lot more expensive to lease an EV version of a popular van than diesel, meaning they are still too expensive to be the vehicle of choice of smaller businesses.

There is much more choice for car buyers, although the upfront cost for buying an EV is still much higher than buying a petrol/diesel car, at a minimum of £20,000. Prices are likely to fall as electric vehicles are cheaper to run than gas but not for the foreseeable future.

3. Backing the right technology

There has been accelerated developments in battery and charging technology, but where will people charge them, especially those without a driveway or designated parking space.

The expense of battery technology is one of the major challenges the industry faces.

Electric cars could also be less expensive if the makers could ramp up the production volume and use economies of scale. However, for this to happen more consumers need to buy electric cars in the first place which won’t happen without prices coming down.

There is also the potential to have induction pads embedded in the roads that charge the vehicles as you drive over them. With chargers currently in low supply, the benefits of this technology are obvious.

4. Who will pay?

It has been widely assumed that both the private sector and local councils will build, operate and maintain charging infrastructure in the UK.

Businesses have been slow to get involved due to small profit margins and the government having heavily subsided the development of charging points. Yet, this is slowly changing with BP and Shell taking over as market leaders, while Tesla is putting its own charging network in place at motorway service stations.

5. The zero-carbon fantasy

A world in which all vehicles are electric is not the total zero-carbon solution. True, EVs don’t produce the same emissions but there would still be an environmental cost.

Sourcing minerals for batteries and dismantling old ones, as well as delivering and building vehicles all involve substantial CO2 emissions.

That said, Electric vehicles are a crucial part of the UK’s attempts to drastically reduce transport’s emissions.

Source: BBC

SECR – all you need to know

With the new SECR regulations coming into effect on 1st April 2019, Energy Management explains how the changes may affect certain businesses …

As of April 1st 2019, Streamlined Energy & Carbon Reporting (SECR) commenced, with the aim of simplifying carbon and energy reporting and promoting energy efficiency. SECR requires businesses to publish all energy and transport consumption and carbon emissions information.

The changes to the previous methods of reporting align SECR with the government’s new Clean Growth Strategy, which targets a 20% improvement in business and industry energy productivity by 2030.

You will need to comply if:

  • In the past, you were required to comply with mandatory Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reporting
  • Or you meet two or more of the following;

a.) Turnover of £36 million or over

b.) Balance sheet totalling £18 million or over

c.) Number of employees 250 or over

How will this affect your business?

All businesses are now required to publish electricity, gas and transport energy consumption and carbon emissions information alongside annual directors’ reports for financial years beginning on or after April 1st, 2019. As well as this, businesses will need to disclose any energy efficiency action taken in the previous financial year. The government has stated that, as it stands, you will not be required to disclose ESOS recommendations and the implementation of these. It is important to note that this intends to be revisited following evaluation of ESOS phase one.

How do I report?

SECR reporting is due annually and is published alongside annual directors’ reports.

Within the legislation, no specific method of reporting has been stipulated. However, the government will outline what is deemed to be ‘good practice’ when reporting.

Contact us on 01225 867722 and we will work with you to achieve SECR compliance.

In the meantime, please have a look at our SECR Checker Tool to see if you need to comply.

Diary marker: Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting framework

The Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) is due to come to an end in 2019 and there will be a transition to the new Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) regime.

The new SECR framework will implement requirements that will apply to a much wider range of companies. However, companies that use up to 40,000KWh in the 12-month reporting period will be exempt from the framework.

The changes are part of a suite of policies being implemented as part of the government’s Clean Growth Strategy, to deliver on its ambition of enabling business and industry to improve their energy productivity by at least 20% by 2030.

SECR will apply to companies that have more than 250 employees, an annual turnover greater than £36m or an annual balance sheet of more than £18m.

It is highly likely that a number of businesses will be captured by SECR that have not taken part in mandatory reporting previously. Therefore, companies that are due to be affected should make sure that reporting and data collection processes are put into place prior to the introduction of the scheme in April 2019.

Now that ESOS surveying and reporting is in full swing, should you require any assistance with the upcoming SECR reporting then please contact Nick Phillips on 01225 867722 or email np@ energymanagementltd.com.

More information on SECR can be found here>>