According to the latest statistics, over a quarter of the UK’s total emissions in 2021 were produced by transport, making it the largest emitting sector in the country. Furthermore, the majority (91%) of emissions from modes of domestic transport originate from road vehicles – the biggest contributors being cars and taxis, which made up 52% of all emissions from domestic transport.
Faced with these figures, and despite government initiatives like the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London and the recently postponed 2035 ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles, the road towards permanently reducing emissions and embracing more sustainable forms of transport is a long one, particularly when it comes to the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs).
While stats show the average journey in a petrol car from London to Glasgow will emit three times more carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per passenger than the same journey in an EV, today’s petrol and diesel vehicle owners are still apprehensive about making the switch to an electric counterpart. With a clear deadline on the horizon, how can the EV industry and its charging infrastructure help meet the UK’s sustainability targets in 2035, and beyond?
Expanding the EV charging network
In the past decade the UK has made great strides in EV adoption, increasing from nearly 12,000 in 2013 to over 927,000 zero-emission Battery Electric Vehicles on our roads in late 2023, according to the RAC. However, with many internal combustion engine (ICE) drivers still reluctant to make the switch due to fears of limited public charger availability and “range anxiety”, it’s clear that one of necessary steps towards increased and more confident EV ownership is accelerating the development of the country’s charging infrastructure.
With over 53,000 public devices already part of the UK network, EV drivers often find chargers unavailable or inoperative whilst awaiting maintenance for extended periods. In light of this, tapping into the thousands of privately owned EV charging devices across the UK – expected to be installed in 350,000 homes by 2025 – would not only address availability, but also empower those living in city flats, terraced homes or places with poor public charging options to access an easier way to charge.
An even more sustainable way of domestic travel
Whether it’s a short or long distance journey, destination charging is key for EV drivers as an efficient, more sustainable and generally more cost effective way of completing a journey. It ensures the vehicle has sufficient charge to continue onto the next phase of the journey without needing to charge from a depleted battery – preventing the “range anxiety” that’s inhibiting many ICE owners from making the swap.
Giving EV drivers more confidence and choice over where and how they charge means they can plan convenient charging stops during their travels – for instance during an overnight stay – instead of having to visit high-demand chargers, often found in congested locations like retail parks and motorway service stations.
By making private off-street chargers available to the growing EV community, rural areas and villages will open up and become part of the much needed growing network supporting existing EV owners, as well as those yet to join. Furthermore, as a result of detouring drivers from already heavily congested areas like public charging stations, this will likely lead to a reduction in overall transport emissions.
The road ahead
With direct benefits in favour of a sustainable future and clear advantages for present UK drivers, EV charger sharing apps like Joosup allow users to filter, locate and pre-book privately owned off-street chargers within close proximity to their destination. Meanwhile, owners of these private chargers also benefit from a direct return on their investment, with full control over their device availability and hourly rate.
In the context of a growing sharing economy, many of those opting to rent out their EV charger may already be benefiting from lower tariff electricity suppliers or sourcing power from renewables like solar panels – translating into even more competitive charging rates compared to those set by public charge point operators. Not only is EV charger sharing convenient, providing assurance a device is available, it also unlocks more affordable running costs which make purchasing an EV a great investment.
With many initiatives set out to electrify the UK roads, EV charger sharing practices will be key in not only significantly growing the available network, but also encouraging the transition of ICE drivers by 2035 and reducing the nations’ carbon footprint.