Tim Evans speaks to ‘IoT Now’ about the most sustainable method of supporting EV drivers

As confirmed by the SMMTโ€™s latest UK figures, EVs accounted for 21.5% of all new vehicle registrations in October.  Unfortunately, this growth is not being matched by the rate of charging infrastructure roll-out.

Government guidance indicates an optimal EV:Charge point ratio of 10:1.  The UK is currently at 52:1 and getting worse.

Predictably, perhaps, rapid and ultra-rapid charge point networks, capable of charging EVs at rates of 50 โ€“ 350 kW/hr, have been lauded by many in the EV world as the holy grail of charging infrastructure.  Its almost as if the โ€œPetrol headsโ€ have embraced EVs by becoming โ€œCharge Rate Headsโ€.

Also predictably, the industry has focussed on trying the to replicate the petrol filling station model with an EV clone.  There is of course, a very strong and established lobby behind the businesses that operate this model and are understandably keen to maintain the status quo.

Encouraging customers to fill up rapidly on their way to and from work, whilst stopping to spend money in the forecourt supermarket franchise, is what they do best.  Replicating this model for EVs though requires significant investment in infrastructure, leaving EV drivers charging their cars on expensive, carbon intensive electricity, much of which is being generated by burning a fossil fuel!

This approach is therefore wrong on many levels.  The wrong answer to the wrong question.

We shouldnโ€™t be asking โ€˜how many rapid charge points are required to service growing EV demand? The right question is โ€˜what is the most sustainable method of supporting EV drivers?โ€™ 

Clearly, the most cost and carbon efficient EV charging is done at home but in the UK, for around 50% of households, this is not an option. Workplace and destination charging where cars park for a minimum of 2 โ€“ 3 hours therefore represents a considerable opportunity.  Helping EV drivers move away from a traditional โ€œstop to refuelโ€ mindset to a โ€˜refuel/recharge where you stopโ€™ approach to motoring.

At 3ti, we take this approach a stage further by enabling EV drivers to charge using locally generated solar energy.  To do this we have launched Papilio3, a pop-up, mini solar car park and EV charging hub.

The first prototype Papilio3 was installed at Surrey Research Park in May and we aim to have a network of up to 50 units in operation in the next 12 months.

Read more: IoT-Q4-V2-lr-1.pdf (iot-now.com)

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