Electric vehicle charging in the UK presents an opportunity for the hospitality industry to offer a unique service to customers. Businesses in the UK buy over one million new vehicles every year, and the UK Government has pledged that by 2030, at least 50% of new cars and 40% of new vans sold in the UK will be electric. This could mean that rather than a competitive differentiator, offering electric vehicle charging may become an essential service.

The Go Ultra Low Scheme

Funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and eight vehicle manufacturers working in association with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the Go Ultra Low Scheme is a national campaign for electric vehicles.

This joint government and industry campaign aims to increase purchase consideration of electric vehicles by helping motorists and fleets understand the benefits, cost savings and capabilities of the wide range of electric vehicles on the market. Under the scheme, businesses can get grants towards the costs of purchasing a range of different electric vehicles.

Why the acceleration in electric vehicle adoption?

Businesses opting to use electric vehicles can gain a competitive advantage in terms of both cost and reputation.

  • Electric vehicles are cheaper to run than diesel or petrol vehicles
  • Businesses benefit from tax breaks and can qualify for grants
  • Switching to low-energy schemes is good for public relations

According to Go Ultra Low scheme, businesses that operate electric vehicles are already saving £1,250 a year for each vehicle.

How many electric vehicles are there in the UK?

How many electric vehicle charging units are there in the UK?

New EV charging units are being added to the UK electricity grid daily, so the figures on the EV charging infrastructure are constantly changing.

According to Zap-Map, the latest figures on electric vehicle charging UK are as follows:

  • EV connectors: 18657 (the total number of connectors has increased from just over 13,000 in November 2017 to more than 18,000 by October 2018.)
  • EV devices: 10876
  • Locations with public EV charging units: 6626

How many electric vehicles are there in the UK?

As of August 2018, there were more than 166,000 electric vehicles in the UK. This is a significant increase from the 3,500 electric vehicles in the UK in 2013.
How many electric vehicles will there be in the UK in the future?

The National Grid estimates that there could be as many as 11 million electric vehicles in the UK by 2030 and 36 million by 2040.

Where are the UK’s electric vehicle charging points?

Scotland has the most electric vehicle charging points in the UK, followed by London and the South-East. Wales and Yorkshire are the regions with the least charging points.

EV charging units – a competitive advantage for the hospitality industry?

The hospitality industry is starting to recognise the need to embrace the electric vehicle trend. Electric vehicle charging is of growing importance to customers, and installing electric vehicle charging points can be a differentiator to help businesses stand out from the competition. However, this may not last for long. With the accelerated pace of adoption of electric vehicles, it may soon be that customers will view the availability of electric vehicle charging the same way that they view the availability of WiFi in hospitality businesses.

An EV success story in Scotland

Dubbed Scotland’s answer to Route 66, the North Coast 500 is a scenic, circular 500-mile route that can be driven entirely by electric vehicle. This is thanks to EV charging points at hotels along the way.

The installation of EV charging units at hotels not only gives the hotel a competitive advantage, but also encourages more people to buy electric vehicles in the first place, since charging would be less prohibitive.

Electric Vehicle Charging UK Update – November 2018

Energy supplier British Gas has launched a new tariff for electric vehicle charging for owners who charge their vehicles between 00:30 and 07:30.

Ofgem to test the energy grid for electric vehicles

Energy regulator Ofgem has approved a three-year project that will see 3,000 electric cars are being deployed on to UK roads. The goal? To understand what the increased demand in electric power will mean for the UK’s energy grid.

This trial will be the world’s largest commercial electric vehicle project. It will collect data on:

  • the amount of energy consumed
  • charging times
  • distance travelled
  • cost

Test vehicles will be on the road from the second half of 2019.

Update – UK government criticised for removing or reducing electric vehicle incentives

In Octiber 2018, a group of MPs from the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee criticised the government’s policy surrounding electric vehicles, citing a “lack of ambition” and “vagueness”. They suggested that the government’s incentives for electric vehicles were removed too soon. For example, the Plug-In Car Grant was cut in the autumn of last year.

  • Plug-in hybrid vehicles have effectively lost their £2,500 grants
  • Electric car contributions fell from £4,500 to £3,500

In response, government suggested that it would constantly “review” its policies.