Hand holding Electric car charger. Electric Vehicle EV Charging station and Charger. Human hand is holding Electric Car Charging connect to Electric car.
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Every quarter, in line with each edition of Rotary Magazine, expert contributors will be turning the spotlight on some of society’s biggest challenges in

The Big Issue.

2024 is going to be an ​electric year


Over 500,000 new pure-electric cars will be sold across the UK this year, according to ​the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders, bringing the total to around 1.5 million ​on our roads.

In 2023 record sales of new pure-electric cars saw almost 315,000 registered, ​meaning there are now 51% more EVs on the road than at the end of 2022. And the ​major car manufacturers across the globe have responded to the increasing demand ​for EVs by ratcheting up production of a wide range of EV-specific models for this ​rapidly expanding market. £billions are being invested in new factories including the ​building of battery plants here in the UK.

All this is not at all surprising as the benefits - both financially for the EV owner, the ​country’s economy and of course the environment - are unquestionable.

In parallel, the number of high-powered EV chargers grew by 52% in 2023, to a total ​of almost 10,500 devices across more than 5,000 locations at the end of December. It ​is predicted that in 2024 this will climb substantially across all regions of the UK.

So, what else can we expect to see over the next 12 months?

“the growth rate of the electric vehicle (EV) ​charging infrastructure continues ​accelerating to meet the needs of EV ​drivers with 2023 showing record ​installations.”

According to Zapmap co-founder and COO, Melanie Shufflebotham, more ​promotions and price drops from car manufacturers will come as the year ​progresses. She said: “Given the lack of incentives for consumers to switch to EVs, as ​opposed to businesses, we may also see the government introduce some new ​demand-side measures. What’s more, we can also expect to see continued growth in ​second-hand sales, as many of the 200,000 (new) pure-electric cars sold in 2020 move ​through into the used car market.”

She added: “This year will see more focus on the drivers that have been underserved ​so far in the transition to electric. That includes those with accessibility needs, who ​have no off-street parking, or purchasing cars second-hand.”

She added: “Now well into 2024 we remain committed to our mission of making ​charging simple, giving drivers the products and services for stress-free charging, ​whatever their needs.

“We will see an increasing number of models available, many of which will boast ​much greater range and/or a lower price point. There will be far more chargers for ​drivers, with higher power and better reliability,

“With electric car ownership growing and the market expanding, 2024 is going to be ​an electric year,” Shufflebotham concluded.

EV charging of the future?

What’s coming is simply mind-blowing! The Scandinavians, particularly the ​Norwegians and Swedes, are light years ahead in charging technologies. Already, ​they’ve tested and proved two innovations that are likely to change the future of EV ​charging.

From underground charging cables able to send electricity wirelessly to cars as they ​travel along motorways and main commuter routes, to simple and rapid battery ​replacement (instead of waiting to charge) will, it is expected, be heading our way in ​the not-too-distant future.

Research teams from a number of different companies worldwide, have successfully ​developed technologies that, within the next decade, will allow all manner of EVs ​including cars, trucks, and buses to charge on the move in a process called dynamic ​charging.

Scandinavian taxis are already using this technology in some cities. Charging is via ​under-road pads that can transmit electricity to receivers mounted underneath ​vehicles thus minimising time normally taken at charging stations. What a way to ​eliminate ‘range anxiety’.

a person is charging an electric car on the street

In 2023 record sales of new pure-electric cars saw almost 315,000 registered, meaning there are now​ 51% more EVs on the road than at the end of 2022.​

Another innovation is an automatic ‘drive-in’ battery replacement system, again ​developed in Norway. The EV driver simply books a slot in advance, turns up and the ​EV is driven ‘robotically’ into a unit that removes the depleted battery from ​underneath the vehicle and replaces it with a fully charged pack – in the same time it ​would take to fill a tank with fuel!

It is clear that ‘range anxiety’ is well and truly a thing of the past for electric vehicle ​drivers now that the EV driver’s mindset is catching up with the technology. Planning ​the journey is essential, knowing where the charge points are en route.

However, the growth rate of the electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure continues ​accelerating to meet the needs of EV drivers with 2023 showing record installations.

January 2024 has got off to an exhilarating start following a record growth in the ​number of ultra-rapid chargers and high-power hubs available for EV drivers right ​across the UK and this trend, according to Zapmap, looks set to continue throughout ​the year.

From supermarkets to motorway service stations, private businesses and Local ​Authority Councils to the hotel and leisure sectors (and a growing list of bus and ​commercial vehicle operators), EV charging is a now a fast-growing area of the ​country's public network.

Got the PAUA?

A tip for business EV drivers... rather than a wallet full of different charge cards, there ​is now a single card that can be used across thousands of charge points throughout ​the UK.

Scotsman, Niall Riddell started his company PAUA in 2022. North of the Border, for ​example, PAUA cards allow access to all the charge points operated by ChargePlace ​Scotland.

Riddell says: “Throughout the UK we are at 43,000 connectors and 14,000 locations ​with over 30 network partners. That’s over 50% of all connectors and a mega 73% of ​all rapid/high powered chargers in the UK.”

Norman (Norrie) Hunter is a retired motor and travel journalist as well as a member of ​Hunterston Rotary Club up in Ayrshire, Scotland.

Norrie has worked extensively in the European motoring industry over the years and most ​recently assisted The Electric Vehicle Association (EVA) Scotland with it's media, press and ​corporate communications.

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