Editor: The government’s decision to bring forward the ban on the sale of petrol, diesel and hybrid cars to 2035 is clearly welcome and extremely important for the environment. But it is not particularly helpful, as the electric vehicle market is still in its infancy (PropertyWeek.com).
The government should instead concentrate on a clear, cohesive plan and strategy for a nationwide roll-out of EV charging infrastructure. A combined undersupply of charging points both at home and ‘on the move’ alongside apprehension over lengthy charging times is currently contributing to a lack of buyer confidence and ‘range anxiety’ from potential EV owners.
Charging at home is fine if you have off-street parking, but many don’t. Some councils are placing charging points in lampposts. This is a great, but we already see cables stretched for metres along the pavement, which is both a safety risk and open to vandalism.
We also need more consistency in infrastructure, which currently seems like a free for all; EV drivers arriving at charging points do not know what type of charge they will receive, who the provider is and whether it will even work.
As charging times improve, higher levels of electricity are also required, but some locations and properties are not able to provide the required capacities.
Further infrastructure needs to be built, particularly at petrol stations and arterial route locations. Oil companies have started installing charging points to meet growing EV demand, but whereas petrol or diesel vehicles can fill up in a few minutes, even with superchargers, EV charging can take far longer. This has a knock-on impact for landlords and future developments.
For this ban to succeed, the government needs to support the property, energy and petrol retail sectors to make conversion to EVs or other sustainable vehicle designs realistic and achievable.
John Roberts, head of automotive and roadside, Colliers International