Petrol prices are soaring, igniting interest in EV cars across the UK as people look for new, more affordable ways to drive. And who can blame them, when fuel costs are making it too expensive for owners of older cars even to commute to work?
But here’s the rub: the UK doesn’t have enough EV charging points to meet new demand. In the meantime, the number of EVs in the UK is expected to reach 7m by 2030. Worse still, councils and companies don’t generally know where to install charging stations or which prospective customers can afford to own an EV, causing further practical and commercial complexity for a growth industry.
The only way to overcome the challenges in the EV industry is to provide councils, car retailers, and other stakeholders with adequate insights to help them target the right areas and households.
What are the Main Challenges in the EV Industry?
While more people in the UK want to switch to EV cars, many of them may not be able to buy one due to the lack of supporting technology, planning and infrastructure. Here are a few examples:
1. Charging Time
It takes 30 minutes up to four hours to recharge an EV vehicle fully, and most cars on the market can only manage up to 250 miles on one charge. Waiting hours for their car to charge is less than ideal for drivers used to pulling into a petrol station, filling up their tank, paying, and leaving in under five minutes.
Long charging times also make it inconvenient to drive EV cars on long journeys, since extensive pre-planning is required to avoid getting stranded without power.
Tesla is the only company that allows its customers to charge their EVs quickly. Their Supercharges can add up to 172 miles of range in just 15 minutes! Sadly, it’s the only solution on the market of its kind.
2. Geographical Bias and Funding
Did you know that 33% of public EV charging stations are located in Greater London? Only 6.2% are in the North West of England and roughly 2% in Northern Ireland. Clearly, some local councils enjoy considerably higher financial investments to install EV charging stations.
But what about the less affluent parts of the country? These councils will struggle to install enough stations. As a result, local residents must continue to use petrol cars –– even as fuel costs hit their incomes hard.
3. At-Home Charging
It’s currently illegal in the UK to run EV changing cables across pedestrianised areas, such as pavements. Meaning households that want to purchase an EV need to either have off-road parking or be reliant on the public charging network. Both EV manufactures and councils need to know where focus their time, effort, and money.
4. Targeting Households
The challenges in the EV industry also include companies that sell EV cars. Demand for their vehicles might be on the rise, but not everyone can afford a new car or have a propensity to buy one. So how do manufacturers and retailers know who to try and sell to?
How Data & Innovation Combined Can Revolutionise the EV Industry
Imagine if councils and EV manufacturers knew exactly which areas and households to target? They can!
Our Parking Model applies machine learning to official data, to intelligently predict which UK households have off road parking, with 89% accuracy.
By using this model, we have identified which regions of the country will be more reliant upon a public charging network, due to a lack of access to an off-street charging point. Allowing councils to plan for infrastructure, and the government to allocate funding.
Furthermore, EV car retailers can determine which households to target with their marketing to minimise cold outreach and reduce customer acquisition costs. Allowing the likes of BMW or Tesla to not only ensure they are talking directly to households that can and want to purchase their products, but also make sure they are using the right messaging.
The UK is amidst an accelerating climate change and transport revolution. By using data science, governments and retails can deliver transformative innovation to households across the UK.