Electric vehicle manufacturers have been making significant progress in the UK over the past few years. The government plans to implement clean air zones and pollution charges in several major cities by the year 2020, meaning that many car owners have started looking towards more eco-friendly alternatives to their current vehicles. Recent data shows that new EV registrations reached record highs in 2018 – and with similar results expected in 2019, the future is looking bright. In this article car dealership Motorparks Citroen Manchester investigate how the UK EV market will perform in 2019 and beyond!
As previously mentioned, many vehicle owners have started to seek out greener alternatives to their current cars – and manufacturers have been responding to the demand. Jaguar and Land Rover are late comers to the electric vehicle market, only recently introducing their first all-electric vehicle, the Jaguar I-Pace concept. But that hasn’t stopped them from pulling out all the stops to catch up, by announcing that they plan to be all electric by 2020 – a big step into the EV industry for new comers. This news followed Volvo’s pledge to do the same but by 2019. The prestige brand promises that all new models produced and registered from 2020 will be fully electric or hybrid – and that their customers will have more choice moving forward.
Unfortunately, Brexit uncertainty has disrupted the market somewhat, with Jaguar Land Rover pulling out of their plans to open up a new EV manufacturing plant in the UK. Asked in Paris whether the firm would build electric cars in Britain, CEO Ralph Speth commented that:
“We haven’t made the decision because we don’t know at the end of the day the final conditions and we also see uncertainty resulting out of the Brexit discussions so we don’t know where we can do the investment best.”
Even in the face of such uncertainty, the future still looks bright. Volvo plan to release their first standalone electric car in 2019. In addition, Nissan has sold thousands of electric models already. They are the brains behind the second most popular electric model in retail, and the bestselling all electric model in the UK, the Nissan Leaf – with over 30,500 units sold in the UK, and over 300,000 units worldwide. The new model has a battery mileage range that is double the range of its previous models. An issue that was apparent for all manufacturers, not just Nissan.
The manufacturer has been working hard to produce the latest in cutting-edge EV technology. The 2011 Nissan Leaf had a range of just 75 miles, but progress in the industry has since taken huge leaps towards its new 235 mile range – progress that could be intrinsic to the future success of the model, and for the industry. Additionally, they also fitted the first one pedal driving system – an optional system that allows you to transform the accelerator into an e-pedal to function as a start, stop, accelerate and brake pedal.
Predictions for the future
As of January 2019, there were a reported 11,154 EV charging points in the UK. However, if the popularity of EVs continues, we will need to continue to build more charging points to fill demand. And if we are to overcome the ongoing headache that is a full battery charging time of 8 hours, we will need an influx of rapid charging points which can charge up to 80% of an electric battery in just 30 minutes, as opposed to slower charge points. Thanks to a multi-million-pound deal with ChargePoint back in May 2017, InstaVolt are installing at least 3,000 rapid charging points across fuel station forecourts across the UK.
According to the National Grid, peak demand for electricity could increase by 50%, if and when the nation switches to electric vehicles – which could be sooner than we think now that a new pan-European EV charging network has been announced too. IONITY, set up by the BMW Group, Daimler, Ford, and the VW Group with Audi and Porsche, launched the network early November 2017, and plans to work on 20 ultra-rapid charging points has already begun as they begin their EV charger installation plan to target for 400 points across Europe by 2020. 2018 is forecast to see the network expand across more than 100 locations with the intentions of making long distance EV travel easier.
Advancements in EV technology have also had a significant impact on the automotive industry as a whole. Drivers have realised the harmful effects of their petrol and diesel automobiles, and the government’s plans to introduce a number of zero-emissions zones in several major cities are underway.
It is predicted that as the deadline for the phasing out of petrol and diesel cars approaches, electric vehicles will continue to increase in popularity. If manufacturers can truly cut down the time it takes to recharge the battery, and develop batteries that can travel further, the industry could be revolutionised and experience an influx of drivers wanting to get their hands on an EV!