Supporting the private sector in the EV opportunity is key to meeting Climate Change Committee targets, says Michael Mounteney, Director of Electrical Business for TSG UK

EV Charging Imageing 2021

The Climate Change Committee’s (CCC) Monitoring Framework report was released last week, tracking the Government’s progress in meeting carbon budgets and climate targets. 

Michael Mounteney

With ‘surface transport’, ie cars, vans, buses and lorries, the UK’s highest carbon-emitting sector, and electric vehicles largely the answer to this problem, there’s a lot to do; a situation that should be viewed as an opportunity for the private businesses with assets suitable for housing EV charging infrastructure.

The minimum ambition for charge points set out in the Government’s Electric Vehicle Strategy is 300,000 by 2030, up from around 35,000 currently installed. To deliver this target, the CCC states that investment in charging infrastructure will need to continue throughout the 2020s and 2030s, including a mix of rapid chargers along major roads and local chargers, providing convenient locations for drivers who can’t re-power at home.

Charging infrastructure needs to be delivered ahead of need so that drivers have the confidence to switch to an EV, a particular issue for households without private off-street parking. This is where the opportunity lies for destination charging and the transference of assets to EV charging ‘hubs’ – such as car parks and even wasteland – benefitting both communities and the owners of this land.

As stated in the CCC’s report, clear guidance and best-practice sharing is needed for everyone involved – from local authorities developing local charging infrastructure strategies, to the private sector where much of the investment in the public charging network will come from.

We agree with the policy suggestions which includes enabling direct investment through appropriate regulation and de-risking, while identifying and mitigating market failures. It’s clear that a ‘joined-up’ approach is required, which is where we’ve moved as a business, bringing all the factors involved in EV charging infrastructure deployment under one roof.

Recent acquisitions include UCP Choice, an Independent Connection Provider (ICP), with extensive experience specifically in EV charging infrastructure implementation in both Europe and the UK. For larger commercial operations, choosing an ICP makes all the difference in terms of flexibility and the speed at which projects can be turned around. UCP Choice is arguably one of the most knowledgeable and flexible providers, with national coverage.

Beyond the power, TSG UK can provide the latest in charge points and associated software, install, maintain and help design ‘hub’ schemes, such as the Charge Yard in Slough. We also work with major forecourts, a natural evolution of our business which traditionally centres around fuel and fleet management.

Consumer demand and confidence is of course a major factor in all of this. Reliability of supply and user experience are also detailed in the CCC report. For the locations that become charge point destinations, reaping the business benefits relies on usage and a good customer experience to attract repeat business. That’s why signage, way-marking and assurances when it comes to servicing and maintenance are key – another feather in our cap is DRB, a specialist electrical branding, signage and EV installation provider.

With the combination of UCP Choice and DRB, TSG UK is ready for the future and well-placed to support the private sector in meeting EV infrastructure demands. This is an exciting opportunity for businesses; a win-win scenario that benefits bottom-lines, individual drivers and climate reduction targets.

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