A group of businesses has launched the ‘EVzero’ initiative to increase charging infrastructure across the country in the UK. Tesco, NatWest, LeasePlan UK, Defra and The Environment Agency have taken the lead and say they will act as an “action group”.
Specifically, the businesses say they will work “to reduce risks and costs associated with developing charging infrastructure for corporates” but remain rather vague in specific measures. One was, however, coming together through Innovation Gateway to share best practices to overcome barriers to charging infrastructure rollout across the UK.
In its further description of EVzero, Innovation Gateway then listed “collaborative demand in asset availability, utilisation, finance, and efficiency” among the tools – we read this as pooling demand, which could become a mighty lever.
Says Innovation Gateway: “By pooling together immense experience and resources, this powerful group of leaders may finally shake up the EV market enough to crack the code towards a fully net-zero future.”
A future that has become mandatory, given the UK’s ban on ICE sales from 2030. The Government also confirmed late last year that all new homes and workplaces built in England from 2022 will need to have EV charging points as standard. Estimates from Westminster said that this would lead to up to 145,000 extra charge points installed across England each year. This is prompting companies to prepare.
Tesco, for example, is indeed gearing up electric transport initiatives, e.g. the retailer is reportedly working with the Government’s Electric Vehicle Fleet Accelerator (EVFA), bp, BT, Direct Line Group, Royal Mail, ScottishPower and Severn Trent to increase the uptake of EVs in the UK. Said commitment sees the companies and EVFA members convert their fleets to EVs by 2030, i.e. buying 70,000 British-built electric vans, provided the Government introduces enabling policies.
Natwest, too, already has plans as it intends to install 600 EV charging points across its UK office locations by 2023.
NatWest Group’s design manager Jacqueline Carrington-Fallow considered charging infrastructure the “key to the successful transition to electric vehicles for many organisations’ commercial operations.” She added, “We are pleased to be working with like-minded organisations to address shared problems and come up with solutions that will help to accelerate the decarbonisation and electrification of our fleet vehicles.”
Tesco’s UK property director Tim Golding echoed: “We’re delighted to be collaborating with our Innovation Gateway EVzero Action Group partners – an initiative that will help its diverse membership identify and overcome the collective challenges they and we face.”
EVzero held the first group session on 27 January. The website allows interested parties to join up.
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