The opportunity in the EV market

The EV market is becoming a key discussion point amongst global leader and with pressure mounting to increase efforts to curb the impact of climate change, all eyes are on the Government to see what they do next. 

The UK Government in particular have some pretty ambitious plans, one of the biggest – the outlaw of purchasing new petrol or diesel cars by 2030. But can they do it? Our guess is, no. Why? The infrastructure is not in place to create the seamless customer experience required to convince people to make the switch. With transport now the biggest single sector for carbon emissions dominated by road vehicles, this is not an issue we can ignore. 


EV charger suppliers, this is your time to shine


Concerns are growing over the slow pace of charge point equipment installation. Between now and 2035, approximately 40 to 50 charge points will need to be installed everyday to meet the incoming demand for electric vehicles. This is not yet a significant problem, as there is only a small market of electric cars on the roads at the moment. But if we don’t act now, it will be. 


The current customer experience of owning an EV (as someone who personally owns an EV) is that, you purchase an EV believing you are at the forefront of technology and the right side of history in the fight against climate change. The reality? Desperately scrolling through your array of unreliable charging point maps with 4 miles left on the dash, sweat dripping, night approaching, partner screaming, before you roll into the only service station for miles and park up for a 6 hour charging session. Have we convinced you to make the switch? No, and the Government hasn’t either. 


There is a real need for more EV charge points to be installed on streets, on driveways and in public spaces. As a result, there is an opportunity here to tap into the market of car charging points for the soon-to-be millions of electric car users in the UK.


With almost a third of households unable to afford to install their own charge points, they will rely on a public charging network. This means that there is significant opportunity available for suppliers to partner with and install charge points across numerous public spaces such as restaurants, cafes, hair salons and gyms. On the flip side, there is also an opportunity for said public spaces to utilise the real need for car charging points and install them on their premises whilst marketing their own business with the addition of ‘buy or purchase this item from us and get a free hour of charge on us!’ This would provide an incentive for customers to buy from them as they get something valuable in return and would also demonstrate to consumers that said businesses are making an active effort to encourage sustainability. 


When it comes to customer experience within the sustainability space, consumers need to be offered more than simply knowing that ‘they are doing the right thing’ to truly encourage mass action. Take Tesla for example, people don’t just buy a Tesla because it’s electric. They buy a Tesla because they’re quiet or because they’ve got a great sound system and at the same time they save the planet. There needs to be more on offer for customers for them to fully invest in a new vehicle and the charging that comes as a result, there needs to be a more succinct and easy customer experience. 


Moreover, the location of charge points across the UK needs to be diversified. Currently out of 5,700 on-street chargers, only 1,000 of those are located outside of London. Given the huge audience of citizens that charge point suppliers are marketing to, and will definitely be marketing to in the coming years, the locations of charge points needs to be addressed. It simply is not good enough for the majority to be based in London. Thus, there is a huge opportunity for charge point suppliers to diversify and branch out to different counties, regions and nations across the rest of the UK to ensure that every citizen has the chance and viable option to purchase and use an electric vehicle. 


The Government needs to get better at forward-thinking


Councils have complained that the government has provided little to no guidance, instruction or leadership regarding the decision-making behind identifying what kind of on-street charging points are needed, where they are needed and the methods that councils should take to install them and market their use. In terms of audience engagement, the government is failing at the first hurdle. They can’t even lay out to their councils how they are going to achieve their goals successfully by 2035. 


News flash, EV are not cheap, driving further inequality across the nation. There is nothing in the current government’s plans to address the inequalities of how different members of the public move around. For many, petrol cars are already very expensive to run and maintain and some households are unable to afford any type of car. The electric car is currently proving unattainable because of a number of reasons for low-income, impoverished or struggling households. This is a big mistake when it comes to trying to convince people to change, arguably, a big part of their life, as their backgrounds and financial situations are not being taken into account or addressed in communications. As a result, there is a gap in the market for electric car manufacturers and charging point businesses to address the issue concerning inequality and find new, innovative ways to make the electric cars more accessible to all such as running pay as you go options or subscription style payment packages, working closely with authorities to find ways in which to do this. In turn, providing ‘free charge points’ in public spaces such as city centre car parks or supermarkets would ensure that those from poorer backgrounds still had free access to these facilities as they go about their daily routine, such as doing a food shop. 

A final word on EV charging points


Conclusively, in order for the government to reach their sustainability goals for the 2030s, they are going to need support from businesses within the electric vehicle field to make their dream a reality and ensure that the reality doesn’t leave poorer communities isolated and excluded. 


There is a real gap in the market for businesses to diversify and really put customer experience at the forefront of their efforts, ensuring that consumers have more reasons to ‘go electric’ than simply saving the planet i.e. with a monetary benefit. As Mike Cannon-Brookes, CEO of Atlassian (an Australian software company) recently stated, ‘if you show people that doing the right thing can be cheaper, and they can have a better experience of whatever it is they’re doing then I think it will accelerate the rollout’ and this is what businesses in this space need to utilise.

To read more of our opportunity insights, click here.

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