Home charging key to economic viability in EV adoption

Adapting home charging to work with on-street parking could be a game-changer. Michael Goulden explains why

There is rising pressure to get more people on board with electric vehicles (EV), especially in the UK. The zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate states that 80% of new cars will need to be zero emission by 2030 and 100% by 2035. However, people are not making the change at the same rate they used to, with sales reducing by 25% when compared with last year, so, what is stopping people from becoming electric vehicle owners?

One of the initial fears many people have is range anxiety; the worry that their EV will run out of charge during a journey, with the nearest charging point miles away. Therefore, it would make sense to assume installing more charge points onto the road would be the ultimate solution to increasing EV uptake.

Most EV users rely heavily on home charging

However, blaming the lack of charge points as the main culprit for slow uptake doesn’t solve the problem at hand. The UK installed a record 16,000 public charge points in 2023; an annual increase of 43%. There has been plenty of investment made to increase  charging infrastructure, but drivers still seem reluctant to make the switch.

While it is true that expanding the network of public charge points is vital, focusing solely on this aspect fails to address the actual issue. The reality is that people want to charge at home and having the infrastructure in place to support this should be a high priority. The focus on home charging goes far beyond its convenience. The reality is there’s no economic incentive for anyone to move from gasoline/diesel to electric unless they can charge at home. In the UK at the time of writing, it costs £0.18/mile if you’re reliant on public chargers, but £0.15/mile for gasoline cars. However if you can charge at home it costs just £0.07/mile. On an annual basis it costs £340 more to run an electric car solely using public chargers, versus sticking with a gasoline car.

Kerbo Charge
Kerbo Charge is proposing a home charging solution for those limited to street parking

Considering that approximately 40% of UK homes do not have off-street parking, there are too many EV drivers, or potential EV drivers, impacted for this group to not be a priority.  In contrast, EV owners who can charge at home the majority of the time will be making a saving when they make the switch, over an estimated £1,100 per year.

The environmental and sustainability benefits of a higher EV adoption are the main aim, but that alone won’t move the needle. There needs to be a financial incentive. With the cost of living crisis continuing to have an impact across the UK there can’t be an expectation for people to make more financial sacrifices. Only through addressing this fundamental cornerstone can we pave the way for a future where we achieve the ZEV objectives.

The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Automotive World Ltd.

Michael Goulden is Chief Executive and co-founder of Kerbo Charge

The AutomotiveWorld.com Comment column is open to automotive industry decision makers and influencers. If you would like to contribute a Comment article, please contact editorial@automotiveworld.com

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