The upcoming 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars will transform UK motoring on a scale never seen before. This story is part of a wider analysis of the challenges faced by consumers, government and the automotive industry, what needs to happen, and how such drastic changes can be achieved over the next decade.
Read the rest of this series here: Countdown to year zero - what needs to happen by 2030?
Hawes has some stark figures on this. To meet the 2030 target “will mean providing the additional 1.5 million on-street charge points, mostly for residential use”.
On-street charge points will be vital for the third of UK car owners who don’t have access to off-street parking. Brazier thinks street lamps will be the answer, because there’s already a supply of electricity to these. Plus, with the conversion to LED lamps, the lights themselves don’t draw as much power as they used to, so there’s spare capacity in the infrastructure.
Not that on-street charging won’t be without its complications. Brazier adds: “The challenge will be more on the local authority side of things and in maintaining it. From the grid side of things, we feel it’s manageable within our planning.”
The “challenge” stems from the fact that there are two types of street light: one connected directly to the distribution network and the other owned by the local authority. Brazier doesn’t see an issue with the direct connection ones, because “they have a bit more juice in them”, but the local authority ones could throw up more bureaucratic issues.
As ever, smart chargers are the key. “So long as they’re not all charging full bore at the same time, it won’t be so much of an issue,” according to Brazier.