Electrical contractors: Are you “electric vehicle ready?”

New electric vehicle proposal could open lucrative market for electrical contractors

Electrical contractors will be interested to hear the latest proposal by the Department for Transport.  The government’s “Road to Zero” policy  has been well publicised, with an ambitious aim of reducing vehicle emissions in the UK to nil by 2040.  The policy will ban the sale of all petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040, aiming for road users to replace their fossil fuel engines with hybrid and electrical vehicles.  However, with sales of these vehicles making up only 5.5% of the current market, we are a long way away from fuel-free roads.

A recent survey by the AA revealed that eight out of 10 drivers see the lack of charging points as a stumbling block to buying an electric car. The RAC has also completed research showing that the current public charge point network is “unattractive to use and is unsuitable for encouraging the next wave of EV customers”.  In response to these concerns, the Department for Transport has released a new proposal; all new houses, flats and office buildings in England are to come with external charging point installations.

What does this mean for electrical contractors?

It is private electrical companies who would be charged with the development and installation of charging points, in a project which would cost up to £400m.  If successful, this proposal will open up a whole new business opportunity for electrical contractors looking for a slice of a market estimated to be worth up to £7.6 trillion by 2050, according to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling. And with house-building targets set at 300,000 a year this sector could explode if the proposal goes ahead. The NICEIC and ELECSA have an Electric Vehicle training course available for those interested in expanding their business.   Those ahead of the curve are still in low numbers; in Wales only 24 Welsh electrical contractors are listed and for the South West there are only 38 qualified contractors. You can find a list of all electrical contractors currently qualified to install charge points on the NICEIC website .

80% of EV owners currently have access to home charging but if homes and offices came with chargers ready-installed then we could see EV owner numbers rise dramatically as the deterrence of re-fuelling difficulties becomes a thing of the past.  So with the biggest overhaul in road transport technology in 130 years coming, it’s time to consider whether your company is electrical vehicle ready as UK streets become electric avenues.

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