Currently, the UK government is committed to ending the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 and for all new cars and vans to be fully zero emission at the tailpipe by 2035 (Gov.uk, 2023). Although an ambitious goal, the EV market is growing with EV sales reaching a record high in recent months, a clear indicator of public appetite.
Yet the success of making EVs the mainstream choice of car relies heavily on the rapid expansion of public EV charging infrastructure. With limited availability of EV charging points, EV drivers are restricted to a driving radius that stretches only as far as their EV range. This is in stark comparison to those who use traditional internal combustion vehicles (ICE) who can confidently drive in any direction, safe in the knowledge there’ll be a multitude of petrol stations to refuel at. For EVs to become the primary consumer choice, they must be confident that no matter where they are, a public charging station is close at hand.
As it stands, vehicle licensing statistics imply that the production rate of EVs far outstrips the number that charging points can handle. What’s more, nearly a third of all public charging points in the UK are located in London, leaving drivers outside the capital with limited availability to charging infrastructure.
The Department for Transport’s recent announcement of an additional £56 million in public and industry funding for the roll-out of electric vehicle (EV) charge points is key to overcoming this hurdle. With the goal to deliver 2,400 charge point installations in the near future and ‘tens of thousands’ planned for the long term, not to mention the £1.6 billion of funding recently made available to expand the UK charging network to around 300,000 public chargers available by 2030, it’s clear that the UK government views the EV industry as the future.
Here at Bouygues Energies & Services (Bouygues E&S), an Equans company, we wholeheartedly support both the government’s net-zero ambition and their vision for the leading role the EV industry will take to achieve it. We’ve long recognised the need for a widespread network of public EV charging points to promote the adoption of EVs as the vehicle of choice, which is why a key objective of our 2023 Annual Business Plan is the installation of EV charging points in all our client’s sites where we will be working in partnership over the long term.
Currently, we’ve installed charging points at 55% of our targeted sites, with the aim to reach 70% coverage by 2023. We’re working hard to address the geographical inequality of access to EV charging points by installing charging units across our UK contracts. The almost 100 EV charging points that we’ve installed cover a range of locations from Littlehampton and Suffolk to Manchester and Edinburgh, ensuring that all regions can benefit from EVs.
Our expertise in EV charging installation is key to supporting our clients achieve their sustainability targets. For our longstanding client, Cambridgeshire County Council, this includes furthering their commitment to tackle poor air quality in the county while reducing carbon emissions where possible to reach net-zero. By placing placed clean and renewable energies at the heart of our design process at St. Ives Park and Ride, we’ve both supported our clients’ goals and delivered a car park fit for the future. With multiple EV Charging points on site being powered by solar PV panels, this pioneering project is the first of its kind in the UK – paving the way for future green projects alike.
Lewis Chenery, Head of Sustainability, shared with us:
“Electrified vehicles are a vital component of both the future of the planet and the future of our business. That’s why we’re prioritising the decarbonisation of our fleet of vehicles throughout 2023 and the years to come, with a focus on installing EV charging points on every new contract and existing contracts where possible. The government’s recent additional funding for the industry is a huge step forward to making this practice standard throughout our industry.”
Simon Hayman, Regional Director at Bouygues E&S, an Equans company, has been integral in supporting and facilitating the EV rollout, particularly across our healthcare sites. He added:
“It’s been fantastic to see the success of our EV Charging Point rollout. The addition of charging points across various healthcare sites has been well-received not only by the client, but by marked enthusiasm by the end-user, who can now benefit from accessible charging points during their visit. I look forward to continuing this progress throughout 2023 and beyond.”