Transition to Electric Vehicles

Britain’s ‘road to zero’ aims to attain zero emissions by 2040, but research has exposed barriers to delivering an efficient electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

Executive summary

  • Britain’s ‘road to zero’ aims to attain zero emissions by 2040, but research has exposed barriers to delivering an efficient electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure including: urban versus rural charging infrastructure divide; EV affordability and consumer acceptance, range anxiety, lack of spaces installing charging points in some Local Authorities (LAs), lack of educational programmes and views on electricity pressure/demand on the National Grid.
  • Key recommendations include: innovation in consumer experience on EV technologies; transition plan from petrol and diesel cars (ICE) to EVs; bridging urban-rural charging infrastructure gap; improving EV incentives; investment in disadvantaged and low-income communities and measures decarbonizing the National Grid towards a low-carbon economy.

Background

Britain’s Road to Zero strategy’, aims to attain zero emission by 2040 and achieving the Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) standard by 2050, - a move away from the traditional internal combustion engines - ICE to EVs, currently powered by Lithium-Ion batteries. An efficient and sustainable charging infrastructure networks across the UK is vital to achieve this and yet there are currently significant challenges.

Research from the University of Birmingham has explored EV infrastructure network challenges and best practices to improve ULEV uptake. Through global value chain analysis, this project, via interviews included LAs; vehicle manufacturers (OEMs); EV fleet operators; policy think tanks; non-profit organisations; EV policy shapers; academics, energy and raw minerals companies.

Academic lead

Dr Nana O Bonsu, research fellow in Sustainability at Birmingham Business School Lloyds Banking Group Centre for Responsible Business, University of Birmingham. 

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