EVs everywhere – how will it hit forecourts and convenience stores?
Charge points to be rolled out, says PM – PRA and ACS speak out
Prime minister Boris Johnson has unveiled plans to invest £1.3bn to accelerate the rollout of chargepoints for electric vehicles in homes, streets, and on motorways across England.
The announcement comes hot on the heels of Maxol’s announcement that it has teamed up with green energy and technology company bright energy, which will drive the EV sector in Northern Ireland forward.
Boris Johnson confirmed that cars fully powered by petrol or diesel cannot be produced after 2030, but some hybrid cars will be allowed to be produced and sold for a period after 2030.
Huge challenges for forecourt retailers
Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman has spoken out. He said: “This will bring huge challenges for petrol forecourt retailers: maintaining supply of petrol and diesel to a declining but very large market of traditional internal combustion engine vehicles, offering fast and convenient charging facilities to EV drivers many of whom will typically charge at home or elsewhere away from the current forecourt network, and responding to other developments in powering vehicles, for example hydrogen.
“Every method of powering vehicles requires significant investment to offer safely and effectively, so these businesses need support and positive incentives to help with this transformation.
“Convenience stores, whether they currently sell fuel or not, are naturally an environmentally friendly part of the retail market. Half of our customers and half of our colleagues walk to the store to shop and work, we help minimise food waste by allowing shoppers to buy food more frequently and in smaller quantities, and we are investing in energy-efficient equipment and recycling facilities in stores. Our sector is perfectly placed to respond to the agenda set out by the prime minister today.”
ACS has responded to a consultation from the Department for Transport on bringing forward the end to the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans from 2040 to 2035, calling on the government to do more to provide fuel retailers with support to introduce EV charging points.
PRA issues warning
The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) has issued its warning over 2030 ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans.
PRA chairman Brian Madderson said: “The PRA supports the process of decarbonisation, but we need a comprehensive plan to reduce carbon emissions that works across sectors and industries, including aviation.
While most electric vehicle drivers charge their car at home, there is currently a network of 337 public charge points across Northern Ireland, according to NI government website NI Direct. All public charge points on the ecarNI network in Northern Ireland and the ESB ecars network in the Republic of Ireland are interoperable at present and can currently be accessed using the ecarNI Access Card.