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Forecasting Demand for Electric Vehicle Charging in the South East

Forecasting Demand for Electric Vehicle Charging in the South East

Since autumn this year Transport for the South East (TfSE) have been working on an electric vehicle charging infrastructure strategy.

The strategy works alongside the Department for Transport’s (DfT) National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy

The strategy aims to accelerate the roll out of electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the south east in an efficient and cohesive manner, through better local engagement, leadership and planning.

Predicting future demand and increasing uptake

Supported by consultants, Arcadis, TfSE have been working with a number of key stakeholders to develop the strategy. These include: local transport authorities, district and boroughs, distribution network operators, fleet operators and charge point operators.

To reduce carbon emissions the Government has introduced a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans form 2030. The uptake of electric vehicles is dependent upon their being a comprehensive network of  publicly available charge points in place.

This strategy will consider current levels of EV uptake, charge point provision and electricity supply in the south-east. It will highlight what work still needs to be done to facilitate the transition to electric vehicles and accommodate future demand.

According to Zap Map, there are currently around 38,000 electric vehicle charging points in the U.K. However, compare this to the 620,000 battery-electric cars, plus a further 440,000 plug-in hybrids registered in the U.K. It means there will be an increasing demand for charging points in the foreseeable future. From the year 2021 to 2022, there were 224,000 more electric vehicles registered in the U.K. These statistics make it clear that the current facilities are not sufficient to keep up with this rate of growth.

Our strategy will forecast the growth for private EV cars. It will also collate data on current and future demand from fleets operating in the region. According to a new survey by Neos Networks, over half of U.K. fleet operators plan to operate battery electric vehicles within five years.

Furthermore, it will identify where we should prioritise the installation of EV infrastructure, highlighting the locations where infrastructure will be most beneficial.

Stakeholder engagement

As the regional strategic transport body for the South East, TfSE believes it is incredibly important to foster partnerships between local transport authorities and other key stakeholders. By doing this we can make the best use of resources, share best practice, and ensure the development of a strategy that works for the region.

The ever-growing EV forum demonstrates this work in progress. This forum provides a mechanism for engaging with key stakeholders, establishing meaningful relationships and informing and supporting EV infrastructure roll out across the region.

It will be used to highlight examples of best practice and present the possibilities the roll out may bring, as well as any challenges that may arise.

It will also identify where additional support may be needed to enhance the development of local EV strategies produced by LTAs. Facilitating a more strategic approach to the planning and rollout of local charge points.

Where we are now

We are currently halfway through the development of our EV charging infrastructure strategy. Arcadis are working on finalising a baseline for the TfSE area. This will show the current status of EV charging infrastructure rollout across the south-east through visual maps showing data on the current levels of EV uptake, charge point provision and electricity supply in the south-east. The forecasting element of this strategy is also underway.

TfSE have recently had the second meeting of the EV charging infrastructure forum. At this meeting, attendees were provided with a platform to share feedback on the challenges and barriers that they face with regards to the EV charging infrastructure rollout across the south-east. In addition to this, attendees also provided ideas around the opportunities for collaborative working going forward on this topic.

Work is progressing well and we aim to take the first draft of the EV Charging Infrastructure Strategy to the Partnership Board for sign-off.