Opportunity NOx

The drive towards a green mobility model has created a future-proof revenue opportunity for electrical contractors.

The cars we drive and the fuels we use are changing – rapidly. With an eye on climate change, the UK Government will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030. While the news has been challenged by old school motorists, it’s a positive development for the Electric Vehicle (EV) industry – and electrical contractors eager to break into a profitable and rapidly-expanding new market.

Green mobility is the future of transport and the number of EVs on our roads is rising sharply. But it’s accepted that the UK’s charging infrastructure needs to expand significantly and that ‘range anxiety’ (the fear of not having enough charge to reach a destination) is still a real, and uncomfortable, emotion for EV motorists.

The latest statistics, compiled by Zap-Map – a continually-updated, UK-wide map of charging points – show the UK urgently needs more chargers to cope with increasing demand.

As of March 2021, there were 495,000 electric vehicles registered in the UK alone. And despite the pandemic, there was an astounding 175,000 EV registrations in 2020. This represented a 66% increase on 2019 data, a figure that is even more impressive when you consider the overall new car market declined by 29.4% last year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

But even while there are almost half a million EVs on our roads, there were only 23,000 charging devices at 11 April this year.

“UK motorists are rapidly embracing the switch to EVs and why wouldn’t they, given the grants available, tax benefits, operational, maintenance and fuel savings to be had?” explains Karl Anders, Managing Director of innogy eMobility UK.

“But to keep up with the pace of change, the UK urgently requires more chargers in the ground so drivers and businesses can keep moving and the momentum of the EV switch doesn’t flounder.”

The need to significantly grow the UK’s charging infrastructure presents a new and valuable business opportunity for the electrical contracting industry. Crucially, entering the EV market as a charging point reseller gives forward-thinking electrical businesses an opportunity to offer an exciting new product and service that is futureproof.

innogy eMobility UK, a division of European electric utility powerhouse E.ON, is supporting the increasing number of electrical contractors that have already spotted the long-term potential within the EV arena.

Anders says: “The Government has made funds available to accelerate the large-scale rollout of the EV charging infrastructure and that’s driving the installation market.

“With sales of new fossil fuel-powered vehicles set to end this decade, more businesses are moving towards electric fleets and encouraging their staff to drive an EV. And then you have property landlords that are looking to make their customer experience better and sustainable.

“These are just two potential customer groups that will require a lot of EV charging points now and into the future.

“Some electrical contractors may have customers that are seriously looking at EV already. Becoming a reseller of high quality technology gives the contractor another profitable service they can offer at exactly the right time.”

innogy was one of the first companies to pioneer eMobility technology. Since 2008, it has been masterminding large-scale charging installations in the UK and across the rest of Europe through a network of reliable partners. innogy is the trusted eMobility partner for organisations that include DHL, Vodafone, Aldi, Ford, Porsche, Renault and VW.

The company is unique in the charging point market. As well as providing state-of-the-art EV charging hardware, it has also developed its own eOperate software that allows charging point owners to run their network at optimum performance.

“The beauty of the reseller opportunity is that an installer won’t just put a charger in the ground and move to the next job,” Anders points out. “There are ongoing monthly revenue opportunities through charging software technology and network management.

“It’s a futureproof model and the fact that our products are flexible and adaptable means they can be matched to a reseller’s level of competence or experience in the EV field.”

The rapid development of the EV market is showing no signs of abating and has created a perfect storm for ambitious electrical contractors.

Climate change awareness is driving societal change, Government incentives and policy are supporting the shift to green mobility, and today’s hardware and software solutions are formidable.

But even more crucially, the EV revolution provides a genuine opportunity for the electrical industry to diversify, capitalise on a new mobility trend and embrace a fresh revenue stream with longevity.

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