Move: Mobility Re-imagined 2022 brought together businesses from every corner of the transport sector for a two-day exhibition of innovation, with start-ups being a key element of the event.
Mina CEO, Ashley Tate, was invited to join panellists Tristan Dodson, CTO of Diode, Patrick Reich, CEO of Bonnet and Kathleen Maclean, Head of Growth at ev.energy to debunk misconceptions around electric vehicles (EV) and infrastructure with the aim of sharing how charging start-ups are driving the transition to EVs.
The complexities of ICE vs EV
The session opened with a discussion on the complexities of EV ownership in comparison to ICE vehicles, to which the panel unanimously agreed that EVs offer a streamlined experience, particularly in regard to charging.
Ash explained that home charging makes running an EV incredibly simple. Drivers never have to pre-plan before travelling as they’ll be guaranteed a full charge each day, and in the event that drivers do find themselves in need of a charge on the road, the accessibility of charge points is expanding exponentially alongside the growing demand for EVs.
The panel were asked to share their opinions on the misconception of EVs being an expensive market to get into. Diode’s Tristan Dobson agreed that the cost would be high if a driver were to purchase a vehicle with cash, however, the operational costs would be much lower over time, especially as gas prices soar, making electric the more economical choice.
Ash added: “The initial cost of an EV may be off-putting, however, there are many payment options available. Salary sacrifice schemes are a great way to put aside savings for EVs, making the purchase much more affordable, and there are plenty of EVs on the market that appeal to drivers with lower budgets.
“If you look at the cost of fuel, on average, it’s £100 for a full tank and drivers will be filling up three or four times a month, and while electricity is going up, you’re not going to be putting in more than £100 a month, so you’re already saving a significant amount.”
The panel also mentioned the closing of the UK's electric vehicle subsidy scheme, as the market is now stable enough to progress without government aid, proving that there is enough demand for EVs in the UK. While new cars are still a considerable investment for drivers, the used car market will inevitably expand with the growing demand for EVs. Auto Trader’s recent statistics support this, showing a rapid increase within this market.
Second-hand EVs are currently selling quicker than other fuel types, at 26 days - 22 days faster than 2021. The demand for EVs is evidently pushing owners to re-sell for newer models, therefore, increasing the number of affordable EVs on the market, making them more accessible to lower-budget buyers.
Charging infrastructure was the next topic of discussion, in particular, whether it is sufficient enough to support the current EV market.
Kathleen explained that there are some caveats to EV ownership. Drivers will have to expect an increase in energy consumption, and in some locations across the globe, there’s potential of seeing a lack of infrastructure, which could result in mismanaged energy distribution leading to power outages.
However, the UK is further ahead, with the government taking steps to pre-meditate the increased consumption by introducing Smart Charging regulations, ensuring all charge points are compliant in order to alleviate pressure on the National Grid.
On this point, Ash expressed that the UK is beyond the point of no return. Manufacturers are halting the production of ICE vehicles by 2030, so the Grid simply has to catch up. Infrastructure for EVs is already in place to manage increased consumption, and there will be no option but for the Grid to continue to provide support in the coming years.
Drivers have been hesitant to transition due to range anxiety, but realistically, a large portion of the UK has access to off-street parking and therefore home charging. For those who don’t, there’s an ever-increasing amount of public charge points available, including workplace charging.
Ash stated: “It’s less to do with how much infrastructure there is, but more so about how we use what already exists.
“Most of us won't be making long journeys day-to-day, so the likelihood of regularly needing to charge on the road is slim, and there’s a variety of EVs that cater to different ranges, so I think the infrastructure is more than ample.”
Mina’s products are a great example of how infrastructure can support the growing number of EVs on the road, specifically for the fleet market.
Mina Homecharge® accurately pays the driver’s energy supplier for the cost of charging their EV at home and with the Mina Chargepass®, drivers can charge in public with one single RFID card. Drivers don’t pay a thing, instead, the fleet receives just one monthly invoice along with access to key insights including carbon intensity and emissions, cost per kWh, location and duration of each charge across their fleet in our easy-to-use Fleet Portal.
Ash concluded that infrastructure can only be as useful as drivers utilise them, so it’s important that business fleets play a role in the transition to EV by making the process as simple as possible for their drivers.
Connect and learn more from Ash on Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/ashley-tate