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07 May 2024

EV News Round-Up: The UK Surpasses 60,000 charge points, more from Tesla and Glasgow's electric golf club

Record Growth for EV Charge Points as the UK Surpasses 60,000

Those keeping an eye on charger milestones will know another marker has been hit this quarter. Only six months after hitting the 50,000 mark, April saw the 60,000th public charger installed in the UK. 

Data published by Zapmap shows nearly 6,000 new chargers were installed during the first three months of 2024 as the rate of installation continues to rise having increased by almost 37% compared with the average across 2023. The first four months of the year have seen an average of more than 1,900 devices installed every month, up from the 2023 average of 1,400 per month.

 

The data reveals significant growth in two key areas of the country’s charge point infrastructure. The number of ultra-rapid devices – designed for en-route charging – has increased by 135% since April 2023, with w 4,988 devices now spread across the country. Over the same period, the number of low-powered devices on residential streets, used primarily for overnight charging, has increased by more than 54%. 

Melanie Shufflebotham, co-founder & COO at Zapmap, said: “Hitting 60,000 public charging devices is an extremely significant milestone for electric car drivers across the country.

“This is really just the crest of the wave. There’s a real momentum behind the increased rate of charge point installations up and down the country.

“Without a doubt, it is great news for electric car drivers that not only the sheer number but also the variety of charging options are improving every month.”

Jade Edwards, head of insights at Zapmap, added: “With more than 135% growth in the number of the highest-powered chargers over the last year, and 343 high-powered charging hubs across the country at the end of April, the UK is well on the way to hitting 100,000 public charging devices in summer 2025.”

Security Boosts Amid EV Cable Vandalism Surge

The EV charging network InstaVolt has ramped up security measures in response to a recent surge in vandalism targeting charging cables, rendering chargers unusable and impacting critical infrastructure. This trend is not only inconveniencing EV drivers but also poses a deterrent to potential drivers considering the switch to electric cars. 

With the industry facing potential losses amounting to hundreds of thousands of pounds, InstaVolt has witnessed over 20 charging sites in the Midlands and Yorkshire being targeted by criminal gangs since November.

CEO Delvin Lane emphasised that while the thefts may not yield significant financial gains, they disrupt EV drivers seeking to charge their vehicles, including emergency service personnel. To combat further damage, InstaVolt has announced that it has implemented stringent security measures, including enhanced CCTV coverage, security patrols, and the use of tracking technology like SmartWater to tag property and identify stolen cables. 

Lane urged industry collaboration and law enforcement intervention to tackle both the thieves and the scrap dealers handling stolen goods. She said “We are taking this very seriously and are engaged with the police at all levels. We are calling on the industry to come together to use the full force of the law. It’s not just the thieves we’re after, but also the scrap dealers who are handling this stolen product.

“As an industry we need to be giving drivers confidence that they will be able to charge their car and we need to see swift law enforcement against the criminals causing disruption to EV drivers.” 

Tesla Speaks Out on Production of Affordable EVs Amid Sales Slump

A few weeks after garnering much publicity for abandoning the affordable EV market in favour of self-driving robotaxis, it seems Tesla is set to launch a low-cost EV within a matter of months after suffering a slump in sales and profits.

This commitment to launch an affordable EV and broadening its market appeal beyond luxury vehicles was confirmed in its latest quarterly update surprising the industry which only a couple of weeks ago was rife with speculation suggesting the project had been shelved altogether. 

This decision comes at a time when there's increasing demand for more accessible EV options, with consumers and environmental advocates alike pushing for greater affordability and accessibility in sustainable transportation. Tesla's move to introduce an affordable EV reflects its ambition to democratise electric mobility and make it accessible to a wider demographic.

Tesla said: “We have updated our future vehicle line-up to accelerate the launch of new models ahead of our previously communicated start of production in the second half of 2025.

“These new vehicles, including more affordable models, will utilise aspects of the next generation (manufacturing) platform as well as aspects of our current platforms and will be able to be produced on the same manufacturing lines as our current vehicle line-up.

“This update may result in achieving less cost reduction than previously expected but enables us to prudently grow our vehicle volumes… during uncertain times.”

After new car sales fell for Tesla in 2024 for the first time since 2019, profits declined by 55% and Tesla’s share price tumbled, the EV manufacturer is perhaps looking to reassure investors as the carmaker faces more competition in the EV market including fiercely competitive Chinese manufacturers targeting the market with low-priced electric cars.

This strategic move promises to make EVs more accessible to a broader audience. 

Glasgow's Golf Club Electrifiying Tradition

Glasgow's Haggs Castle Golf Club is making waves in the traditionally green sport by going electric, becoming one of the first golf and entertainment facilities to switch to 100% renewable energy and provide EV charging on-site.

The club, nestled within the city's scenic landscape, is pivoting away from traditional petrol-powered mowers to embrace the eco-friendly advantages of EVs.

This transition points to Glasgow's broader commitment to environmental responsibility, especially poignant as the city prepares to host the COP26 climate summit, a global gathering focused on addressing climate change. And sets a progressive example for other sports facilities and communities worldwide.

By adopting electric mowers, Haggs Castle Golf Club aims to significantly reduce its carbon footprint and minimise environmental impact while meticulously maintaining its lush greenery. 

The decision to shift to electric technology in the daily operations of the golf course reflects a growing awareness of the benefits of sustainable practices in diverse settings. And presents an opportunity to showcase the versatility and efficiency of EVs beyond urban transportation. 

Russell Smith, General Manager at Golf It!, said: “Since opening, the electric chargers have been popular with people popping in to enjoy all of the facilities within our golf & family entertainment venue.

“Plus, there have been lots of benefits for our community including residents who don’t have an EV charger at home, are able to charge their vehicles overnight in the car park.”

 

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