The UK has been ranked as the third best prepared country in Europe for electric vehicle (EV) adoption, behind Norway and the Netherlands, in a report by Smart Transport member LeasePlan.
LeasePlan’s EV Readiness Index, which is conducted annually, analysed 22 European countries on three factors: EV registrations, the maturity of EV infrastructure and government incentives in each country.
It showed the UK as one of the few leading the charge when it comes to total cost of ownership (TCO) due to to incentives such as the 0% benefit-in-kind (BIK) band for EVs.
The report highlighted charging infrastructure as a barrier to EV adoption where the UK sat in 10th position when looking at public chargers relative to population, behind leading countries such as The Netherlands, Norway, Luxembourg, and Sweden.
Across the UK, the number of public EV charge points rose by 7% (1,288 charge points) in the fourth quarter of 2020 to a total of 20,775.
Despite progress being made in 2020 on charging infrastructure, the rate of improvement decreased across Europe compared to last year (43% increase rate in 2020 compared to 73% increase in 2019).
Alfonso Martinez, managing director of LeasePlan UK, said: “It’s great to see the UK ranking as one of the top three countries in Europe for EV readiness, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still have a long way to go.
“A lack of charging infrastructure continues to be a real barrier to adoption, particularly in rural areas. The UK needs to address this and deliver on a strategy that takes the entire population into consideration, otherwise we risk falling behind.”
The Department for Transport (DfT) recently extended the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) to help small businesses and people in leasehold and rented accommodation install EV charge points and the On-Street Residential Grant Scheme (ORCS) will continue in 2021-22, with a further £20 million allocated for local authorities to install EV charge points. .
The DfT has aso launched a consultation on improving the charging experience, including simplifying payments and increasing reliability, as part of the roadmap to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030.
The EV Readiness Index found most nations had improved their score this year, but the rate varies significantly across the continent, with Romania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic having both the lowest scores and the slowest improvement rate.
Martinez said: “Now is the time to make a difference, and it needs to happen fast. We’ve seen the positive impact of cleaner roads and less emissions during the pandemic, so let’s keep going and ensure these learnings weren’t in vain.
“The pressure is on for leaders within businesses and the Government alike to accelerate EV adoption – a giant step in helping to save our planet.”
The EV Readiness Index 2021 is published as part of LeasePlan’s new ‘What’s next in EVs’ report. The report provides detailed insights into the latest trends, models and technology that will shape the EV industry in 2021, as well as in-depth analysis on the EV readiness of each country.
LeasePlan will host a ‘What’s next in EVs’ webinar tomorrow (March 5). The event is free to attend and will feature an industry update by Robert Llewellyn of Fully Charged, as well as LeasePlan’s chief commercial officer, Berno Kleinherenbrink.