Unstoppable Electric – Why the EV Market Is Predicted to Boom in the UK – and why smart investors will be looking for opportunities

The UK electric vehicle (EV) market has seen significant growth in recent years, with a marked increase in the number of electric cars and vans on the roads.

As of the end of January 2024, there are approximately 1,000,000 fully electric cars and around 600,000 plug-in hybrids in the UK. In 2023, there was an 18% growth in the registration of battery-electric cars compared to the previous year, and the total number of plug-in cars (battery-electric and plug-in hybrids) registered showed a 41% increase from 2022.

Strong UK Position

Overall, the UK’s position in the global EV market is strong, with the country ranked as the 5th best-prepared nation for the EV transition out of the world’s top 20 markets. This ranking reflects the UK’s robust demand for new EVs, which is encouraging more consumers and businesses to adopt electric vehicles.

New laws requiring car and van makers to sell a minimum percentage of zero-emission vehicles have come into force in Britain on 3 January 2024.

The Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate stipulates that electric vehicles (EVs) must constitute 22% of new car sales in 2024, increasing to 28% in 2025, reaching 52% in 2028, and a substantial 80% being purely electric by 2030. Moreover, by the year 2035, the mandate mandates that 100% of newly sold vehicles must be emission-free.

The transition to electric vehicles is well underway, and regulations have been implemented to facilitate this shift.

Rising and Rising EV Sales

The EV sales in the UK made up over half of the vehicle sales during the first quarter of 2023, demonstrating the increasing preference for electric and hybrid vehicles over traditional internal combustion engine vehicles.

The growth in the UK EV market is part of a global trend towards electric mobility, with significant advancements in technology and supportive government policies fuelling the market’s expansion.

In terms of electric vans, there has been a notable increase in registrations, with more than 56,000 electric vans in the UK as of January 2024. The number of electric vans sold in the UK saw a significant uptick last year, thanks in part to the increased availability of new models, expanding the choices available to consumers.

The need for more chargers

A transformative shift is occurring in how we power our vehicles. Charging an electric vehicle introduces a new paradigm where the “petrol station” is essentially a car park or driveway.

The opportunities for growth of EV sales are clear – however, there are challenges that need to be addressed to sustain this growth, not least the rapid deployment of charging infrastructure to meet demand – which is currently far short of what is needed already, both at home and on the road.

Think about where you fuel your car currently – and then think about solutions for EVs that focus only on Motorway Service Stations.  The point is, nobody wants to drive too far to top up – the companies that get charging right could benefit from lots of repeat business too.

The opportunity to make money in the sector is likely to be there for the taking, and we can expect to see massive opportunities both for investors who back it and for retailers, restaurants and consumer outlets that provide it for their customers.

New charging companies like Go Zero are already hitting the market strong, with their ‘Go Zero’ models for home and local businesses proving popular, delivering both a healthy return for investors and a high degree of consumer satisfaction.

The market for at-home charging is naturally in demand, but so is the need for charging on the go – and that’s where canny local businesses can tap into it.  Adding charging to your restaurant, gym or hotel car park will be appreciated by locals – but it also gives your customers a new reason to visit again.  Repeat business at it’s best, it’s a win/win.  Likewise, for employers who are struggling to find the right talent, getting EV charging at work will become a valuable benefit and a notable point of difference in an increasingly competitive market.

The demand for EV charging infrastructure is already there and the whole EV market depends on it.  It’s a great opportunity, the right time and the right product.  The only question is, will your business be part of the success story?

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Mordor Intelligence’s report on the UK Electric Vehicle Market

IMARC Group’s analysis of the Electric Vehicle Market.

EY report on the UK’s ranking in the global EV market

PwC research on EV sales in the UK

Zapmap’s statistics on the number of electric vehicles in the UK