The idea of switching to an electric vehicle has long felt like the traditional "chicken or egg" conundrum: I can't switch to an electric vehicle because there aren't enough public charging points, but there won't be enough public charging points until more people switch to electric vehicles.
News of the UK's first all-electric charging forecourt tells me that - though there is still a lot of work to be done - the tide is turning and electric vehicles are fast becoming the norm, which is, of course, excellent news and a vital step towards reducing emissions, improving air quality and meeting net-zero carbon targets. It also begins to feel possible that electric vehicles will become more viable for longer journeys - no more "they're only really city cars" if there's no gamble on whether or not there will be one of the (very few) charging spaces free when you stop somewhere.
I have been working with local authorities trying to navigate central government funding requirements in support of air quality and low carbon initiatives including the State aid and procurement issues that funding creates. As we navigate our way towards cleaner transport, the legal issues continue to be thorny, but well worth trying to work through. It is clear that electric vehicles are part of the path to better air quality standards and to net-zero carbon - and so making sure that any funding is received and expended in compliance with State aid laws (however they may look come 2021) is imperative. Procurement processes for specialist providers of charging points and related equipment and services are important to get right. There is lots for local authorities to think about to play their part in the switch to electric vehicles.
“As we accelerate towards cleaner and greener transport, I’m delighted to see the future of service stations being brought to life with the opening of the UK’s first all-electric forecourt. “There has never been a better time to make the switch.”