Electric Vehicle Governance Framework: Consumers Disengaged

Latest reports from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) indicate that the UK is not on track to meet the 2050 carbon target and that air quality remains a problem.

There is significant risk that underperforming vehicle efficiency policies, such as government spending to support the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV) and the introduction of clean air zones, may result in an irreversible gap in delivering the fourth and fifth carbon budgets. The expectations for a rapid uptake of EVs continue to be disappointed and challenges around interoperability, digital integration and interdependencies between market actors continue to prevail.

With all the uncertainty around EVs and the lack of credible information for informed purchase decisions, it is not much of a surprise that the consumer adopts a “Let’s wait and see” attitude. It is paramount that consumers, as well as fleet operators, are fully engaged as part of the transition to go electric.

Consumer experience is key to driving up sales of EVs yet buying an EV can be really hard work for the consumer, which is extremely off-putting. This is primarily due to car dealerships not promoting EVs and driving consumers towards purchasing Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles.

We must accept that consumer trust in the automotive industry following Dieselgate is somewhat dented. A concerted effort by all parties is required to make up some lost ground, restore consumer confidence and provide clarity around how the transition towards EVs will be accomplished.

While the EV industry and the government work behind the scenes to resolve some of the known issues, there are many reports being published doubting EVs for example suggesting that EV drivers are unable to drive long distances due to a poor charging infrastructure. These reports have consequently affected the consumer’s view of EVs and appetite to learn more about the benefits of owning and driving an EV. A coordinated strategy towards a scalable and reliable charging infrastructure that drives consumer acceptance is long overdue.

Solutions for standardisation and interoperability technically exist, but there are challenges with implementing these solutions since they often rely on multiple parties working together. No single party can resolve the issues facing the EV industry alone. For example, to address the complexity of the billing issues, consumers could have a meter installed in their car and be billed accordingly, or they could obtain an account-based membership with an energy provider to access the entire GB EV charging infrastructure at any time. These examples rely on multiple market participants working together to achieve a frictionless customer journey.

A collaborative approach is needed, and this is where the Electric Vehicle Governance Framework (EVGF) comes in. The EVGF consultation seeks views on the difficulties businesses face in generating sales and viable business models that deliver on government targets for EVs and develop an exemplary market in the UK.

You are invited to respond to our EVGF Consultation by 31st May 2019. A copy of the consultation and response form are available here:

EVGF Consultation

If you would like to speak with us directly about this consultation or the EVGF in general, please email us at strategy@gemserv.com or call us on 020 7090 1001.

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