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The transition to EVs is unstoppable – only the pace of change remains uncertain

Climate Change and air quality concerns are catalysing a global transition to Electric Vehicles (EVs). Indeed, many governments around the world have committed to phase out the sale of internal combustion engine cars in support of this. And most large manufacturers are now offering an EV solution with some committing to go all-electric.

Despite this, the uptake of EVs is still slow, too slow if they are to help stop dangerous climate change and reduce the number of premature deaths caused by poor air quality. The problem is that there are several barriers and market failures to the widespread adoption of EVs. These include inadequate policy frameworks and incentives, lack of charging infrastructure, low consumer confidence and a clunky customer journey because of a lack of interoperability between market participants.

To help address these barriers, Gemserv has been working with organisations from across the EV supply chain on proposals for an Electric Vehicle Governance Framework (EVGF). This is an industry led initiative which would establish the rules and standards to address such issues as interoperability, smart charging, data access and consumer protections. A new digital platform (a one-stop-shop for market participants) will underpin the EVGF. And a new industry forum would oversee it, which would for the first time bring together actors from across energy, transport, digital and telecoms sectors.

Industry self-governance is not new. Many parts of the UK energy market come under such arrangements which can be more flexible and responsive than government regulation alone. Gemserv has a strong record in overseeing several of these schemes and we are well positioned to help establish an EVGF.

While currently UK focused, the EVGF would be applicable in other jurisdictions. Indeed, many of the market participants we are engaging with have an international footprint. Inevitably there will be doubters who will resist the transition to EVs. History will prove them wrong in the same way it did with those who battled the move from the horse and cart to the internal combustion engine. Likewise, those who resisted the move from coal to renewables who were, over the Easter weekend, reminded of their wrongness when we enjoyed the longest run ever of no coal contributing to power generation on the grid.

At a time when public concern for climate change has grown to levels never seen before – most poignantly symbolised by Greta Thunberg, the Swedish schoolgirl who has catalysed worldwide student activism – the industry needs to come together and step-up to the challenge. The EVGF provides the vehicle(!) to do so.

Gemserv is consulting on the EVGF and would be delighted to hear your views by 31 May 2019. We have extended the deadline from mid-April by popular demand. 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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