Industry is waking up to the scale of investment needed to convert to electric from fossil fuels by 2040.
With over 8 million users not having access to off-street parking and insufficient UK domestic energy infrastructure in the majority of UK homes to provide fast charging facilities - major investment is required over the next 20 years (combined with further technological advances) to stand a chance of meeting the Government targets.
Oilcos and fuel retailers are already looking at creating strategic EV networks. This will doubtless create new opportunities and renewed interest in roadside property sites, especially those with proximity to the necessary supporting infrastructure. It will also have wider implications for our future requirements for all residential and commercial premises.
Fast charge points are currently very expensive to install and require suitable network capacity. Then there is the unscrambling of the different emerging technologies being employed by the vehicle manufacturers.
All of these issues will ensure opportunities for the property industry to harness investment and help to deliver the new sites and development necessary to meet the new infrastructure requirements.
BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley told Reuters this week that BP is planning to install fast charge points at its UK petrol stations. "We have discussions going on with a lot of the EV manufacturers to have a tie-up with our retail network for charging," Dudley said. Tim Payne, CEO of InstaVolt, says: "If we were waiting for a big 'penny drop' moment then this is it. Payne also points out that off-street parking limitations also need to be borne in mind. "Around a third of [UK] households don't have off-street parking, which means the electric vehicle industry needs to be focused on public, rather than home charging. Forecourts will play a huge role in that, being perfectly placed to house rapid charging units where people can charge up quickly en route."