Guidehouse and SSEN report reveals lessons from Dutch chargepoint roll-out

Guidehouse and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution have published a joint report on the lessons the UK can learn from the Dutch roll out of public electric vehicle (EV) chargepoints.

The report found that although the UK population is four times bigger than the Dutch, there are just 44,000 chargepoints installed in the UK compared to 78,000 in the Netherlands.

The Dutch are speeding ahead in their transition to decarbonised transport, with 25% of drivers using an EV or plug-in hybrid compared to just 15% in the UK.

Guidehouse’s report shows that there are several factors that have driven the installation of infrastructure to support EVs:

  • collaboration between national and local government and wider industry including chargepoint operators, reduces the overall lead time of new chargepoints and the total costs, for example by reducing the number of site visits needed
  • rapid increase in public chargepoint provision through area-wide tendering was made possible by devolving responsibility to local or city authorities, allowing coherent EV strategies to be developed
  • ensuring chargepoints are interoperable to make the transition accessible and easy to understand has reduced costs and made EV use easier for everyone.

The research found that area-wide tendering was one factor which increased public chargepoint provision rapidly.

Responsibility for EV charging infrastructure was devolved to local and city authorities, who could then pool together high demand and profitable sites with locations of strategic importance that without intervention would not be supplied by the market.

Area-wide tendering will group different chargepoint locations, mixing areas of high demand with those that will be strategically important to give customers the confidence to switch to EVs.

A successful area-wide tender process for a network of public EV chargepoints in the Netherlands in January 2020 led to 20,000 public chargepoints being contracted across an area covering 3.2 million people.

Lack of chargepoint provision is a major barrier to EV uptake. A recent Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) report found that public chargepoint provision will need to increase by at least tenfold by 2030 to support households making the EV switch.

This new report sets out best practice from the Netherlands and how the UK could rapidly deliver the infrastructure required to secure a net zero future.

Andrew Scott, Director of Connections, SSEN Distribution, said: “Delivering COP26’s ambitions will require collaboration locally, nationally and internationally. This report provides a welcome insight into how the Netherlands has successfully and rapidly increased public chargepoint provision, and how we can do the same in the UK.

“We are strongly committed to delivering a fair transition to EVs. Fundamental to this is ensuring opportunities are open and accessible. Households without access to off street parking will rely on public provision. Rapidly increasing public chargepoint provision is therefore vital, and we can do this through emulating the Netherlands’ approach and deliver area wide tendering.”

Image: Shutterstock

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