comment on this article

Lack of infrastructure could imperil self-driving electric cars

With so much talk last year of autonomous vehicles on the UK's roads in a matter of a few years, Amanda Blanc, the UK boss of Axa, has warned that while accident liability remains a challenge, it is no longer preventing the UK from benefiting from the autonomous vehicle revolution.

Instead, she says the likely cause of the country potentially missing out is the UK's lack of infrastructure for self-driving electric vehicles. She points to the shortage of charging bays and the limitations of the National Grid.

According to Blanc, there are about 125,000 plug-in electric cars in the UK and only 14,000 chargers – 2620 of which are rapid chargers. Long trips currently require vehicles to recharge two or three times and involve waiting for batteries to recharge.

Blanc makes the point that people will not want to queue for a supercharger and warns that without significant investment in the UK's power infrastructure, growing demand for electric vehicles could place the National Grid under immense pressure.

The chancellor, Phillip Hammond, has reaffirmed a budget pledge to ensure, ‘genuine driverless vehicles’ on Britain's roads by 2021.

Hammond has admitted that it would be a ‘very challenging’ achievement, but without improving the UK's power infrastructure ‘very challenging’ could prove to be ‘impossible’.

Author
Neil Tyler

Comment on this article


This material is protected by MA Business copyright See Terms and Conditions. One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not. For multiple copies contact the sales team.

What you think about this article:

I read with interest your article on the lack of charging points in the UK in your latest email. However, I believe the limitations to the growth of electric vehicle ownership to be much more fundamental.

Firstly, the total generating capacity for the UK is currently around 1KW per person. This will need to increase significantly before we can all become electric car owners. Secondly, the current carrying capability of the cables under our streets is not sufficient to support everyone in the average residential road charging their electric cars every night.

So whether or not the amount of fast charging points increases, I believe that this country has to make significant improvements to its electricity supply infrastructure before electric cars can become ubiquitous.


Posted by: David Kempton, 09/01/2018
I read with interest your article on the lack of charging points in the UK in your latest email. However I believe the limitations to the growth of electric vehicle ownership to be much more fundamental. Firstly, the total generating capacity for the UK is currently around 1KW per person. This will need to increase significantly before we can all become electric car owners. Secondly the current carrying capability of the cables under our streets is not sufficient to support everyone in the average residential road charging their electric cars every night. So whether or not the amount of fast charging points increases, I believe that this country has to make significant improvements to its electricity supply infrastructure before electric cars can become ubiquitous.

Posted by: David Kempton, 09/01/2018

Add your comments

Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published.
Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Related Articles