This is how to make driving an EV more accessible and affordable

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Sean Fleming, Senior Writer, Formative Content

  • By 2030, there could be as many as 130 million EVs on the road, according to a McKinsey report.
  • An extra 55 million charging points will be needed in China, the EU-plus-UK region, and the US.
  • Up to $180 billion must be invested by 2030 to meet global demand for charging points.

Across 95% of the world, driving an electric car is better for the climate than driving a conventional fossil-fueled vehicle.

That’s one of the findings from a study that calculated the average lifetime emissions from electric cars to be as much as 70% lower in some countries than petrol and diesel equivalents. The greater the proportion of renewables in a country’s energy generation mix, the more amplified the benefit of electric vehicles (EV) will be.

Many countries have already set targets for phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars. Others have offered motorists financial incentives to go electric. By 2030, there could be as many as 130 million EVs on the road, globally, with more than 250 new EV models likely to be unveiled by manufacturers in the next two years, according to McKinsey.

Current problems

In its report, How charging in buildings can power up the electric-vehicle industry, McKinsey also highlights the importance of charging infrastructure. Put simply, where will people plug in their EVs? McKinsey estimates that: “$110 billion to $180 billion must be invested from 2020 to 2030 to satisfy global demand for EV charging stations, both in public spaces and within homes.”

a chart showing the growth forecast for electric vehicles in the US, EU and china
The forecast growth of EV chargers across the three biggest EV markets (McKinsey & Co) Image: McKinsey&Company

If EV sales forecasts are accurate, demand on the electricity networks of China, the EU-plus-UK region, and the US will soar. Between 2025 and 2030, McKinsey calculates the additional demand for power required by all these vehicles in the three main EV markets will rise from 180 to 235 terawatt hours (TWh) to 525 to 770 TWh.

Current wiring circuits in many buildings aren’t able to handle that shift in demand. Not least because they weren’t configured to support a large number of outlets and charge points. By 2030 there will need to be an extra 55 million dedicated charging points and stations in China, the EU-plus-UK region, and the US, McKinsey says.

Driving change

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the bulk of EV charging currently takes place right outside the EV owner’s front door. Domestic charging makes sense because it is convenient – what could be simpler than parking the EV on the drive and plugging it into a charging outlet on the home electricity circuit?

That’s a scenario that presupposes an EV owner lives in a house with a driveway right outside. As long as EV ownership is dominated by those who live in such a home, that’s unlikely to change. For people in multiple occupancy housing, such as apartment blocks, that isn’t an option. If EV ownership is to expand into a wider spread of demographics, convenient charging needs to become available more widely too.

“To make EV chargers more accessible and affordable, urban planners, building developers, and electrical-equipment suppliers must integrate charging infrastructure into standard building-design plans,” the report says.

A further consideration will be the increased range of EVs as battery technology improves. As a single charge promises more and longer trips, the demand for away-from-home charging will grow. That demand could be met by charging facilities in commercial and retail settings, if they were available.

Sparking new ideas

A dedicated charging point attached to a domestic electricity circuit costs around $400 to install, the McKinsey report states. But adapting a larger building’s wiring to be able to offer multiple charging points is a more expensive undertaking.

Large deployments of charging facilities will bring with them substantial additional costs, mostly connected to the need to upgrade everything from on-site transformers through to distribution grid feeders and substations or digging up roads to lay cables. This kind of work can increase the cost of deploying chargers by up to 20%, or add months of additional work to an EV charging project.

One way to mitigate against such cost and disruption in the future could be to design all current commercial and domestic new-build projects with the energy transition in mind. That might involve installing the necessary wiring within a building to allow the easier addition of extra charging points. It might also include laying electrification infrastructure in newly created car parking facilities in commercial and retail centres.

The path toward more access to EV charging, as outlined by McKinsey, will require a collaborative effort. Architects, civil and electrical engineers, property owners, regulators and energy companies will need to act in unison to achieve the best all-round outcomes.

Longer-term objectives like reduced energy consumption rather than increased energy supply could help. As could business models that allow for choices between charging points that are bought and owned outright, or those that are effectively leased as a service.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Lebanon: UN rights office calls for de-escalation of protest violence

Here’s how companies can make sure they are blockchain-ready

Why the financial scandals multiply?

JADE Generations Club: Connecting perspectives, changing Europe.

At global health forum, UN officials call for strong, people-focused health systems

To entrepreneurship and beyond!

My ‘’cultural’’ contacts with China

‘We are nowhere closer’ to Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, than a year ago, Security Council hears

‘Rare but devastating’ tsunamis underscore need for better preparation, UN chief urges on World Day

‘Regional security and integration’ in Central Africa under threat, Security Council warned

‘Spectre of poverty’ hangs over tribes and indigenous groups: UN labour agency

Recovery and Resilience Facility: Romania submits official recovery and resilience plan

Artificial intelligence: Commission takes forward its work on ethics guidelines

Industrial policy: recommendations to support Europe’s leadership in six strategic business areas

The ocean is teeming with microplastic – a million times more than we thought, suggests new research

Can Obama attract Iran close to the US sphere of influence?

Bring killers of journalists to justice: UN agency seeks media partners for new campaign

Regulate social media platforms to defend democracy, MEPs say

Canada has the most comprehensive and elaborate migration system, but some challenges remain

G20 LIVE: World Leaders in Turkey for G20 Summit. Global Economy will be discussed in Antalya

These countries are the most optimistic about economic recovery from the pandemic

Last-chance Commission: Why Juncker promised investments of €300 billion?

COP25: Developing nation’s strike hard

Ireland’s planning to make its Emerald Isle even greener

Peer-to-peer learning: a way to develop medical students’ trainings

ISIL continues to pose a ‘serious challenge’ worldwide – UN counter-terror chief

Biodiversity: MEPs demand binding targets to protect wildlife and people

Leaders need hard data to make the hard decisions about sustainability

Nicaragua ‘crisis’ still cause for concern amid murder, torture allegations: Bachelet

Trump: Hostile to Europe, voids Tillerson’s “ironclad” ally pledge

Businesses, governments and consumers to implement a more climate-friendly approach to #BeatPlasticPollution on World Environment Day 2018

Right2Water initiative: Is the Commission ready to listen to citizens?

Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate deal is bad for US business. Here’s why.

3 natural mysteries that could be explained by quantum physics

The winds of change: 5 charts on the future of offshore power

Millions of Bangladeshi children at risk from climate crisis, warns UNICEF

COVID-19 and the importance of scientific credibility in decreasing the number of cases

Antitrust: Commission opens investigation into possible anti-competitive conduct of Amazon

Plastic is a global problem. It’s also a global opportunity

NASA is recruiting new astronauts – this is what it takes to apply

Why it’s time to celebrate migrants

Fighting forest fires in Europe – how it works

The Pegasus Project awarded the 2021 Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize for Journalism

Detecting online child sexual abuse requires strong safeguards

Sexual reproductive health rights SRHR and ending HIV: can one be achieved without the other?

Greenhouse gas emissions have already peaked in 30 major cities

Transparency, EU values, and pluralism: new rules for European political parties

Central Asia bloc has important role in ‘peace, stability and prosperity’ beyond region, says Deputy UN chief

Greater transparency, fairer prices for medicines ‘a global human rights issue’, says UN health agency

It’s time to end our ‘separate but unequal’ approach to mental health

How smart tech helps cities fight terrorism and crime

EU and Mercosur reach agreement on trade

UN committed to helping Haiti build better future, says Guterres, marking 10-year anniversary of devastating earthquake

Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to O2 CZ, CETIN and T-Mobile CZ for their network sharing agreement

5 things to know about the exploding world of pro gaming

World Food Programme accesses Yemeni frontline district for first time since conflict began

UN chief calls for ‘immediate end’ to escalation of fighting in southwestern Syria, as thousands are displaced

The world’s food waste problem is bigger than we thought – here’s what we can do about it

A Sting Exclusive: “Seize the opportunity offered by Africa’s continental free trade area”, written by the Director General of UNIDO

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: