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Convenience retail ‘has important role to play in electric vehicle charging rollout’

UK convenience retail has an important role to play in the electric vehicle charging rollout, according to the sector’s trade body.

The Association of Convenience Stores (ASC) commented after the latest update on the government’s plan to be net zero by 2050 was announced on Thursday. It said the industry will play a key role as electric vehicle charging arrives at forecourts across the UK.

The government said it is working with Ofgem through its ‘Access and Forward-Looking Charges Review’, to make getting new connections as timely, efficient, and affordable as possible. It indicated that it still needs to address several barriers to the electric vehicle charging rollout across the UK.

Decarbonising Britain: A Better, Greener Plan’ sets out the ambition to develop the UK’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure while phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles. As part of the plan, the government has committed £950 million to a ‘Rapid Charging Fund’ to upgrade grid capacity at service stations on motorways and A-roads.

ACS CEO, James Lowman, said: “Convenience stores, especially those operating on petrol forecourts, have an important role to play in the electric vehicle charging rollout but there are still significant barriers for stores looking to invest in this service offering.

“The pace of change in electric charging solutions is extremely fast, leading a lot of retailers to take a ‘wait and see’ approach instead of investing in something that could be obsolete in a few years’ time. We welcome the government’s acknowledgement of some of the barriers to the EV rollout, and will continue to work with the Department for Transport to find the right balance of EV charging provision in our sector.”

Zap-Map indicates there are currently around 25,000 electric charging devices in the UK at over 15,000 locations – but over 30% of them are situated in Greater London.

Read more about electric vehicles in retail on Green Retail World

[Image credit: Spar]

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