What 2020 and the rise of the EV will mean for taxi drivers
Article by Kevin Pugh, UK & Eire Country Manager at international EV rapid charge device manufacturer Tritium – www.tritium.com.au
There is plenty of evidence pointing to 2020 being the year of the Electric Vehicle (EV), but what might be in store for taxi firms and their drivers in 2020?
Shifting the re-fuelling experience beyond the service station
The advantage of EV charging is that we no longer need to look at infrastructure in a linear fashion: it’s zero-emissions, with minimal footprint, and can be placed indoors or outside.
In 2020, taxi drivers’ “range anxiety” concerns will be lessened as more and more chargers - including 50kW DC rapid chargers - are installed beyond the petrol station forecourt in places such as pubs, restaurants, within the community on streetlights and at dedicated rapid charging hubs.
High-power charging to hit the highways of Britain
For taxi firms and their drivers, maximising the time spent serving customers directly impacts earning potential. Therefore, the ability to charge their EV vehicles quickly will become even more important.
Thankfully, the emergence of higher power, 100kW+ DC chargers, which can add between 64 and 220 miles to the range of an EV in just 10 minutes of charging, is here and we’re seeing them rolled out in huge numbers across Europe - particularly 350kW chargers, which are part of the world’s fastest and largest charging network, Ionity.
We believe many charge point operators will chose to install 100+kW charging option, with some looking to future-proof their infrastructure by installing the higher-powered, 350kW-“ready” chargers – even though most cars currently available cannot utilise the full charge rate of the 350kW chargers.
Parking spaces to morph into charging hotspots
In our cities and suburbs there is an off-street parking shortage, which means that many EV taxi drivers without the ability to charge their vehicle at home will need access to a publicly available charging infrastructure.
In 2020, we will begin to see an increase in the transformation (and monetisation) of parking spaces at retail and leisure outlets, and at transport hubs, into EV charging destinations - including the creation of future fuel hubs. To make this happen, the only things that are needed are a suitably designed charger, capable of charging EVs in a time appropriate to the destination or business offer, and a credible electrical specialist who can support the business. Then those parking spots become money-makers for the business, as well as becoming an attraction for drivers. This is already happening in some parts of the UK, and in other parts of the world. As EV uptake increases in 2020, we will begin to see these chargers increasingly at shopping centre car parks across the nation.
Image credit: LEVC