Electric vehicle round-up

Global governments focus on EVs through new standards, mandates and tax breaks.

In China three national standards on safety requirements for EVs and their batteries will come into force.  One of the standards focuses on "thermal accidents" where the battery is damaged causing in an imminent battery fire, with a specification that the thermal passage of a cell for five minutes must not cause a fire or explosion of the vehicle. This should give the occupants sufficient time to leave the vehicle.

The drive to speed up charging times has been met by Australian EV fast charging provider Tritium which has launched a public "plug and play" solution which avoids the need to use a smartphone app or an RFID card to charge an EV. Tesla's private network already offers its drivers this facility as do companies which provide free chargers, but this is the first time it's been made available to the public.

Meanwhile the German government has required every petrol station to install EV charging stations. The availabilty of German public EV charging stations has grown by 60%. With an increase of 10,000 charging spots, the overall tally has risen to 27,730 spots in May in a country which has around 280,000 EVs or plug-in hybrids registered. The current public infrastructure can cater for 440,000 cars.

Greece with only about 1,000 EVs (0.3% of its fleet), has revealed tax incentives to boost the use of electric cars, motorcycles and bicycles as part of its 10-year climate plan for lower carbon emissions, aiming for one in three new vehicles to be electric by 2030.The plan also includes subsidies for the purchase of electric taxis and motorbikes and for setting up charging stations across the country. Drivers of the new vehicles will also be exempted from any parking fees for two years.

In a potential move to relaunch the economy, the UK government is considering offering motorists £6,000 to scrap their diesel or petrol car to buy a new EV. With the impact of the two-month closure of car dealerships due to the coronavirus, the government is likely to be hoping that this will have similar success to the 2009 government-backed scrappage scheme which saw around 400,000 new cars being bought in the UK while it was available.