Mer – part of Norwegian renewable energy giant Statkraft – has set its sights on an underserved area of the country’s EV charging infrastructure – but one that is critical if the UK is to meet its ambitious zero-emission driving targets.
Mer is focused on getting charging stations into businesses, organisations, key retail locations and into areas managed by local authorities where there will be high usage – like residential streets where people don’t have driveways or garages – up and down the UK.
Experience from Norway
Mer, which has already installed more than 100 chargers into these areas, brings with it the experience of running similar programmes in Norway – Europe’s market leader for EV ownership where last year more than half of new car sales (54%) were electric – a global first.
While there has been a significant acceleration of charging points installed along motorway networks and main roads, as well as into people’s driveways and garages, until now the push for inclusion into workplaces and other high-use public areas has largely faltered.
Indeed, many experts are worried the UK’s rollout of widespread EV charging infrastructure is not moving fast enough to support the transition to electric vehicles by the 2030 deadline the Government has set for the ban on new diesel and petrol cars and vans.
The Policy Exchange think tank, for example, published their ‘Charging Up’ report in February this year saying the country will need 400,000 public chargers by 2030 to meet demand, up from the 35,000 now in place.
Many of these chargers will need to go into locations which are currently underserved by other commercial charging companies – high footfall locations like residential areas where people don’t have off-street parking and where alternative on-street solutions are needed.
Mer aims to change that, with class-leading technology, expertise and funding models that can support businesses and communities looking to shift towards guilt free, CO2-free driving.
Commenting on the launch, Mer UK Managing Director Anthony Hinde, said: “The UK Government has set ambitious targets for the switch to zero-emission vehicles, especially with the announcement of the 2030 ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars.”
“This target is absolutely achievable, but it will require a fundamental shift in how the UK’s EV charging infrastructure is developed. Home and on-the-road chargers remain fundamental aspects of the UK’s EV charging network, but if we just focus on that, we won’t succeed.”