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Electric vehicle infrastructure around the globe: who is coming out on top?

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Global sales of electric vehicles (EVs) continued to grow in 2020. Despite the pandemic seeing overall car sales slump, EV sales rose by 43 per cent to over 3 million over the course of the year. As they become more widespread, we are seeing a wide range of approaches to adopting EVs and EV tech around the world. The UK is one of the leading countries in EV infrastructure, but other countries are also making progress. 

Norway: leading the way

Norway has committed to ending the sale of new, non-electric vehicles by 2025 and look set to reach their goal with battery electric vehicles making up nearly 75 per cent of new cars bought in 2020. By using incentives, such as removing sales tax, free parking in some car parks and toll charges, the Norwegian government has successfully embedded EVs into society. 

Substantial investment in infrastructure has enabled more EVs to be on the road, and many private companies have now taken this upon themselves. As a result of this investment, Norway has more than 10,000 public charging points, making EVs a convenient alternative to petrol and diesel cars.

UK: goals and incentives 

Here in the UK, we are making strides with EV infrastructure. 2019 saw the biggest expansion of EV infrastructure in the UK, and 2020 continued this trend. As part of the ten-point plan to reach its net-zero goals by 2050, the UK government plans to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030.

The UK government is working towards this goal through assisting research and development for EV technology innovations and infrastructure. Focusing on investment, the government has pledged £1.3 billion EV charging infrastructure and a £20 million fund for research and development. 

Interestingly, manufacturers are also looking to tackle the infrastructure issue, as we have seen with the plans from Volkswagen to install charging points at 600 Tesco stores.

US: taking action

Biden has increased the focus on EVs with a $174 billion plan and $2 trillion infrastructure bill aiming to spur the development and adoption of EVs. The new bill includes tax incentives, money to retool factories for building EVs and grants and incentives for charging infrastructure. 

It’s not just the central US government, private organisations have taken measures into their own hands. 7 Eleven is introducing EV charging stations to 250 of its convenience stores and gas stations across Canada and the US by 2022. This new increase in EV infrastructure will make EVs more accessible and convenient for consumers. 

Australia: confusion and contrast 

Australia has a long way to go with its EV infrastructure. In 2020, only 0.75 per cent of new cars bought in Australia were EVs, and the government is reluctant to focus on improving this. Instead of EVs, the Australian government focuses on increasing hybrid car usage. 

Contrasting policy across states have caused confusion and impacted the adoption of both EVs and EV infrastructure. At least three states have introduced road user charges for EVs in order to build a long-term revenue stream. And, although the government has a non-binding 50 per cent EV target for 2030, minsters have ruled out a ban on fossil fuel cars from 2030 as well as incentives such as direct subsidies to consumers. 

This is a hugely exciting time for the EV industry as the market continues to grow, and countries begin to move in the right direction. Norway’s long-term focus on EVs has paid dividends, and it will be interesting to see how other countries follow suit to approach EV innovation. 

We believe EV will continue to be an important area of growth in the next decade. Key to these changes and EV innovation is having the highly skilled specialist on board. Our exposure to these sectors, through existing relationships and high-profile search assignments, gives us a unique insight and ability to be able to support your next search. To find out more about roles in the sector or to discuss your hiring needs, please get in touch with us. 

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