Innovation

In Britain ‘range anxiety’ is about to become a thing of the past

By Oliver Smith 21 February 2017
Summary

1 million new chargers are coming.

Electric cars are flying off showroom floors, sales have exploded by over 3,000% since 2011.

1 in every 100 new cars sold last year was electric, and by 2020 this is expected to soar to 1 in every 10.

But with 30,000 electric cars being sold in the UK in 2016, new owners are struggling with a growing fear of running out of juice.

So-called ‘range anxiety’, the fear of running out of power when you drive an electric car, is one of the main concerns that prevents buyers from going electric.

But Erik Fairbairn is on a mission to solve this.

He’s already rolled out 27,000 charging stations at homes, in car parks and on public streets, but by 2020 he’s promised to put a charging point at every UK car parking spot where people stay for an hour or more.

That’s the goal announced by POD Point yesterday, after Fairbairn announced the company is raising £9m in additional funding to afford the massive rollout.

Read more: How To Boss It Like Erik Fairbairn, CEO and founder of POD Point

Fighting range anxiety

Currently electric cars account for only 2% of new cars sold, but by 2020 this is expected to be nearer 10%.

Fairbairn says POD Point is planning to roll out a million charging points over the next three years, with his longer term belief that the UK will eventually need between 10m and 15m charging points.

The majority of these, he says, will be at people’s homes or commercial parking spots like Sainsbury’s, Lidl or airports like Gatwick and Heathrow, but there’ll still be many on the street once councils get on board.

“Councils have to balance requests for electric charging points, the reality is that only 2% of new cars are currently electric, but we are reaching a tipping point where more councils are opening up to the idea.”

Along with Barclays Capital and investor Draper Esprit, POD Point is inviting ordinary investors to join the funding round via a £1.5m crowdfund on Crowdcube – making it the third time POD Point has used crowdfunding.

If successful, electric car owners might never again fear running out of juice.