Accelerating the green revolution with Electric Juice
Driving forward the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) involves making sure there are simple, affordable ways to charge transport using 100% green power. Since 2019, Octopus Energy has supplied the UK’s EV charging network with renewable Electric Juice, and this year we’ve revved it up a gear by launching the Electric Juice Network, helping EV charging become an intrinsic part of our flexible, green energy model of the future.
Electric Juice supplies 100% green electricity and deep data analytics to the UK's EV charging networks. With over a third of the UK’s charge point operators on supply, we want to help get more chargers on the street and to give EV drivers absolute confidence they can charge their vehicles on the go.
The Electric Juice Network has taken us one mile further. It’s a new charging solution that is solving a common aggravation for EV drivers: charging your electric car on the go can leave you with a frustrating trail of usage spread across different emails, texts and bills. We are working with some really exciting partners to unite different roadside chargers on one solution and one bill. If you're an Octopus Energy home electricity customer, this can automatically be linked to your energy bill for the ultimate simplicity.
These innovations couldn’t come at a better time, with the government bringing forward a ban on selling new petrol, diesel or hybrid cars in the UK to 2030. The future really does look electric and we want to power the revolution!
I caught up with a few of the charge point operators we have on our Electric Juice supply to talk about the new age of electricity and how it’s left them thirsty for a flexible energy supplier that supports their rollout plans.
Fastned believes that EV owners shouldn’t be left out in the cold whilst powering their vehicles, they should be just as important (and covered from the elements) as petrol and diesel drivers. That is why Fastned are developing a pan European network of high powered EV filling stations with solar panel roofs. Think traditional petrol stations, but tailormade for EVs.
Octopus has teamed up with Fastned’s UK branch to serve their filling stations with our 100% green Electric Juice. I spoke to Tom Hurst, General Manager of Fastned UK, to talk about Fastned’s green credentials and to get his thoughts on the growing EV market.
Eloise: How is Fastned driving forward a green revolution?
Tom: In the UK today, transport is our single biggest greenhouse gas emission. We believe in delivering high quality infrastructure that makes charging your car on the go a real pleasure. And if we do that right, then we are doing our bit for the sustainability agenda across Europe.
Eloise: Why did you choose Octopus Energy?
Tom: At Fastned we are a fast growing and dynamic company. We wanted to find a supplier that had the same ethos; a company that was pragmatic, friendly and open to exploring new ideas. We really gelled with the Octopus team because you have really exciting offerings and the right mindset to work in such a fast evolving market.
Eloise: How do you think the EV charging market will grow in the next few years?
Tom: Fast charging is going to become the mainstream. This is because vehicles will be able to take much quicker charging speeds. Currently, the fastest charges are anywhere between 300 and 350 kilowatts. This is incredibly fast, it’s like having 100 kettles on at the same time, but this is for relatively high end cars. Mainstream cars are going to start pushing 150 to 200 kilowatts as a rule. Those kinds of charging speeds allow for longer drives where just popping a charger in for 10 minutes can get a good chunk of range.
It's like the 4g to 3g switch. Once your phone could stream YouTube in high definition on the train, you would never accept 3g anymore where it could barely open a web page. If your car can charge up to a 300 mile range in 20 minutes, you will avoid the slower chargers even if they're a bit cheaper because you've become used to such immediate plug and play.
Eloise: How are EVs developing and what challenges are there to making the switch?
Tom: Not many people know this but some of the first ever cars were electric. A hundred years ago the electric car existed alongside the first petrol cars. The discovery of low cost petrol and oil supplies, however, meant the world took a course away from electric- the petrol and diesel market took off.
Now EVs are finally having their comeback. Every manufacturer worth their salt is bringing at least one electric car to market now. Battery costs continue to drop, which is making EVs accessible for everyone. The Tesla Model 3 has been one of the best selling cars in the UK for the last few months. Electric vehicle sales as a whole were up in June. Everything is changing, and it's gonna happen a lot quicker than people realise.
The biggest barrier to EV uptake is getting someone in the car. Once people get behind the wheel of an electric vehicle it will sell itself, drivers immediately understand the appeal. If we have more secure infrastructure in place, it will reduce charging anxiety that EV drivers won’t be able to charge on the road, getting more people behind the wheel.
Connected Kerb has spent the last couple of years innovating an entirely new, environmentally sensitive solution to electric vehicle charging. They have developed a combined infrastructure solution that champions sustainability and connectivity through its unique, future-proof design using recycled materials. I had a chat with Chris Pateman-Jones, CEO of Connected Kerb to find out more about their plans.
Eloise: What are your sustainability targets?
Chris: Currently, not enough focus or pressure is being placed on charging companies to do better – we have made a conscious decision to hold ourselves accountable.
Making charging infrastructure greener, is something that we feel very strongly about. We have designed our solution with sustainability at the forefront. We use high volumes of recycled materials, including plastic and rubber, throughout manufacturing and aspire to increase these volumes in the near future.
Eloise: Why did you choose Octopus Energy as your supplier?
Chris: In the quest to make charging infrastructure greener, powering our charge points with renewable energy is a no-brainer. We believe that if an archaic system isn’t working, it needs to be disrupted, so we really gelled with Octopus’ mission and its bold, visionary approach to shaking up the energy industry – something that resonates with what we are trying to do in the EV charging space.
Eloise: How do you see the EV demand growing?
Chris: We’ve seen that even amidst a global pandemic, the demand for EVs has remained strong and general buzz and support for electrifying mobility is growing. This is an inevitable market and we believe, with collaboration between sectors and increased buy-in from the public, that the next few years will be pivotal in realising an electric future. It’s an incredibly exciting time for the industry and an invaluable moment for our natural world. EVs are a massive part of the solution to combating the climate emergency, and action is everything – we must use the traction gained over the last few years and push to increase the momentum moving forward.
If you are a charge point operator interested in getting supercharged by out Electric Juice, or an EV enthusiast who would love to join our network, you can find out more by clicking through our business page.
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