It’s electrifying: e-car sales power ahead as Pure Planet reveals first results of its EV pilot

Tuesday, 7 July 20204 minute read
Electric Vehicles

Here’s a snapshot of some of the data we’ve collected so far from our Electric Vehicle pilot.

Green recovery? It’s already happening. Just look at June’s figures for new car sales. Although demand for cars was down 35% overall, compared with June 2019, due to the coronavirus pandemic and many showrooms remaining closed, just look at the gains made by battery electric vehicle sales which top the charts — by some margin.

Electric vehicle sales are up by 262% in June. Let me say that again — 262%. And it’s up 159% for the year to date.

Compare that to petrol down 40% in June and 52% over the year; diesels have dived 60% in the month, and 65% in 2020 so far, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

Tesla’s Model 3 which topped the popularity charts in May, with 852 sales, remains in the Top 10 most popular cars with 2,517 delivered in June.

Who said EVs would never take off? As the economy begins to emerge following lockdown, we may well be seeing the first moves to a lower carbon, cleaner-air future.

At Pure Planet, we think the move to EVs will only accelerate. It has to at some point, as the sales of new internal combustion engined vehicles are due to be outlawed by 2035. If you are just starting to think about an EV, this Beginner’s Guide to Choosing an EV from our friends at Fully Charged Show is really helpful.

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With the recent lockdown giving people the taste and smell of clean air, and quieter roads, we think the shift to electric vehicles (renewably powered, of course) will see a surge.

That’s partly why we’ve been running an EV pilot with some of our Members in the Pure Planet Community, to help us understand their charging patterns better, so we can launch a properly road-tested — as it were — tariff and EV proposition later this year.

We’re really grateful for our Members’ support especially during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.

We’ve been looking into people’s charging habits: when they charge; how often; they charge; for how long — that kind of thing.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the data we’ve collected so far.

EV charging steps up as ‘lockdown’ lifts

Graph shows number of EVs charging in a half-hour block, averaged over the day.

EV charging by time of day

Pure Planet’s tariff rate is the same day and night, so the behaviour here reflects people’s use of the car (and possibly turning off charging before bed).

EV charging by day of week

Combined time of day and day of week

We can see some obvious trends around time-of-day and also time-of-week, which is really useful.When we announced the EV pilot way back in March, we planned for five phases.

Phase 1. Understanding charging patterns, times and frequency. Now complete thanks to our Members for their support.

Phase 2. Testing different EV tariffs. We’re developing the first of these EV-focussed tariffs to be ready for internal testing soon, and we’ll be looking for Members to help us with feedback before as part of this pilot programme. Join the discussion here.

Phase 3. Home charger installations. This will be working with Pure Planet Members who are about to buy or lease their first EV, and need a home charger installed. More information on this later this summer.

Phase 4. Out and about. Looking at charging options when on the road. We’re busy working on how to help our Members away from their garage. More to share later this summer.

Phase 5. Time of use. The final phase will help us understand how to make better use of smart meter technology to help match consumption to supply pricing and carbon intensity, for example:

  • how best EVs can automatically be charged when wholesale prices are low on a high frequency basis (e.g. daily/hourly), and charging paused if there’s a spike in price on the same frequency.
  • how best to charge a car when the grid is at a low carbon intensity. We’d also like to look into integration with home batteries for energy storage, too.

Building from our Members’ insights

During the Phase 1, we’ve been delighted to get to know some our EV-driving Members a little bit more, and we’re chuffed that some of you have offered to help us design some new EV-buying and journey planning tools.

A massive thank you to all our Members for helping us so far. If you want to take part sign up, or read more about EVs read more in our Community here.

Head of Knowledge and Community