ACS says forecourt retailers need help in transition to electric vehicles

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has responded to the Prime Minister’s announcement of a range of environmental initiatives including confirmation that cars fully powered by petrol or diesel cannot be produced after 2030.

Key measures announced include:
> Electric vehicles: Accelerate the transition to electric vehicles and transforming our national infrastructure to better support electric vehicles.
> Public transport, cycling and walking: Making cycling and walking more attractive ways to travel and investing in zero-emission public transport of the future.
> Hydrogen: Working with industry aiming to generate 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 for industry, transport, power and homes

ACS chief executive, James Lowman said, “The Prime Minister has confirmed the existing policy of banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, but we are pleased that some hybrid cars will be allowed to be produced and sold for a period after 2030, helping drivers and fuel retailers to move more smoothly towards this radically different model for powering vehicles.

'This will bring huge challenges for petrol forecourt retailers: maintaining supply of petrol and diesel to a declining but very large market of traditional internal combustion engine vehicles, offering fast and convenient charging facilities to EV drivers many of whom will typically charge at home or elsewhere away from the current forecourt network, and responding to other developments in powering vehicles, for example hydrogen.

'Every method of powering vehicles requires significant investment to offer safely and effectively, so these businesses need support and positive incentives to help with this transformation.

“Convenience stores, whether they currently sell fuel or not, are naturally an environmentally friendly part of the retail market. Half of our customers and half of our colleagues walk to the store to shop and work, we help minimise food waste by allowing shoppers to buy food more frequently and in smaller quantities, and we are investing in energy efficient equipment and recycling facilities in stores. Our sector is perfectly placed to respond to the agenda set out by the Prime Minister today.”

ACS responded to a consultation from the Department for Transport on bringing forward the end to the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans from 2040 to 2035, calling on the Government to do more to provide fuel retailers with support to introduce EV charging points.

Figures from the ACS Forecourt Report show that of the UK’s network of around 12,000 charging locations, just over 250 charging points are located on forecourts (excluding service stations). There are around 142,000 fully electric vehicles and 196,000 PHEVs registered in the UK.