ACS welcomes Government updates on Road to Net Zero plan

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has welcomed the latest update on the Government’s plan to be net zero by 2050, which looks to address the barriers to the electric vehicle charging rollout.

‘Decarbonising Britain: A Better, Greener Plan’, sets out the Government’s ambition to expand the UK’s electric charging infrastructure while phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles. As part of the plan, the Government has committed £950m to a Rapid Charging Fund to upgrade grid capacity at service stations on motorways and A-roads.

As part of the plan, the Government is working with Ofgem through its ‘Access and Forward-Looking Charges Review’, to make getting new connections as timely, efficient, and affordable as possible.

ACS chief executive James Lowman (pictured) said, “Convenience stores, especially those operating on petrol forecourts, have an important role to play in the electric vehicle charging rollout but there are still significant barriers for stores looking to invest in this service offering.

'The pace of change in electric charging solutions is extremely fast, leading a lot of retailers to take a ‘wait and see’ approach instead of investing in something that could be obsolete in a few years’ time.

'We welcome the Government’s acknowledgement of some of the barriers to the EV rollout, and will continue to work with the Department for Transport to find the right balance of EV charging provision in our sector.”

Figures from Zap-Map show that there are currently around 25,000 electric charging devices in the UK at over 15,000 locations – over 30% of which are in Greater London.

As well as addressing policy related to electric vehicles, the plan explores ways of decarbonising distribution systems. ACS will be working with colleagues in convenience stores’ supply chains to promote workable approaches to meeting net zero objectives.

In September this year, the E10 fuel grade will be introduced onto forecourts, with E5 being retained as a premium grade for vehicles that are not compatible with E10.