Cumbria’s roads are going to become increasingly electric.
This week Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a ban on new petrol and diesel cars would come into place five years earlier than previously thought - by 2035 - and would also include hybrid vehicles.
Making the announcement ahead of the launch of the United Nations COP26 Climate Summit on Tuesday, Mr Johnson said the Government would aim to ban the sales of fossil fuel powered cars sooner than 2035 if possible.
People will only be able to buy electric or hydrogen cars and vans once the ban comes into effect.
The news follows a surge in the number of hybrid and electric vehicles in the UK, with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders reporting one in 10 new cars sold in October was battery powered.
With a workforce likely to use more and more electric vehicles, as well as the prospect of electric fleet and company cars, businesses are being urged to take action to have the appropriate charging facilities.
The good news is that Helen Boyle, strategic decarbonisation manager for Electricity North West, says its research shows the answer is more simple - and less expensive - than many may think.
“We certainly believe we are on the cusp of an avalanche when it comes to electric vehicles,” she said.
Its Distribution Future Electricity Scenarios report released in December forecasts there will be approximately half a million electric vehicles on the roads in the North West by 2030.
The information it had showed commuters were charging their cars once a day, while non-commuters did it every two days.
At the same time less than 16 per cent of owners were charging their cars between 5pm and 8pm, which she said should calm fears of an impossible demand on the electricity network at the same time as people were coming home turning on computer, oven and television.
In fact, she said, less than 25 per cent of people charged their vehicle at home at all.
Although cars were usually left plugged in for six hours, they were really only charging the battery for three of those hours.
“People are charging it during the day at work,” she said.
“Businesses need to think about what they are doing to facilitate this adoption.”
However, rather than being forced to invest in expensive fast or superfast chargers in their car parks - which could also come with a reinforcement fee for the higher demand on supply - businesses could meet the needs of their workers with nothing more complex than a common 13 amp plug.
A bank of these in a car park would be perfectly adequate for employees to charge up their vehicles during the day.
“Most businesses are having this conversation but they are having it with suppliers who are trying to sell fast or superfast chargers,” said Helen.
Although fast chargers and superfast chargers were important for travellers who were in a hurry or going long distances, this was not the case for daily commuters driving to the office.
“What businesses need to think about is their overall charging strategy and if they have a workforce that is in one location for several hours a day a 13 amp plug is totally fine. This makes it quicker, easier and cheaper for businesses to get ready for the mass adoption of electric vehicles,” said Helen.