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From the chair: February 2020
publication date: Feb 3, 2020
author/source: Robin Roberts
The quickening approach of pure battery and plug-in hybrid vehicles is providing a further challenge to PRs and agencies.
We simply don’t have the infrastructure to support a big ev-car or van launch with most hotels running to just a couple of recharging points which might be taken by other guests’ vehicles. The more remote venues we have used and love also have connectivity issues.
Hotels which provide a large number of charging points are most likely to win events and some traditional and popular locations such as race tracks or country barns are going to see trade disappear unless they do stump up and invest in charging points.
If you think as a PR and put in place stand-alone generators at these locations prepare also for a backlash against banks of chargers ultimately powered by diesel generators as their emissions may well outweigh those allegedly saved by the ev vehicles plugged into them. One event planned early in 2020 has been hit by this issue of “dirty evs” and there is no easy answer.
The true whole-life costs of evs is another contentious matter recently addressed by a manufacturer preparing to launch a lower capacity battery car which they say is most likely ideal for the majority of commuters without gobbling up higher CO2 emissions from the manufacture of higher capacity batteries.
If battery efficiency sharply diminishes with cold weather demands for lights, air conditioning and less regeneration as speeds tend to be lower, then the smaller battery pack concept will be more challenging to justify to someone stranded on the roadside with an unexpectedly flat traction battery.
If sales of evs are to continue momentum there is a real need for a massive investment in charging stations and a public/ private drive will be needed, so long as the power stations can cope, particularly if there are prolonged cold spells putting demands on home, office and works heating systems.A few car makers have tied up with charging providers and this is very welcome, but we must ensure the plug-in charger is compatible with all models, not just a dedicated brand.