With electric vehicles starting to make their way onto the used market in large numbers, the Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA) has warned a potential “charging crisis” could emerge.
The VRA represents businesses that handle, sell, inspect, transport or manage more than 1.5m used cars and vans every year and said demands for power on some sites will be considerable.
VRA chair Sam Watkins said: “We have some members who process tens of thousands of vehicles every month. Currently, it is just a question of ensuring that there is sufficient fuel in the tank of each but looking ahead, a large proportion will be EVs, especially following the government’s 2035 commitment.”
“Those remarketing companies will need to make sure that EVs are charged to a useable degree simply to move them around, and comply to best practice for storage scenarios. Once an EV has a flat battery, the movement of it becomes a challenge as they must be handled in line with correct safety protocols which differ from internal combustion engines,” she added.
Watkins said the only way to ensure they will all have sufficient power is to install more charges, perhaps “hundreds” on some large sites that are used for storage by manufacturers and leasing companies.
“This could potentially place huge demands on local electricity supplies, especially as we see more and more power-hungry superchargers being introduced. Certainly we already know of major remarketing options whose plans for new sites have been dictated, at least in part, by the availability of power infrastructure that is capable of the necessary charging capacity.”
The issue did not affect just large remarketing companies, said the VRA, but also individual dealerships, many were already operating from cramped sites.
“If you are selling and servicing large numbers of EVs then charging again becomes a concern and it is not inconceivable that even a medium sized dealership might need a dozen chargers on-site until new charging solutions are evolved,” Watkins said.
“We are looking at a situation where the remarketing of EVs might require careful consideration by many different kinds of business in our sector purely to ensure that sufficient charging is available. In saying this, we are aware that the charging picture changes all the time and that new solutions are being introduced to the market. As things stand, however, there is certainly potential for what you might call a charging crisis.”
The charging concern was raised at the VRA’s January meeting which took place at Bruntingthorpe in Leicestershire and was attended by more than 40 members.