In a sign of the times, it is been announced that UK charging infrastructure company Chargemaster is floating on the London Alternative Investment Market, (AIM) raising around £6 million to fund further expansion in the UK. While this stock market flotation was perhaps not wholly unexpected it is the raft of positive news following the industry which is certainly opening doors for companies such as Chargemaster.
The UK government has already promised over £30 million worth of additional funding to increase the U.K.'s charging infrastructure and the flotation of Chargemaster will certainly not be the last in the UK sector. It will be interesting to see how UK investors react to this flotation which will not only give the UK sector much-needed funding will also increase both the company and the industry's profile.
What is driving charging station demand?
There seem to be a number of factors coming together to assist the driving charging station sector which include an increasing number of plug-in vehicles available across the UK, UK government funding (as mentioned above) and growing demand from consumers. There are many up-and-coming electric vehicle connected companies vying for investor funding across the UK and perhaps the Chargemaster flotation will be seen by many as testing the water.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "While there are many councils across the UK looking to increase the number of recharging stations, Hackney Council has a very ambitious target of one every 500 metres. Surely this bodes well for the wider EV industry?"
Even though there has been venture capital and private investment funding for the electric vehicle sector, not to mention internal funding from major companies such as General Motors, Nissan, etc., the introduction of new shareholders will move the profile of the electric vehicle industry to a whole new level. Local councils are now determined to push through the creation of substantial charging networks across the UK with some local authorities even suggesting they will have a charging station every 500 metres. That would be an exceptional move for the electric vehicle industry!
Improvements in technology
We must also mention the major improvements in recharging technology over the last couple of years, which have seen recharging times fall from a matter of hours to in some cases less than one hour. This is just the tip of the iceberg with an array of other new technologies set to come into play in the short to medium term which could be a game changer for the industry.
Again, as we have mentioned on numerous occasions, there is also intense speculation that we are on the verge of a major breakthrough in the electric vehicle battery sector. Aside from the fact that prices have fallen significantly over the last couple of years we do appear to be on the verge of the crucial 300 miles per full charge which many motorists have been crying out for. Indeed, there is speculation of a new battery technology which could take a journey capacity over 1000 miles per full charge.
It will be interesting to see how the forthcoming stock market flotation of Chargemaster pans out and indeed whether investors seem to have a growing appetite for the industry in line with changing consumer demand. In some ways the electric vehicle industry is like a swan, seemingly calm and collected on the surface but underneath there is a lot going on.