Fully Charged Live 2022: The electric-vehicle market comes together

06 May 2022

fully charged

Autovista24 editor Phil Curry attended Fully Charged Live 2022, an event dedicated to electric vehicles (EVs), and spoke with those companies aiming to highlight the importance of an electric future.

Motor shows have always been a great place to learn for those who want to understand more about the market. Today’s automotive industry is extremely diverse, and therefore events need to be as well, catering for specific needs to educate as many people as possible.

The electric vehicle EV market is on a trajectory of rapid growth. As consumers and fleet managers consider emobility, it is likely they will have many questions prior to committing.

What is Fully Charged Live?

First launched in 2018, Fully Charged Live is not just a standard motor show. It is dedicated to the electric-vehicle market, providing visitors with everything from mining of battery materials to car purchases.

This year’s event saw 23,333 people attend, all of whom were greeted by vehicle manufacturers, charging infrastructure providers (both domestic and public), energy services, vehicle-subscription companies and mapping businesses. This meant the show was a perfect place for EV newcomers and seasoned electric-vehicle drivers, to find out more about the market, and the technology behind it.

Like most motor shows today, Fully Charged Live 2022 offered an outside area full of vehicle manufacturers (both passenger car and light commercial-vehicle), and online vehicle-sales platforms. There was also an opportunity to test-drive many electric vehicles from a range of carmakers such as Ford, Nissan, Skoda, and Hyundai.

Promoting the EV market

Inside the halls, the UK’s National Grid had a big presence. Having supported Fully Charged Live’s last four events, the organisation asked visitors to make a pledge towards their own sustainable futures, with a daily draw that would see winners help plant a tree with show founder and TV personality Robert Llewellyn. These trees are part of plans to offset the entire carbon footprint of the event.

National Grid also attended to help highlight the stability of the UK’s electricity grid, as demand is likely to increase with the uptake of EVs. ‘By the end of the decade, we will have an additional 30GW of energy being provided by offshore wind,’ commented Graeme Cooper, head of future markets at National Grid. ‘We will also likely have an additional nuclear power station, and this is before we talk about solar on people’s rooftops, and interconnection with other countries. So, we are not overly worried about the transition to electric vehicles.’

Connected Kerb was present at Fully Charged Live to show its new ‘Chameleon’ charger. This new bollard-style charging point is designed to be one of the market’s lowest impact and smallest dual-charger solutions for public on-street charging. Standing at under one metre tall, it is accessible to wheelchair users and not subject to planning permission – enabling a rapid rollout across the UK. Connected Kerb’s infrastructure solutions are designed to be unobtrusive, while also cheap to repair or replace. The power units are located beneath the ground, while the bollard only carries the charging sockets. Therefore, if broken or damaged, it is quick and cost-effective to maintain.

As drivers move from range anxiety to charging anxiety, there is also more onus on infrastructure providers to ensure a reliable and well-plotted network. But to help EV owners plan their journey as effectively as possible, Zap-Map has been working for several years on software to keep users up to date with the location of chargers, and to identify whether they are in use or faulty.

‘One element of Zap-Map is just to give those people who are thinking about getting electric car the confidence to make that switch, so they can have a look and make sure that there is enough charging infrastructure,’ stated Melanie Shufflebotham, co-founder and COO of Zap-Map. ‘At the moment there is a bit of charger anxiety, people are a bit concerned that they may arrive at a charge point and it may be in use or not working. I think we are definitely moving towards the mass market now. More and more chargers are coming but I think until there are at least six, if not 12, rapid chargers in every motorway service area, there will still be a certain amount of charge anxiety.’

To hear more interviews and thoughts from Fully Charged Live 2022, listen to the latest Autovista24 podcast recorded live at the event. Deputy editor Tom Geggus talks to a wide mix of companies, all committed to the future of electromobility.