Seamless payments could be key for the UK to reach its Net Zero goals
Historically, transport has been the highest emitting sector of the UK economy, accounting for 22% of GHG emissions.1 So the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) is one of the most important actions the country can take to meet its Net Zero targets.
Through a new study conducted in partnership with Opinium2, into driver appetite for adopting EVs, Visa has found that the vast majority are considering a switch, but that simple practicalities such as availability and access to charging points, time to charge and payment methods, are holding them back. So, it seems the collective challenge we now face is to grow EV infrastructure at pace to meet that demand while overcoming those barriers, to create a sustainable system that works for everyone.
We think that making paying to power up EVs as simple as buying a cup of coffee is key to making that ambition a reality. As part of this effort, we’ve partnered with JustPark, the UK parking solutions provider, to grow their initiative that makes the private charging network public and provides a smoother user experience supported by a standardised, seamless way to pay.
The demand for EV is here
The research suggests that drivers across the UK want to live and travel more sustainably, but practical barriers are hampering progress:
- We found that 70% of petrol and diesel drivers are considering the switch to an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle. However, more than half of EV and hybrid drivers (51%) said the lack of public charging points was the biggest barrier to making the switch.
- Our research also found that over three quarters of petrol and diesel drivers (76%) worry about the prospect of having to use specific apps to pay when powering their vehicle at different charging points, should they switch to an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle.
- Of the petrol and diesel drivers surveyed, 58% said they would be more likely to purchase an electric vehicle if they could access a simpler process for paying to use public vehicle charging points. 54% of petrol and diesel drivers say they'd be more likely to purchase an electric vehicle if they were able to use contactless payments at public charging points.
- At present, most EV adopters have the convenience of charging their vehicles at home using their own charging point. However, with a third of British households lacking off-street parking3, home charging will not likely be possible for all.
JustPark’s JustCharge solution provides a simple alternative for EV charging. Through JustCharge, people can monetise their home chargers, and unlock thousands of charging points for local communities, as well as those close to workplaces, and commuter stations. JustCharge also makes it easier for drivers to pay through an integrated payments system.
Payments is just one piece of a much larger puzzle in the UK’s journey to Net Zero, and our partnership with JustPark is an example of how payments and infrastructure networks can work together to encourage drivers to feel empowered to switch to EVs. But to reach our target, we must also see innovative collaborations across the utility and automotive industry, technology, and government. With a blanket ban on the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles set for 2030, any partnership that promotes a sustainable and interoperable system – big or small – will be a step in the right direction.
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1Briefing document: The UK's transition to electric vehicles, Climate Change Committee, Terri Wills, https://www.theccc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/The-UKs-transition-to-electric-vehicles.pdf
2Research commissioned by Visa and conducted by Opinium with 2,000 nationally representative UK adults between 06 April 2022 and 11 April 2022.
3A third of UK homeowners don’t have a driveway or garage to install a home chargepoint, Parking Review, Mark Moran, 31 August 2020, https://www.transportxtra.com/publications/parking-review/news/66621/a-third-of-uk-homeowners-don-t-have-a-driveway-or-garage-to-install-a-home-chargepoint/