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"The UK Government needs to support both the property and petrol retailing sectors to make the conversion to EVs an achievable goal"

05 02 20 automotive electric

John Roberts responds to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement this week regarding the ban on selling new petrol, diesel or hybrid cars being brought forward from 2040-2035 at the latest.

Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement this week regarding the ban on selling new petrol, diesel or hybrid cars in the UK being brought forward from 2040 to 2035 at the latest, John Roberts, Head of Automotive and Roadside at Colliers International commented:

“ Most vehicle manufactures are now starting to produce electric cars on a mass scale and the sector is clearly adapting. The Government’s plans are clearly welcomed and are extremely important for the environment however Boris Johnson’s announcement this week is not particularly helpful as the market is still in its infancy and the government should instead be concentrating on a clear and cohesive plan and strategy for nationwide electric vehicle charging infrastructure rollout to cater for the future of the sector.
“A combined undersupply of charging points both at home and ‘on the move’ alongside apprehension over lengthy charging times is currently contributing to a lack of buyer confidence and ‘range anxiety’ from existing and potential EV owners and Boris Johnson’s comments this week will only increase this confusion. Meanwhile, concerns over the ability of the current UK energy supply to meet future demand and the lack of guidance for landlords and developers for integrating charging points in to commercial premises is causing misperceptions. 
“Charging at home is fine if you have off-street parking. Of course, many of us don’t. Some local authorities and London Boroughs are selectively placing charging points in lamp posts. This is a great initiative, but what happens when every vehicle is electric? We already see cables stretched for 20 metres along the pavement which is both a safety risk and, quite frankly, open to wanton vandalism”
“Furthermore, there needs to be more consistency in terms of the approach to the infrastructure – at the moment it seems a ‘free for all’ approach has been adopted, so anyone with a electrical vehicle who arrives at a charging point does not even know what type of charge they are going to receive, and whether it will even work.
“As charging times are improving, the need for higher levels of electricity is also required, however some locations and properties are not able to provide the required capacities.
“Further infrastructure will need to be built and created, particularly at existing petrol filling stations and arterial route locations to serve any EV user travelling longer distances. Oil companies, such as Shell and BP, have already started to install and open charging points within their petrol stations to meet the growing EV demand.
“The addition of charging points at filling stations in town and city car parks, shopping centres, retail parks, supermarkets and new public ‘charging parks’ has potential implications for landlords and developers in terms of potential space required. Vehicles filling with petrol or diesel take a matter of minutes. Currently, EV charging, even with superchargers, can take significantly longer.
“The UK Government needs to fully support both the property and petrol retailing sectors to make the conversion to EVs a realistic and achievable goal.”


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John Roberts

Head of Automotive and Roadside

Automotive and Roadside


John has worked within this niche sector for many years and has been a member of the Colliers International Automotive and Roadside Team for over 15 years. His specialist areas of expertise include motor dealerships, car supermarkets, after sales retail networks including motorist centres, trade counter, drive thru' and roadside retail properties.

He acts on behalf of some of the lead investors, developers and occupiers within these sectors dealing with professional, agency, development and investment matters. His clients include, Arnold Clark, Volkswagen Group, Johnsons Cars, AEW, EG Group, CBRE Investors, Formula One Autocentres and Listers Group.

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Hannah Zitren

Associate Director

Marketing & Communications


I am responsible for media relations and generating coverage in top tier broadcast and print media. I work across a range of Colliers’ UK & Pan-EMEA business lines advising on their strategic and tactical PR needs.

My role includes:

·         Developing and executing PR plans for the various business lines to help promote their key messages across all aspects of the media - print, broadcast and social.

·          Media evaluation and reporting objectives, targets and successes across the business.

·         Reputation management and crisis management.

·         Media training.

·         Media engagement: setting up meetings with top tier media and various internal spokespeople to continuously expand and build a presence with property and vertical media network.

·         Consistently delivering service excellence, meeting with business heads of a regular basis and trying to influence the research as much as possible to ensure our content has a strong enough news hook.

·         Key campaigns that I work on include MIPIM; MAPIC; REVO; Midsummer Retail Report; IHIF; Cities of Influence in addition to a host of all alternative property sector research reports.

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