2023 electric vehicles: a year in review

2023 electric vehicles: a year in review

As 2023 draws to a close, we thought we’d look back over the year at the progression of the EV industry. We’ve covered the main technology breakthroughs of the year, some of the best new EV models and the new and updated EV legislation.

If you need help understanding any of the terminology or acronyms in this post, check out our handy jargon glossary.

 

Developments in EV technology

With the trend of EVs continuing its rise, and the government building on plans to phase out ICE vehicles, it’s no surprise that 2023 has seen many advancements in EV technology. In fact, as of the end of November 2023, in the UK there were approximately:

  • 1,529,000 plug-in cars
  • 950,000 battery-electric vehicles
  • 570,000 PHEVs

 

New funding for EV technology

The Faraday Battery Challenge and UK Research presented £27.6 million in funding to be split between 17 projects in January 2023. These projects aim to enable UK competitiveness across the battery market by:

  • building and securing the UK supply chain
  • improving battery performance
  • reducing the cost of batteries
  • developing more efficient and globally competitive manufacturing processes
  • developing more sustainable batteries
  • accelerating the development and scale-up of battery technologies

 

Later in the year, joint government and industry funding presented £89 million to 20 projects, including developers of revolutionary new off-road vehicles, net zero tractors and ground-breaking new EV battery systems.

This funding package included four research and development projects, which are estimated to create or safeguard more than 4,700 jobs in total and save nearly 65 million tonnes of CO2 being emitted over the next decade.

 

Ultra-fast-charging batteries

Matching the convenience of refuelling an ICE vehicle has proven difficult in the EV space, with even the fastest of chargepoints with the most compatible EV models taking over 15 minutes to get even half a battery charge. However, Nyobolt, a UK developer of ultra-fast-charging batteries, revealed its first concept of breakthrough battery charging technology in 2023.

Nyobolt’s new battery technology is smaller and lighter than others currently on the market and can be fully charged in only six minutes using existing charging infrastructure, providing around 155 miles. A common concern for fast charging is the degradation of battery life, but Nyobolt has tested its batteries for over 2,000 fast charge cycles without significant performance loss. This development is opening the doors to a future of ultra-efficient and lightweight EVs.

 

Toyota tackles widespread battery concerns

What are the two main concerns with EV batteries? For one, they have a limited range, and they’re also rather expensive for manufacturers to produce and for end users to purchase. Aiming to combat these concerns, Toyota has announced the development of new battery technology in 2023.

Toyota has announced a five-year plan to create EV batteries that can travel up to 932 miles on a single charge. The first goal is a range of 621 miles, aiming to be released in 2026.

Battling the second problem alongside range developments, Toyota has also been working on a low-cost battery that doesn’t compromise performance. Using lithium iron phosphate instead of the conventional lithium-ion, these low-cost batteries will offer an increased range (up to around 375 miles) and will recharge (10-80%) in under 30 minutes. These batteries will come with a 40% reduction in cost – a considerable saving compared to current EV battery costs.

Combining both of these new battery ventures with its current development of a method for mass production, Toyota hopes to commercialise these technologies in 2027-2028.

 

Diversity in the EV market

Although they existed in the market pre-2023, this year we’ve really seen EV diversity come to life. The EV market was once fairly limited to compact cars, but now we’ve got a vast range of SUVs, trucks, vans and even buses on the roads. This is assisting the mass uptake of EVs since the wide variety of vehicle types, sizes and prices make the switch much more accessible for a wider range of households.

 

New EV models for 2023

Manufacturers are constantly working towards the development of new EV models, whether that’s updating older ICE models to become zero emission, or designing entirely new EVs. While there have been many new releases throughout 2023, here are some of our favourites.

 

Volkswagen ID.7

Volkswagen isn’t new to the electric market, with multiple fully electric models and many other hybrids in its portfolio. However, its latest release in 2023 has blown the previous models out of the water.

The ID.7 creates the new premium standard from Volkswagen, combining high range values, fast charging, ample space and intuitive operation. This fully-electric fastback model has a top range of 384 miles and goes from 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds. With a digital cockpit, 15-inch infotainment system and augmented reality head-up display, the ID.7 looks and feels like the future.

The ID.7 starts at £55,570. Source

Polestar 3

Swedish EV brand, Polestar, has been quick to impress the masses with its previous models, and the 2023 release of the Polestar 3 has been no exception.

The SUV has a top range of 379 miles and goes from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds. The vehicle has advanced prevention and protection features to enhance safety whilst on the roads, and its infotainment system with built-in Google functionality is powered by on-board 5G connectivity. To top it off, the manufacturer has focussed on sourcing sustainable and traceable materials for the interior, meaning its lack of emissions isn’t the only environmentally conscious selling point of the model.

The Polestar 3 starts at £78,900. Source

Rolls-Royce Spectre

2023 saw an unexpected newcomer into the world of fully electric vehicles: British luxury automobile manufacturer, Rolls-Royce. 

The Spectre is the first electric model for the luxury brand but also kicks off the start of a string of upcoming changes for Rolls-Royce, which intends to electrify its entire model portfolio by 2030. This may be the first electric release from the renowned manufacturer, but don’t get it twisted – they haven’t cut any corners with the Spectre. The world’s first ultra-luxury electric super coupe has a range of 329 miles and goes from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds, which is incredibly impressive considering the vehicle weighs just under three tonnes.

The Spectre starts at £330,000. Source

Tesla Cybertruck

Potentially one of the most highly anticipated EVs, the Tesla Cybertruck began its slow release on 30 November 2023.

Only a handful of Cybertrucks will make it to the roads this year, with Tesla buckling up to fulfil as many pre-orders as possible over the coming year. The futuristic EV has a range of 340 miles and is capable of recharging 136 miles in only 15 minutes when using a Tesla Supercharger. It goes from 0-60 mph in 2.6 seconds and can tow up to 11,000 lbs. A standout feature of the Cybertruck is the 120V and 240V bed and cabin outlets, which can be used to operate tools, charge other EVs and even power your home in an outage.

At the moment, the Cybertruck is only available in the US, Canada and Mexico, and due to EU restrictions and safety regulations, it’s unlikely to ever make it across the pond to us. However, since the futuristic EV has had so much hype built up around its release, it felt important to mention.

The Tesla Cybertruck starts at $79,990 (£66,000). Source     Source

Changes to EV legislation in 2023

Legislation, laws and regulations are constantly being reviewed and updated, and EV-related laws are no different. Here are the changes we’ve seen in 2023.

 

Electric Vehicle (Smart Chargepoints) Regulations

These regulations originally came into effect in June 2022, but Schedule 1: Security compliance regulations were applied as of 30 December 2022, effectively starting for the new year of 2023. 

These new regulations aim to cover cybersecurity and tamper-protection of home charging devices. Any home chargepoint should have appropriate protection for the electrical system and the personal data of the owner. It must have smart functionality, including the ability to send and receive information and respond to signals to increase the rate at which electricity flows through the chargepoint. It should also be able to calculate the electricity imported or exported, as well as the time the charging lasts, presenting this information to the owner.

Any installers wishing to fit non-compliant EV chargers throughout 2023 (and beyond) must seek prior approval from the Office for Product Safety and Standards.

At Plug&Drive, we stock a range of compliant EV chargers suitable for both home and business use. Our team are also OZEV-approved, allowing you to take advantage of any government grants available at your time of purchase.

 

Updated ZEV mandate

The zero emission vehicle (ZEV) Mandate is a legal requirement for car manufacturers to meet targets for new EV sales in the UK. It was updated as of 28 September 2023.

Originally, the aim was to phase out the sale of all new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, but this has now been delayed to 2035. The updated framework now requires 80% of new cars and 70% of new vans sold in Great Britain to be zero emission by 2030, raising to 100% by the end goal of 2035. This allows more time for the second-hand EV market to grow and charging infrastructure to roll out across the country, making it easier for households to switch to an electric vehicle.

The mandate sets minimum annual targets to assess progress, starting with 22% of new cars sold in 2024 to be zero emissions.

 

Public Chargepoint Regulations 2023

This legislation came into effect on 24 November 2023, to ensure a consistent and positive consumer experience for anybody using public chargepoints across the UK. To facilitate the comfortable transition to EVs, it’s important that confidence in the public charging network is boosted and users can navigate these chargepoints with ease.

The four key areas under the legislation are:

  • consumers can easily locate the right public chargepoint to fit their needs
  • ease of payment across public chargepoints
  • consumers can be confident that public chargepoints will be in good working order
  • consumers can compare prices across multiple public chargepoint networks

It’s been a busy year for the world of EVs, and we’re sure that it’ll show no signs of slowing as we progress through 2024.

From all of us at Plug&Drive, we hope you have a lovely Christmas and a happy New Year.

If installing a chargepoint for your home or business is on the cards for 2024, contact us to find out how we can help.