As UK citizens will already be more than aware, the country is currently experiencing a fuel crisis that has led to miles and miles of drivers queuing to purchase fuel.
Many stations have been run dry almost as soon as they are refilled. The situation has led to heated exchanges between many drivers over who was there first or who was taking more than their fair share.
One of the more unbelievable developments in this story is the sharp increase in motorists filling up with the wrong fuel out of desperation. They then have to be rescued when their car breaks down and the tank that they just filled up gets emptied and wasted… Of course, they then need to fill up again, exacerbating the demand. The AA reported an 1150% increase of drivers needing help from the ‘fuel assist’ team at the weekend. Like I said, almost unbelievable.
The interesting thing about this fuel crisis, is that there isn’t a fuel shortage at all.
There is a plentiful supply stored in distribution centres across the country. The issue is that there is a national shortage of Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers, the people transporting fuel around the country to filling stations for consumers to access. Although this hasn’t yet affected fuel supply, the mere warning that it could has sent the UK into panic buying mode (again).
The last time the UK saw a fuel shortage was in 2000.
At the time consumers were told to only fill when they needed to, and that this would resolve the crisis. This didn’t help at all. It seems the fear of running out and being stranded overpowers the voice of reason. The causes of the 2000 crisis were, of course, very different to now as price rises, protests and blockades led to stations running dry.
As the UK fuel crisis continues into the week, EV’s are looking better than ever.
The benefits to the environment have always been evident, but a suddenly far more apparent benefit is that you are not reliant on fuel supply to be able to power your car. Not only are you protected from disruptions to fuel supply, but also from rising prices. The electric car market was already growing quickly, with nearly 300,000 pure-electric cars on UK roads at the end of May 2021, and more than 600,000 plug-in models if including plug-in hybrids (PHEVs)1. This will surely be heightened by the current situation.
Savvy businesses will see this and recognise that the popularity of EV charging points is only going to keep going up. The UK’s charging point infrastructure is already continually changing. The past few years has seen a dramatic increase in the number of public EV charge points in the UK.
Between the end of 2016 and 2020 there was an increase of 220% in the number of public chargers.
This will need to continue to grow to match demand.
Mirroring this will be the need for a payment point. We already know that consumers want choice in how they pay. The most popular charging points will be those that allow drivers to pay with their preferred method. Currently some EV charging points only let you pay through their own app, whilst others allow you to pay using Google Pay & Contactless. With consumers already inundated by payment apps, there needs to be more choice.
Also sought out by current EV owners is price transparency. There can huge variations in price at charging stations, with prices even changing throughout the day. The most cost-effective way to charge is at home, but this of course is not always possible. This leaves space in the market for a holistic commerce approach to payment.
The AEVI cloud platform can enable holistic commerce.
Our payment solution encompasses a centralized payments platform for routing acquiring transactions, an agnostic payment app and a terminal management system (TMS) – all running across multiple channels, countries and devices from different 3rd party vendors.
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