On the Road to an EV: Rory Tait’s Journey

Our Head of Renewables Rory Tait is taking us with him on his journey towards buying an electric vehicle. In this series of articles Rory will share what he has discovered from doing his research, the best offers currently on the marketplace and any issues that will arise along the way.

If you are about to take the first step to EV ownership, sit back and let Rory do the hard work for you.

Part I

I have reached the point where, as Secretary of the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology, I felt that it was time to change my rather old diesel BMW for an Electric Vehicle. I have to admit that another (lesser) reason for this decision was the fact that from October this year I would essentially not be able to drive my car east from my home due to the extension of the Ultra Low Emission Zone!

I have started to plan a road map for this journey, and have quickly realised that there are a myriad of issues which I will need to deal with, some of which will not be remotely straightforward I suspect. What I intend to do is to deal with individual key issues in each episode of this blog (albeit some of the issues will undoubtedly overlap) as they arise on my journey.

I was convinced when I started this journey that I wanted to buy a Polestar 2 (essentially a Volvo XC40 but fully electric), as I thought it looked the bees knees and fitted nicely with my requirements. It was also one of the first cars which, according to the reviews I had read, really provided a challenge to the Tesla Model 3. However, I was soon to find out that every car maker in the world seemed to be launching EVs on a weekly basis, so the choices available expanded at an incredible rate. Hold the Polestar decision I thought!

Some further research was clearly required so I picked up copies of “driving electric” and the other car magazines, especially when they featured EVs. I also subscribed to the EV opinion channel as this seemed to be a good destination for up to the moment comment on the EV market. I now felt, however, that I was in an “information overload” situation so a plan had to be put in place to deal with this!

As many car makers were releasing new EVs at an ever-increasing pace, I thought that it would be sensible in advance of going nap on a particular vehicle to research the other “nuts and bolts” relating to EV car ownership. This entailed putting together a list of the crucial constituent parts relating to ownership and the running of an EV, including in no particular order- the public charging regime and how it works; the costs of EVs and the incentive regime relating to EV purchase; consideration of the main attributes of an EV which I needed; domestic charging options and the opportunities to “play the market” through tie-ups with electricity suppliers and the requirements to enable this (e.g. smart metering); and issues surrounding local authority requirements regarding the charging of EVs in circumstances where it is not possible to park an EV off the street.

I think that this is enough by way of an introduction. There is clearly a huge amount to research and understand about EVs and I intend to start focussing in future articles on some of the specifics about selecting and operating an EV. It is clearly a very exciting time in this market and one thing I can say for sure at this stage is that anyone reading this and thinking along the lines I am thinking is still somewhat ahead of the crowd. I have a funny feeling that in an extraordinarily quick timeframe the market, along with the general public, will be starting to catch up. In any event, my EV journey is under way and I very much hope you will come along for the ride.

About the Author

Rory Tait was a solicitor for 34 years prior to retiring from legal practice in 2020. His legal career has focussed exclusively on advising clients on projects in the renewable and clean energy sector from a regulatory and commercial standpoint. He has worked for a number of the larger Energy and Renewables legal practices, including Eversheds where he jointly led the Renewables practice. Rory is an expert on the regulatory regime governing the electricity industry, and he has advised extensively on the structuring and execution of generation projects across the majority of renewables technologies. He has also advised on the acquisition and disposal of individual projects, as well as portfolios of renewables assets, and he has negotiated connection agreements and power offtake arrangements for developers.

Prospect Law is a multi-disciplinary practice with specialist expertise in the energy, infrastructure and natural resources sectors with particular experience in the low carbon energy sector. The firm is made up of lawyers, engineers, surveyors and other technical experts.

This article remains the copyright property of Prospect Law Ltd and Prospect Advisory Ltd and neither the article nor any part of it may be published or copied without the prior written permission of the directors of Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory.

This article is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and it should not be relied on in any way.

For more information or assistance with a particular query, please in the first instance contact Adam Mikula on 020 7947 5354 or by email on adm@prospectlaw.co.uk.