In recent years, the UK has moved closer to its target of zero net emissions by 2050. There has been a huge increase in electric vehicle ownership, we have seen more people take advantage of renewable tariffs and the government has introduced more grants. to help people cope with these changes.
But what can we expect for the future? Check out our handy guide below to find out what innovations you’re likely to see more of in the coming years, from wireless EV chargers to microwave boilers.
More homes will have electric vehicle charging points
The number of electric vehicles is increasing, and the number of public charging points is following suit. In fact, Zap-Map data shows that there are 8471 charging points across the UK, compared to just 8400 petrol stations.
But we could soon see more people getting home chargers for electric vehicles , as the government announced that all new homes and buildings in England will be required by law to install them from 2022.
How will this benefit electric vehicle owners? Not only will it be easier to charge your vehicle, but it will also be cheaper: by charging at home rather than in a public place, the average electric vehicle owner could save £180 per year .
To help with the upfront cost, the government also introduced the Home Electric Vehicle Charging Scheme , which can subsidize 75% of the cost of buying and installing a home charging station, up to £350 (including VAT), for some owners.
Please note that, from April 2022, this scheme will no longer be open to homeowners living in single-family dwellings, such as bungalows and detached, semi-detached or terraced houses. Instead, it will be available to homeowners living in apartments and anyone living in rental housing.
Wireless charging of electric vehicles will become more common.
As it stands, there are 1.3 million electric vehicles in Britain . And, in an attempt to encourage more people to get electric vehicles, some experts have come up with wireless charging of electric vehicles.
Similar to how we charge phones wirelessly today, static electric vehicle charging is done through a process called “inductive charging,” which works by transferring electricity from a magnetic coil on a charging pad to another coil installed in your car.
This means that drivers only have to park directly over the charging pad for the process to begin.
Some companies, including Char.gy, Qualcomm and BMW, have already started to implement this in the UK. In addition, the county of Nottinghamshire is even participating in a trial testing nine electric cabs using wireless charging, as part of the WiCET project.
Heat pumps to replace boilers
In an attempt to reduce carbon emissions caused by domestic heating, the UK government is encouraging more people in the UK to switch their gas boilers to heat pumps. There are two types of heat pumps that homeowners can install:
Air source heat pumps : take heat from outside air and use it to heat buildings and hot water systems.
Ground source heat pumps : they must be connected to subway pipes, which absorb geothermal energy from the Earth and use it to heat buildings and hot water systems.
New types of solar panels will become popular
Solar panels have been around for years at this point, with new models popping up on the market all the time. In addition to cost, there is another main factor that turns people away from solar panels: their appearance.
This is where solar shingles come in. These eco-friendly shingles work like panels by converting sunlight into electricity, but they are made to look like traditional shingles.
While solar panels are much cheaper and generally more efficient than solar shingles, they can often clash with the appearance of a property, especially on a listed building.
Infrared heating panels
Instead of heating the air as conventional boilers do, infrared panels use radiation to heat objects directly, but don’t worry, these panels use ‘far infrared’, which is perfectly safe.
Unlike traditional boilers, infrared panels are quick and easy to install: the installer only needs to support the infrared panels on a wall or ceiling and connect them to the electrical circuit.
Hydrogen boilers operate in much the same way as conventional boilers, except that they burn hydrogen instead of fossil fuels. These types of boilers also generate hot flue gases; these can be used to heat water, which can then be stored for later use or pumped to your radiators.
Despite their promising future, hydrogen boilers are still in the prototype stage, so there are none on the market at this time.
Microwave boilers are very similar to conventional boilers, but instead of using combustion to generate heat, they use microwaves, a type of electromagnetic radiation.
Again, unfortunately, the world’s only microwave boiler is still in the prototype stage, but once it is ready to be released to the general public, it should be able to reduce emissions massively.