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Bedeo Citroen Relay Retrofit EV 2024 Professional Van

Bedeo has released a white paper that exposes key policy gaps in the UK EV retrofit market despite its proven potential to boost EV adoption. Entitled 'Accelerating Transformation, Supporting Our Businesses: Empowering Less Productive Assets with Retrofit Electrification', the paper emphasizes the urgent need for retrofit incentives and stricter regulations on safety and quality standards.

Retrofitting, which converts used internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to electric ones, is popular and supported in some European countries. It extends the life of vehicles, increases residual value, and is a cost-effective, environmentally friendly way to purchase new EVs. This is especially beneficial for commercial vehicles with special modifications or modifications. Despite these advantages, the UK market lacks support despite presenting a promising opportunity for smart incentives and improved regulation.

White paper highlights the UK's progress towards net-zero emissions – described by the Committee on Climate Change as “worryingly slow” – and underlines the need to tackle emissions from small commercial vehicles, which rely heavily on diesel. The 4.1 million vans in Great Britain travel 55.5 billion miles a year, with a lifespan of over 200,000 miles. This means that ICE vans, produced until 2035 or beyond, will also continue to emit harmful greenhouse gases beyond 2040 unless they are converted to electric power. Recycling is a quick and cost-effective solution to help meet pollution reduction goals.

The ICE car is re-entering the Bedeo EV
Retrofitting an ICE vehicle with an EV powertrain

Bedeo, founded by Osman Boyner in 2009, has been championing UK fleet electrification since the company was launched on the UK market in 2012.

“There is still a lot of work to be done to get EVs accepted,” explained Boyner. “When we came to the UK in 2012, it was because of the UK government's initial vision and promotion of electric ships (and passenger cars), but that seems to have fallen by the wayside.

“The UK was one of the first countries to offer a used car allowance, which is still not in use; and the plug-in van subsidy, which is due to end in 2025 and drop significantly from £8,000 (and up to £16,000 for the N2 category) to £5,000 by then. [from 2012 to now],” Boyner continued. “[The government] and it was hampered by its ban on ICEs from 2030 to 2035 and lost a lot of support from SMEs, especially when their cost of adopting a new EV is almost 20% higher than the diesel average.”

“Retrofit is going to be key to our drive to not only have a circular economy, but to embrace electrification, and I'm surprised they're not doing more to support it — given how popular Vinted and eBay are in fashion. , why can't we do that with cars and vans?”

Bedeo says it is driving retrofit adoption in the UK with its OEM-grade Reborn Electric systems. However, the white paper notes the lack of financial benefits for recycling and the absence of industry regulations regarding safety and quality standards.

“At Bedeo and Protean Electric, we have been conducting extensive testing and validation of our recharging solutions before offering them to automotive and private customers,” added Boyner. “The retrofit market is like the 'wild west' at the moment – anyone can take a used EV platform, add it to a car and sell it. They don't need to be inspected or certified, and if it's a classic car, no MOT may be required, either.

“As such, I don't think that the restoration of electricity is considered a priority here in the UK, which is why it is swept aside not only in terms of safety but also subsidies. Retrofit is the missing link in the electrification pipeline, but to accelerate growth, the government needs to support and regulate it properly.”

Bedeo calls on policymakers, industry stakeholders, and ship operators to prioritize investments in retrofit technologies to reduce emissions, improve air quality, and accelerate progress toward a sustainable future. The company will be submitting this white paper as evidence of the government's request for proof of registration of modified electric vehicles.

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