Electric Vehicles

THE UK HAS AROUND 25,000 CHARGEPOINTS CURRENTLY AND FORECASTS SUGGEST MORE THAN TEN TIMES THIS AMOUNT WILL BE NEEDED BY 2030.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), a non-ministerial government department, conducted the survey as part of wider planning to meet the target of net zero emissions by 2050. It concluded the UK will need more than ten times the 25,000 existing charging points, to meet demand as we approach the government’s planned ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030.

While some charging facilities — such as at shopping centres, offices and private homes — are showing good progress, there is room for improvement elsewhere, the CMA said. It also noted that concerns about the reliability of public charging points, vague pricing structures and a lack of on-street and rural charging are putting some potential EV buyers off switching from internal combustion.

To help improve confidence in the charging network, the CMA has a four-point plan of action that should be implemented:

– Working charging points must be easy to find and offer up-to-date information about availability and operational status.

-Charging must be quick and simple to pay for, without the need to sign up with an operator.

– Pricing should be clearly listed.

– Charging points must be accessible for any type of EV.

The CMA has also come up with additional recommendations to help improve the UK charging network. These include a national charging strategy involving all of the UK’s regional governments; supporting local authorities with the roll-out of on-street charging; and opening competition between electricity providers at charge points.

The authority has also recommended creating a public body to monitor the sector and ensure charging becomes as simple as filling up at a petrol station.

The survey of the electric vehicle charging network also revealed that while the UK as a whole averages 34 charging points per 100,000 people, there are significant variations in numbers between regions. London leads the way, with 80 charging points per 100,000 people, but Scotland comes a distant second, with 43 points per 100,000 people.