EV drivers 'will become disillusioned' over chargers


Motoring organisations have rung alarm bells over the slow rollout of publicly available charge points for electric vehicles (EVs) after new official statistics showed that the pace of installation is falling behind the take-up of the vehicles themselves.

Data from the Department for Transport (DfT) shows that as of 1 January, a total of 37,055 publicly available charge points have been installed.

Just 2,418 have been installed since October 2022, a 7% increase on the previous total. During the year the number of installed public devices increased by 8,680 (31%).

However, in order to meet the Government’s pledge of 300,000 devices by 2030, around 37,000 will have to be installed every year for the rest of the decade.

The RAC’s head of roads policy, Nicholas Lyes, said: ‘It’s all well and good having a zero-emission vehicle mandate for car manufacturers but if public charging isn’t keeping pace with EV registrations, then drivers will quickly become disillusioned and frustrated.

‘Data already shows a record number of electric vehicles per public charging point, so we strongly urge the Government to introduce annual installation targets and do whatever it takes to make it easier for operators to install new charging hubs.'

Mr Lyes noted that rapid and ultra-rapid chargers currently account for just a fifth of all the network and are growing at a slower rate.

The AA also called for the Government to set milestones. Head of roads policy Jack Cousens said: ‘New EVs are flying off the factory floor, but we desperately need charge point installations to keep pace with an ever-growing demand.

‘We urge the Government to set marker post targets in place so drivers can see the progress is being made while giving those nervous to switch the confidence to do so.’

The DfT’s own electric vehicle infrastructure strategy, published last March, noted: ‘The current pace of rollout is too slow to match our projected 2030 needs. In 2021, around 600 chargepoints were added to the public charging network every month.

‘If this rate continued, only 58,000 more public chargepoints would be available by 2030, to add to the 29,600 available today.’

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