Councils to install average of 35 EV chargers by 2025

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Local councils are planning to install an average of just 35 electric car chargers each by 2025, despite a ban on the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars from 2030.

Currently, there are a mere 7,682 public on-street chargers installed in the UK, leaving drivers who don’t have access to off-street parking concerned about how they will charge an electric car at home.

According to a Freedom of Information request from Centrica, local councils are planning to install 9,317 on-street public electric car chargers between now and 2025 – an average of just 35 per council. Furthermore, 126 councils out of over 400 that received the request have no plans to install any on-street EV chargers between now and 2025.

There’s also a significant disparity between regions, with local authorities in the south of England planning to install 2.5 times more on-street chargers than councils in Northern England, the Midlands, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland combined.

Westminster plans to install more on-street chargers per 100,000 residents by 2025 than any other council, followed by Kent and Stirling.

A Centrica survey of 2,000 UK adults found that 83% believe it’s easier for people with a driveway to switch to electric cars as they don’t need to rely on finding on-street charging points.

Some 53% of Brits surveyed who don’t have a driveway or off-street parking said they are not considering purchasing an electric car, raising concerns that a lack of chargers could thwart the Government’s ambitious 2030 target.

Former Ofgem head Dermot Nolan, who stepped down from the energy regulator last year, told The Telegraph in November that the necessary improvements to the country’s grid could cost more than the allotted £2bn and raise energy bills.

“To be blunt, there’s going to be a lot more than £2bn involved over the next 10 years – a lot, lot more,” he said.

However, Peter O’Driscoll, Managing Director at RingGo doesn’t believe it should just be the responsibility of the councils to build the EV charging network:

“Today’s news of councils lacking plans to vastly increase their electric vehicle charging infrastructure, in line with the government’s mandate to phase out fossil fuel vehicles by 2035, will undoubtedly continue to cause a bottleneck in adoption. It lines up with a recent survey of UK drivers that we did which found over 30% of those open to switching to an electric car still feel there needs to be greater availability of charging facilities to fully commit. 

 “We cannot put the onus on Councils alone to create the infrastructure to support electric vehicles, it has to be a team effort. There needs to be education about not only the capabilities of electric vehicles – the distance they can travel, how often they need to be charged and the cost-saving associated – but also the tools available to find charging points across the country.”

Chris Price
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