As the UK government aims to tackle perceptions of EV chargers, Quadrant Transport looks at how deploying more charge stations than petrol pumps will help tackle the most significant barrier to EV uptake.
In a previous investigation, Quadrant Transport found that the biggest barrier to EV uptake is charging infrastructure despite other concerns, including costs and end of life recycling opportunities.
Aiming to tackle this, the UK government unveiled plans to support the UK market to reach 300,000 public EV chargepoints by 2030. If achieved, it would be the equivalent of almost five times the number of fuel pumps on our roads today.
Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy will make charging easier and cheaper
Backed by £1.6bn, under the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy, charging will become easier and cheaper than refuelling a petrol or diesel car, while new legal requirements on operators. This will see drivers of electric vehicles able to pay by contactless, compare charging prices and find nearby chargepoints via apps.
The scale of the climate challenge ahead of us all is well-known, and decarbonising transport is at the very heart of our agenda
The new strategy sets out the Government’s aim to expand the UK’s charging network so that it’s robust, fair, covers the entire country and improves the consumer experience at all chargepoints.
Significant support focuses on those without access to off-street parking and fast charging for longer journeys.
Optimism overshadowed by past performances
Despite the optimism, Quadrant Transport recently reported on DevicePilot’s research that found 52% of councils in the UK had not invested in EV infrastructure in 2021.
On top of this, 60% of councils had received complaints about the availability, reliability and number of charging points over the last 12 months.
To tackle this, £500 million will be invested to bring high quality, competitively priced public chargepoints to communities across the UK.
This includes a £450 million Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure [LEVI] Fund, which will boost projects such as EV hubs and innovative on-street charging, so those without driveways don’t miss out on cleaner transport.
A pilot scheme for the LEVI fund launching last week will see local authorities bid for a share of £10 million in funding, allowing selected areas to work with industry and boost public charging opportunities.
That’s why we’re ensuring the country is EV-fit for future generations by the end of this decade, revolutionising our charging network and putting the consumer first
Meanwhile, the LEVI funding includes up to £50 million to fund staff to work on local challenges and public chargepoint planning – ensuring that any development complements all other zero emission forms of travel, such as walking and cycling.
The existing £950m Rapid Charging Fund will support the rollout of at least 6,000 high powered super-fast chargepoints across England’s motorways by 2035, ensuring the UK continues to lead the Western world in the provision of rapid ultra-rapid public chargers.
Speaking earlier this week, Transport Secretary Grant Schapps explained: “No matter where you live – be that a city centre or rural village, the north, south, east or west of the country, we’re powering up the switch to electric and ensuring no one gets left behind in the process.
The scale of the climate challenge ahead of us all is well-known, and decarbonising transport is at the very heart of our agenda.