Government EV charging plan a ‘missed opportunity’ for drivers

The Department for Transport (DfT) has published plans outlining how it seeks to significantly increase the UK’s electric vehicle charging capacity. 

Funding for the £1.6 billion Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy has previously been announced. The DfT has now detailed exactly how the allocated money will be used.

At its core is the aim to have 300,000 public charging devices available by 2030. This represents a tenfold increase from the 30,000 currently installed across the country.

Rapid-charging roll-out

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy© Provided by Motoring Electric Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy

Tackling electric vehicle charging for the millions without access to off-street parking is a key part of the strategy.

Some £450 million will be used by the Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure fund. This allows for local authorities to apply for money to deliver EV hubs and innovative on-street charging solutions.

An existing £950 million Rapid Charging Fund is intended to support the installation of fast-charging devices at motorway services. It expects to deliver 2,500 rapid-charging points by 2030, and 6,000 by 2035.

Charging operators will be mandated to provide customers with real-time data about the status of charge points. A 99 percent reliability rate for charging devices will also be expected.

A need for certainty for EV drivers

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy© Provided by Motoring Electric Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy

However, the lack of mandatory targets for the installation of charging devices has been criticised.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Every stakeholder will have to play their part in this transition but, if industry and consumers are to have the certainty they need to invest, commensurate and binding targets must be set for infrastructure provision. Deployed nationally and at pace, this expansion would give drivers confidence they will be able to charge as easily as they would refuel, wherever they are.”

Paul Wilcox, managing director of Vauxhall, commented: “Whilst we welcome the Government’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy, we feel that it is a missed opportunity to provide certainty to customers by mandating binding targets on the roll-out of the charging infrastructure in the UK.

“It is essential that infrastructure keeps pace with market demand, or in fact leads demand, to remove any customer fears of ‘charging anxiety’ and accelerate the electrification of Britain’s roads as quickly as possible.”


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