Electric car revolution hits the skids amid lack of charging points
Ministers are facing pressure to rethink the planned ban on new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 amid a chronic shortage of electric car charging points.
Around 40 per cent of UK households do not have a driveway or access to off-street parking, a figure that rises to 60 per cent in urban areas.
As a result, many will be forced to rely on a public network of ‘on-street’ electric car chargers as well as service stations and other sites such as supermarket car parks.
But a report shows there are just 17,047 on-street chargers in the UK – with 75 per cent of them in London.
And in a further sign government efforts to drive an electric car revolution are floundering, nearly seven in ten local authorities in the UK have yet to install any on-street charging points.
Powerless: Around 40% of UK households do not have a driveway or access to off-street parking, a figure that rises to 60% in urban areas
The figures, uncovered by a Freedom of Information request by car maker Vauxhall, will fuel fears that Britain does not have the infrastructure required to hit the Government’s deadline.
Industry experts warn motorists – particularly those who cannot charge their cars at home – are being put off making the switch by so-called ‘range anxiety’, as well as the high cost of buying an electric vehicle.
The Daily Mail has launched a campaign calling on ministers to rethink the 2030 petrol and diesel ban. Recent polling for this newspaper found that barely one in four agree with the deadline.
Tory MP Sir John Redwood said: ‘Many people are put off buying EVs by the absence of reliable charging points, the short range and the time it takes to charge a car.
Councils make this worse by not putting facilities in. We are also short of grid capacity and on many days EVs are recharged using electricity from fossil fuels.’
Fellow Tory Craig Mackinlay said the lack of on-street charging points risked generating ‘further public distrust’ of electric cars, adding to existing concerns about driving range, cost and reliability.
He added: ‘The looming 2030 ban of new petrol and diesel cars and vans is premature, out of step with competitors in the US and EU and noting the lack of enthusiasm by local authorities in providing charging points, looking like a pipe dream to be enjoyed solely by the wealthy.’
The report by Vauxhall found that while London has 12,708 on-street charging points, there are just 4,339 more spread across the rest of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The capital has another 6,397 on-street charging points planned over the next year compared to just 3,580 for the rest of the country.
Vauxhall also revealed 69 per cent of councils and local authorities have yet to install any on-street charging points and a similar number has not published any kind of strategy to do so.
That threatens to undermine government plans to have 300,000 public charging points in place by 2030.
‘Accessibility to charge points near your home is critical to the transition to electric vehicle ownership in the UK,’ said Vauxhall managing director James Taylor. ‘We want to help educate and inform the decision-makers, and enable the installation of more chargers, more quickly.’
In order to hit the 300,000 target, public chargers need to be installed at a rate of over 100 a day. However, with fewer than 4,000 installed in April, May and June, the rate is around 40 a day.
Quentin Willson, founder of campaign group FairCharge, said: ‘The UK needs thousands of local charging hubs to encourage EV uptake among the population without driveways who can’t charge at home.
‘The Government needs to get a grip on this.’
Critics have warned the rushed policy and incoming ban on petrol and diesel cars could cost hundreds of thousands of jobs and leave households worse off.