300,000 Public EV Chargers To Be Available In The UK By 2030
When it comes to purchasing a new car, the idea of switching from petrol to plug-in can be daunting – and with a ban on new fuel vehicle sales looming in 2030, there’s not a whole lot of time to change public perception.
Most dealerships have a steadily growing crop of mass-appeal electric vehicles (EVs) on the forecourt but, when they fail to tempt a buyer, it tends to be for the same, often-repeated rationale.
One of the main reasons why consumers are hesitant to purchase EVs is because of the high initial cost. Although fuel savings over time can offset the higher upfront price, many consumers are not willing or able to make that initial investment. In addition, range anxiety is another common concern among EV buyers. The fear of running out of charge while on the road can dissuade potential EV customers, who may instead opt for a traditional fuel-powered car. Lastly, the lack of EV charging infrastructure is also a deterrent for EV adoption. With fewer public places to charge an EV, consumers may feel that it is not a viable option for their daily commute.
In order to increase EV adoption, manufacturers and policymakers need to address these key concerns.
According to the SMMT, there has been a 3,000% increase in the number of public charge points since 2011 – that’s one rapid charger per 32 EVs in the UK.
These figures are only outranked by China (1:11), South Korea (1:12) and Japan (1:17).
However, this still some way off the number of public charge points needed to support a growing EV marketplace. The volume of plug-in cars being driven in the UK grew by 280% between 2019 and 2021 – but charge points lagged behind, with a mere 69.8% increase.
To ease EV charging anxiety, the UK must deliver a consumer-centric charging infrastructure which is fit to underpin a zero-emission future.
The Government are keen to nurture public confidence in EVs and, as a result, are spending £1.6 billion to deliver a network of 300,000 chargers by 2030 – a tenfold increase on the public charging points that are currently available.
The plans will not only make charging points readily available, but they’ll be easier and more efficient to use, too. New legal requirements will require charge point operators to share real-time data, so users can compare prices across the market – as well as having the option to pay via contactless card.
In addition, the Government will set a high bar for trust. Rapid charge points are to meet a 99% reliability rate, ensuring that drivers won’t be let down by their capabilities when out on the road.
£450 million is also set to be invested in a Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) fund, which will support projects such as EV hubs and on-street charging solutions.
This comes as part of a £500 million investment into public charge points, ensuring that communities across the UK are able to rely on their local EV facilities – even if they don’t live in a bustling city.
Of course, the private sector will need to play its part in this ambitious charger rollout, too. BP Pulse have announced their own plans to triple its network of chargers in the UK, to the tune of a £1 billion spend.
By tackling common consumer anxieties head-on, potential EV buyers will soon be reassured that running out of power on a long journey is no more likely than running out of fuel; opening the market to new interest and, more importantly, unprecedented confidence.