2023 will see massive deployment of Electric Vehicle chargers. Written by Daniel and read to you by Cassidy. Subscribe to Electric Vehicle News Bitesize Podcast for FREE to hear more!
There is still reason for optimism about the UK’s public Electric Vehicle charging network after figures showed charger installations fell well short of government targets, an expert said.
According to the latest statistics released by the Department for Transport, from October 1, 2022 to January 1, 2023, only 26 electric vehicle public charging points were installed on average every day. However, to reach 300,000, that number would have to quadruple to 100.
Despite this, Ian Johnston, chief executive of Osprey Charging, remains optimistic about the rollout of Electric Vehicle charging infrastructure in the UK in the next few years.
He said: “This year we will see a mass deployment of literally thousands of new public chargepoints located at reliable hubs across the country.”
He said the UK was now in a position where drivers could choose from a range of trusted, customer-focused and well-funded charging networks.
Each of these charging station operators use a large number of fast and ultra-fast chargers.
He added that they could be found “on motorways, A roads, retail parks and on residential streets, from the tip of Cornwall up to the Scottish Highlands”.
Mr Johnston continued, saying: “At Osprey we are currently building several high-power charging hubs on major transport routes, with multiple super-fast chargers in each location and we expect our network will more than double in size in the next 12 months alone.”
According to data provided by Zap-Map, an electric vehicle charging platform, there are now 30 electric vehicles per charging station, compared with 16 in early 2020.
To reach the 300,000 target, monthly installations of new Electric Vehicle chargers would have to increase from 806 to 3,130—an increase of 288%.
Other headlines in the report show that as of 1 January 2023, there were 37,055 public Electric Vehicle charging stations installed in the UK.
But numbers alone don’t tell the whole story, and Electrifying.com urges more context around the 300,000 figure.
More thought should be given to installing charging points in the right places and providing drivers with the right power output.
That’s why there are calls today to appoint a “charging chief” to oversee the rollout of the charging infrastructure, which will be crucial for the UK to reach 300,000 charging points by 2030.
Those in this role will work closely with industry to ensure charging stations are installed where they are needed most, such as on motorways when drivers are traveling long distances.
According to Electrifying.com, a charging lead will also help overcome installation hurdles.
It shows that industry is leading the way here, but it needs government support to reduce red tape by working with local authorities and landowners on issues such as building permits, which currently hold back infrastructure development.
Ginny Buckley, Founder and CEO of Electrifying.com, said: “While it’s worrying to see that we’re still missing the mark on hitting 300,000 charge points by 2030 if we continue at the current rate of installation, little focus has been given to the context of the 300,000 figure.
“Headline grabbing numbers such as this are irrelevant without more context, and what we actually need to see is charging points located in convenient locations that are fairly priced and at the right speeds.
“As little progress has been made so far, I can’t see how we can achieve this without appointing a charging lead to take control of this issue before it’s too late. We need cross-party leadership for this critical piece of infrastructure and someone to join the dots and cut through the red tape to enable the industry to take a lead. By doing so, we will give drivers the confidence they need to go electric at a pivotal point in the switch.”
If people can charge on a reliable, safe and affordable public network, drivers will feel more confident buying cars with smaller batteries and often cheaper ones.
Consumer demand will encourage automakers to focus on this end of the market, which is key to unlocking the electric revolution for all drivers, not just the wealthier.
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