i News has uncovered a lack of strategic direction in the rollout of public chargers at a national level, with councils across the country having no targets, no duties and no powers to deliver EV charging infrastructure.
The report, commissioned by the Local Government Association, surveyed 84 local authorities. It found that current funding measures are not only inadequate but there is no vision or clarity over what a rollout should look like.
Documents contained within the report show that it hasn’t been decided whether councils should be obligated to install chargers. If the answer were yes, councils would take the lead role in public charger infrastructure rollout. If the answer were no, private companies would take the lead.
This lack of direction is at odds with the Government’s green agenda, which is heavily invested in zero-carbon transport. It shows there is a lot of work to do on a strategic level for public charging infrastructure to meet targets.
“Urgent action is needed to expand our charging network,” Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, told i. “Consumers will only have the confidence to invest in a fully electric vehicle if it’s as easy to recharge as it is to refuel.”
Mike Hawes is right, of course. The biggest barrier to people buying electric vehicles (other than cost) is charging infrastructure. People will only buy an electric vehicle if they have confidence in charging it.
The UK Government is expected to provide strategic direction before the end of the year, making 2022 a pivotal year in the rollout of public chargers.