Are EVs Wheelchair Friendly?

Tue 18th Jan 2022

People with disabilities are being left behind when it comes to the infrastructure needed to power the growing number of electric vehicles on UK roads, according to a major new survey published this week.

The AA Yonder survey looked at the views of 17,302 motorists last year and found that electric charge points need to be much more accessible to people with wheelchairs and limited mobility.

In a week when the infrastructure of the entire electric vehicle network is being discussed as part of the EV Infrastructure Summit. The AA’s President Edmund King has been speaking at the summit, talking about how we can better level up the imbalance in charging infrastructure provision, particularly as 73 per cent when surveyed said that charge post spaces should be wheelchair friendly.

According to figures published by Motability, one in ten new cars are bought on behalf of disabled people, the charity has worked with the British Standards Institution to provide a minimum level of accessibility for electric vehicle chargers.

“The AA has been raising the issue of accessibility and security at charging posts and polled members on it last year, but we are absolutely delighted that Motability has taken this several steps forward and are close to an approved standard,” said AA President Edmund King.

“In simple terms, charging posts need to be well-lit, close to amenities, with space around the vehicle to allow people to use walking or mobility aids. It is also essential that the instructions, screen, and cables can be easily viewed and used from a sitting and standing position.

“Creating new charging posts that are easily accessible will not only benefit disabled drivers but will be a great help to our ageing population and indeed all drivers.

“We are getting to the point where the uptake of EVs is moving quickly from early-adopters, who perhaps put up with more quirks in the system, to more mainstream drivers who will rightly want the infrastructure to meet their expectations.”