Why The Charging Network Needs Levelling Up

Tue 22nd Feb 2022

Britain’s EV drivers are experiencing a north-south divide when it comes to the availability of public chargers says a new report from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

The influential motoring organisation, which represents the views of the UK motor industry has called on the government to install an independent regulator to ensure that minimum standards are installed on the network - which in less than a decade will be expected to power the majority of all cars on the roads.

The SMMT has called for closer collaboration between the industry’s stakeholders and government agencies to help address a huge divide in charge point availability. According to latest data, the gap between the ratio of public chargers between the north and the sound of the country is widening. As more electric vehicles hit the roads, the demand for available chargers increases and the current ratio now stands at one charger for every 52 cars in the north, compared to one charger to every 30 cars in the south.

“The automotive industry is up for the challenge of a zero-emission new car and van market by 2035. Delivering this ambition – an ambition that would put the UK ahead of every major market in the world – needs more than automotive investment,” said SMMT CEO Mike Hawes.

“It needs the commensurate commitment of all other stakeholders, especially the charging industry as surveys show that range anxiety has been replaced by charging anxiety.

“Our plan puts the consumer at the heart of this transition, assuring them of the best possible experience backed by an independent regulator,” said Hawes. 

“With clear, equivalent targets and support for operators and local authorities that match consumer needs, government can ensure the UK has a charge point network that makes electric mobility a reality for all, cutting emissions, driving growth and supporting consumers across the UK.”

The SMMT claims that the UK will have 9.3 million plug-in vehicles on the road by 2030.