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“Lack of charging points” discouraging potential electric vehicle owners, says BBC

“Lack of charging points” discouraging potential electric vehicle owners, says BBC

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A lack of infrastructure for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles is a major barrier for those considering a swap from petrol or diesel, according to new research.

The BBC analysed data from the crowd-sourced Open Charge Map, which charts the location of charging points provided by 37 different networks across the UK.

It found that while the UK has around 7,000 public charging points, they’re heavily weighted towards certain areas. Out of 385 local authorities, two-thirds were found to have 20 or fewer locations – and Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly, North Dorset and Hinckley and Bosworth had only a single location each.

Milton Keynes lead the way with 138 publicly available charging locations, followed by Westminster, Cornwall, Highland and Northumberland with 131, 115, 85 and 84 respectively.

The RAC commented on the data, with Nicholas Lyes, its head of roads policy, stating: “These findings show that despite the Government’s ambitions to accelerate the take-up of cleaner vehicles, charging infrastructure is presently something of a postcode lottery, and patchy at best in some parts of the country.”

 The government gave local councils the opportunity to dip into a £2.5m funding pot to improve their charging networks, through the On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme. However, only 28 councils have applied for a share of this so far.

However, the data used by the BBC has been criticised. Tom Callow, director of community and strategy at BP Chargemaster, called the figures ‘woefully out of date’.

“Today, there is very little public funding of public charging infrastructure,” he said. “Which is as it should be – and instead, private companies like BP Chargemaster are investing millions into developing nationwide infrastructure that serves EV drivers in any part of the country. Of course, there are still some gaps to be filled, but this is all happening.

“The biggest problem with the data used by the BBC is that it is woefully out of date. For example, it suggests Milton Keynes – the EV capital of the UK – has around 130 charging points, when it actually has well over 300, including more than 60 rapid chargers. Indeed, rapid chargers should also be shown separately, as they can be used many more times per day than slower charging points, offering much greater utility to drivers in the area.”