Increasing the access to kerbside charging is one of the main concerns of a group of fleet businesses lobbying the government for more action to be taken to grow the UK’s charging network.
The UK Electric Fleets Coalition (UKEFC), comprised of 21 businesses, has urged the government to ensure that the charging infrastructure matches the ambition of fleets making the switch to electric cars and vans. Kerbside charging is seen as a major issue, as without it fleets may be reluctant to commit to an EV switch over strategy.
Many fleet drivers do not have access to off-road parking and a charging point at home, so would require kerbside public charging to enable their vehicles to be ready for each day’s driving. The UKEFC feels that the government must recognise the vital role kerbside charging should play in any EV charging infrastructure strategy.
“The UK has shown strong leadership on EVs, but it now needs to stay the course, and keep going further, faster,” said Sandra Roling, director of transport at the Climate Group, which runs UKEFC. “Our paper sets out clearly the steps the government can take today to help businesses fully ramp up investment in EVs.”
“Businesses need clear signals of continued leadership from government to enable their investments. We welcomed clarity around 2024’s zero emission vehicle mandate, but this followed the disappointing announcement that the phase-out date for the sale of new petrol and diesel cars has been pushed back from 2030 to 2035.”
Openreach, operator of the second largest commercial fleet in the UK, has purchased 2,800 electric vans and installed thousands of chargers at engineers’ homes. Its CEO Clive Selley said: “Like other businesses, we continue to face challenges including the lack of public charging infrastructure and off-street parking which means that some of our engineers can’t charge their vans at home.”
“Therefore, it’s now crucial that government steps up to the challenge and ensures the charging network can support UK’s switch to electric”.