Two in three local councils in the UK have yet to install on street charging points in their area, according to a new Freedom of Information request.
71% of councils do not even have a published strategy for residential on-street charging. However, the situation is not all bad. Of the 289 councils which provided data, 14,188 new charging points have either been installed or are due for installation this year. 45% said that they had no plans to install charging points in 2023.
On-street charging is seen as critical to the take-up of EVs, as people without off-street parking will be reliant on this and public charging stations.
Vauxhall has teamed up with charge point operators Chargy, ConnectedKerb and SureCharge on an initiative to help councils understand what they can do to deliver charging solutions. The motor manufacturer has set up an enablement fund and a national database for the general public to identify where on-street charging is needed in their local area.
“Accessibility to charge points near your home is critical to the transition to electric vehicle ownership in the UK,” said James Taylor, managing director of Vauxhall. “We want to galvanise the needs and interests of everyone, from the public to the councils and the charging operators to make sure that anyone without a driveway is part of that journey. We want to help educate and inform the decision-makers, and enable the installation of more chargers, more quickly.”
Public money has been allocated to councils for the purpose of increasing EV charging provision, but the perception of many local authorities is that the process is difficult and complicated. As one CEO of a charging infrastructure provider has said, “They either file the report and do nothing or ignore it and turn a couple of hundred lamp posts into cheap and cheerful, very slow chargers.”
“Many of these chargers end up broken or remain unused, and installing them is just a box checking exercise for local councils. In three years’ time we’ll be replacing them with faster models, or switching them off because they aren’t used.”
As we reported last year, public funds for EV charging are going unspent by metropolitan authorities in the UK.