Local Authorities called on to dramatically increase the number of EV public charging points to meet growing demand

A new study by Transport England and England’s Economic Heartland has found that there needs to be an almost six-fold increase in public electric vehicle charging points by 2025, in order to meet the uptake in demand.

The Electric Vehicle Insight Study reveals that 22,400 public EV charging points will be required by 2025, a massive increase from the just over 4,000 currently available.

The reports also highlights that whilst local authorities are committed to meeting local, regional and national net-zero ambitions, there is still a long way to go to prepare for the demand increases.

Alongside the report, a new mapping tool has been created to assist Local Authorities to develop EV strategies for their area.  The tool shows local EV usage which will help councils plan and bid for investment.

Whilst many EV owners have a charge point at home or at their place of work, the report says that “low levels of public charging points are a factor contributing to the reluctancy of people buying an EV.”  It goes on to point that “Local Authorities have good assets, such as car parks and should work with the private sector to maximise the opportunities, including for income generation.”

Furthermore, the report says there needs to be a balance between locations of the points: “Local authorities should also ensure EV charging infrastructure is balanced across rural, urban and high traffic routes and make sure rural areas do not miss out because they are less commercially attractive.”

RSN Chief Executive, Kerry Booth, who contributed to the research, is welcoming the findings:

“Unfair funding means many rural LAs have less money and fewer resources to allocate to projects like EV charging point infrastructure.  This is compounded by using Green Book Appraisals to calculate funding.  To put simply, rural areas have lower population density which means that fewer people would benefit from the new infrastructure, so these areas are not prioritised.  It is not until people come on holiday to rural areas with their EVs that they really start to understand how poor the situation is.  With the right funding support, rural Local Authorities could take the opportunity to make a change to both their local communities who want to use EVs, the tourists who visit and local businesses which could benefit if the charging points are put in the right places, for example to encourage footfall to market towns.”

The report also highlights other issues facing rural areas including the upfront cost of owning an EV on lower rural wages, a lack of knowledge of EVs and the technology required to own one, the resilience of the electricity network in rural areas, and the lack of mobile phone signal which is required at EV charging points to use the payment app.

It comes as a new report is published today (Wednesday 30 August) which aims to support local authorities to make decisions about where to install electric vehicles chargepoints in their areas.

Charging Ahead from the Geospatial Commission has gathered location data which arms local authorities with evidence to rollout a public charging network that “gives current and prospective EV owners the confidence to make their journeys, whether in a densely populated city or the countryside.”

Echoing the findings of the Transport England and England’s Economic Heartland study, this report says that the location of chargepoints is as important as the numbers installed.  The study identifies five opportunities to better use existing location data, as well as new sources of information to:

  • understand the location and availability of existing chargepoints by making chargepoint operator data standardised and consistent
  • understand consumer charging behaviour and travel patterns by using population movement data
  • identify the location of EVs by using commercially-held data about leased vehicles
  • identify existing electricity network capacity through better use of distribution network operator data
  • identify areas without off-street parking by using proxy data

Speaking on the publication of the report, Viscount Camrose, Minister, Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, said:

“The transition to electric vehicles is central to the government’s plan to decarbonise the transport sector, keep the UK at the forefront of clean transport and tackle pollution, all while seizing the potential for growth and job creation in the UK’s growing EV industry.

“Local authorities and the wider sector should continue to embrace new location data and analysis to accelerate the targeted rollout of chargepoints so that drivers can find and access reliable chargepoints wherever they live.”


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