The UK car industry has called for a watchdog to oversee both the availability of EV charge points and the cost of charging. The growth in electric vehicles is currently dramatically outstripping the existing supply of electric charging points, leading to issues that the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) says need monitoring by an independent regulator.
So what’s causing these issues and how do the government intend to respond?
EV Charge Point Rollout Failing to Meet Growing Demand
The UK has made significant progress over the last decade with regard to EV charge points. From 2011 to 2021, EV charge points increased in number from just 1,500 to just under 50,000.
However, issues are now starting to arise as the number of electric cars on the road is increasing faster than the rollout of public EV charge points. Another problem is that the rollout is proceeding much faster in the country’s Southern half than in the Northern half.
The lack of public charging points is perceived to be slowing down the transition to electric vehicles, with many combustion-engine vehicle owners fearing the current infrastructure can’t support their daily car use requirements, especially if they frequently take longer journeys.
These problems have led the SMMT to call for an independent regulator – the Office of Charging (Ofcharge) – to monitor the market. With more than a third of UK households lacking designated parking, the SMMT believe a regulator is vital in ensuring public EV charge points can meet the growing demand.
Growth of Electric Vehicles Continues, Posing Problems for the Government
While the government has long championed the transition to EV cars, the pace at which the change is happening has potentially caught the government off-guard. From 2020 to 2021, EV sales increased by 114%, and hybrids jumped 35%. Businesses have also heavily invested in building electric fleets to dramatically reduce operational expenses.
Despite the rapid onset of change, the rollout of public EV charge points, in particular, has remained relatively static. In response, the Department for Transport recently announced a £1.3 billion fund to “support the continued rollout of charge points at homes, businesses and on residential streets across the UK, levelling up our charge point provision while supporting the deployment of rapid charge points on motorways and major A roads in England.”
Applegarth Continues to Help Public Sector and Business with the Installation of EV Charge Points
As one of the only OLEV-approved EV charge point installers in the North West, we can install charge points under the ORCS (On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme) and other similar publicly-funded schemes. We have recently installed EV Chargers for local authorities, councils, universities and colleges.
We also help businesses and individuals to make the switch to electric motoring and can help you to understand which government-funded grants may be available for your charge point installation.