Councils urged to pick up slack on EV charging points

Transport secretary Grant Shapps has called on UK councils to use available funding to increase the number of publicly accessible electric car charger

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Councils across the UK have been urged to take advantage of government funding to build up the country’s EV charging infrastructure.

This fresh call comes as the Department for Transport has published a ‘league table’ to illustrate the UK’s publicly-available charging infrastructure — revealing just 23 charging points are available per 100,000 members of the population.

This week, Grant Shapps, transport secretary, has written to authorities encouraging them to utilise a variety of available funds in a bid to make electric car ownership more accessible to the public.

These include the £5m on-street residential chargepoint scheme, the £10,000 per business workplace charging scheme and £500 per point homecharge scheme.

Significant holes in charging point coverage

Nearly 100 local authorities have fewer than 10 public charging devices per 100,000 population, according to figures published by the Department for Transport.

London currently leads the way with almost 4,000 chargers across the capital, while Scotland has in excess of 1,500 available to use. In contrast, Barrow-in-Furness has been exposed as the only region in the UK with no publicly-available charging points.

An analysis of data from electric vehicle charging platform Zap-Map shows there are more than 15,000 charging devices across the UK. Scotland is leading the way nationally with 32 per 100,000 people, ahead of England (22), Wales (17) and Northern Ireland (16).

Shapps said: “A postcode should play no part in how easy it is to use an electric car, and I’m determined electric vehicles become the new normal for drivers.

“It’s good news there are now more charging locations than petrol stations, but the clear gaps in provision are disappointing. I urge local councils to take advantage of all the government support on offer to help ensure drivers in their area don’t miss out.

“To help increase the provision of charging locations, the government is offering grants for the installation of chargepoints on the street, in work and at home. We are also offering grants to lower the upfront cost of these cars so everyone is able to experience the benefits.”

Ryan Hirons
Ryan Hirons
Articles by Ryan Hirons are provided for The Car Expert by PA Media (formerly the Press Association). They include test drives of the latest new cars and features on various aspects of automotive life.

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