New ‘league table’ reveals UK’s EV charging availability

The Department for Transport has published a ‘league table’ of data illustrating the public electric car charging infrastructure available across the UK and highlighting gaps in provision.

Alongside the release of the table, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has written to local authorities across the country, urging them to take advantage of funding on offer to build up their electric car charging infrastructure and to increase local access to chargepoints for drivers.

There are 15,000 charging devices across the country, equating to 22,500 places to charge. The data shows that London is leading the electric vehicle infrastructure revolution nationally, with almost 4,000 public electric vehicle charging devices installed in the region. Scotland has more than 1,500 charging devices, with the North West, South East and South West regions just behind. In these regions Glasgow City, Manchester and Liverpool cities, and Milton Keynes are amongst the best performing local authorities.

However, there are still over 100 local authorities with fewer than 10 public charging devices per 100,000 population. Funding for electric vehicle chargepoints remains available in 2019/20 through schemes including the: on-street residential chargepoint scheme (£5 million); workplace charging scheme (£500 per chargepoint socket and £10,000 per business); and the electric vehicle homecharge scheme (£500 per chargepoint socket).

Shapps said: “Your 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.”

Darren Rodwell, environment spokesman for the Local Government Association, said: “Air pollution is a public health emergency and councils are increasingly focusing work on protecting their communities from the impact of harmful emissions. Electric charging points are only a part of the solution. The availability of electric power points in public places will be driven by local markets and suitability for charging points as well as different needs for power supply infrastructure. Councils will work with businesses and residents on such issues, but all areas will respond in a way that suits local circumstances.

“Councils are determined to do more to improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions but a lack of long-term funding is a clear barrier to such investment. The next government needs to address this at the earliest opportunity.”