Only 2% of on-street chargers adapted for disabled motorists

Only 2.3% of the UK’s on-street electric vehicle (EV) chargers are adapted to be accessible for disabled motorists, according to  new Freedom of Information research by Vauxhall.
 
The new findings, obtained by data provided by councils across the United Kingdom, assessed the considerations being given towards disabled drivers by local authorities when installing on-street residential charge points.
 
Based on information from the 223 councils who provided data to Vauxhall, only 450 of the recorded 19,456 on-street charge points in the UK have been adapted specifically for the considerations of disabled drivers ­– equivalent to just 2.3%.
 
The findings also revealed that, according to the responding councils, only 105 (0.5%) on-street charge points are positioned in disabled parking bays, and 238 (1.2%) are known to conform to the British Standards Institution’s PAS 1899:2022, guidelines introduced in 2022 to provide a minimum standard accessibility of public charge points.
 
Vauxhall has brought these findings to light as part of its Electric Streets of Britain initiative, which aims to support the 40% of UK households without off-street parking. There are over 16 million disabled people in the UK, and research by the leading disability support charity, the Motability Foundation, predicts that 1.35 million disabled drivers will be partially or fully reliant on public charging infrastructure by 2035.
 
James Taylor, Managing Director, Vauxhall, comments: “As this new research very clearly demonstrates, accessibility is an area of electric vehicle charging infrastructure which requires immediate attention. The focus typically falls on charger numbers and charging times, but accessibility is a fundamental factor in ensuring the switch to EVs is both practical and inclusive. Currently, this is a significant barrier for Britain’s disabled motorists wishing to switch to EVs – particularly those who have no home charging capability.
 
“It is imperative that the switch to electric is made possible for all, and at Vauxhall we want to ensure everybody is brought along on this journey. While there are recent set guidelines in place to support disabled drivers, they are not mandatory. Our research shows that their implementation is very limited and that needs to change if on-street charging provision is to meet the needs of all motorists. We ask drivers to register their personal needs for on-street charging through ElectricStreets.co.uk to ensure all voices are heard on the UK’s journey towards electrification.”
 
According to the research, while London councils have installed over 60% of the nation’s on-street chargers, none are reported as having been adapted for disabled users, and only 12 of the 11,747 on-street chargers found across the capital are reportedly situated in disabled parking bays.
 
Vauxhall introduced Electric Streets of Britain in 2023, working alongside leading charging operators char.gy, Connected Kerb and SureCharge to make electric vehicle infrastructure accessible for all drivers wishing to drive an EV.
 
Through Electric Streets of Britain, a national database has been established so UK motorists who want to have on-street residential EV chargers installed near them can register their interest at www.electricstreets.co.uk.
 
The database also provides drivers with the option to register whether or not they need on-street charging with particular requirements to suit their disability.

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