The government has announced its EV Infrastructure Strategy to ensure that there is adequate chargeing points across the UK by 2030. This has brought reponse fro the transport and automotive industry, and we include some of these below:
Edmund King, AA president, said: “As we advance quickly to the 2030 deadline for new zero emission vehicles it is vital that we get our charging infrastructure in order. Whilst great progress has been made, there is still much to do to convince drivers on the number, and importantly reliability, of charge posts.
“The Government does appear to recognise that ease of use, reliability, slow roll-out for those without home charging and improving charging on motorways, are all essential. We would like to see urgent action in all of these areas plus we have also called for more focus on charging solutions in rural locations, improvements to the customer experience in terms of safety at charge points in dark, isolated areas and accessibility for disabled drivers.
“To bring confidence and power to potential electric car drivers we need more, and more reliable and accessible charge points as soon as possible.”
BVRLA Chief Executive, Gerry Keaney, said: “This strategy is a major step forward that will give greater confidence to the millions of road users that need to make the switch to electric over the next decade. The recognition for the mix of different charging solutions is crucial. It is not simply about having more chargers, we need the right solutions, placed strategically to be accessible to all drivers.
“We know that Government and officials are keen to learn about and support fleets with their infrastructure challenges. As a sector that buys and operates more than 50% of EVs in the UK, we would like to see these priorities acknowledged, with more consideration given to appropriate support and interventions.
“The BVRLA’s Fleet Charging Guide was launched last month and highlights a number of the gaps left by the EV Infrastructure Strategy. We have particular concerns around charge point accessibility for commercial vehicles and believe that the Government needs to start planning for HGV-compatible infrastructure as soon as possible.”
Chris Pateman-Jones, CEO of Connected Kerb said: “The government’s announcement today sends a clear signal that the rollout of EV charging needs to increase in scale and urgency. Now, the work is on for the industry to ramp up the deployment of chargers in towns, villages, cities and across motorway networks, to ensure that no one gets left behind in the EV transition and that all drivers are supported with convenient, reliable and affordable charging solutions.”
“For on-street charging, councils are in a unique position to facilitate the mass rollout of EV chargers to support their residents without access to off-street parking. By partnering with independent charge point operators, councils can unlock the private investment needed to accelerate the deployment of chargers at the scale required to meet the UK’s charging needs.”
Patrick Reich, Co-Founder and CEO of Bonnet: “It’s positive to see the long-awaited EV Infrastructure strategy finally launched after months of delays. The government appears to be waking up to the many EV charging hurdles drivers face around access, charging anxiety and reliability that have gone unaddressed for years.
“While we’re pleased to see a new focus on support for drivers without private driveways, the government needs to allocate more funding and implement ambitious targets if it is to meet its aims of encouraging people to switch to EVs.
“Industry is working hard to limit charging blackspots, reduce charge anxiety and provide simpler models for drivers to pay for charging their car, but ultimately volume is the immovable challenge we need government to address.”
Gill Nowell, Head of EV at LV= General Insurance: “This strategy shows the Government’s ambition for electric cars, but more still needs to be done in order to help people feel comfortable to make the switch to electric. It’s vital that charging provision is rolled out equitably across the UK, and that those who cannot charge at home are not disadvantaged by having to pay more than those who can. Additionally, there has to be a flexible approach undertaken to truly ensure that the right chargers are located in the right place to meet changing needs, and crucially are safe to use and accessible to everyone.”
Fiona Howarth, CEO of Octopus Electric Vehicles, commented: “It’s great to see support for a broad range of reliable charging – from high speed convenient rapids for topping up on longer journeys; to affordable local charging for regular use.
The reality is that most people won’t use rapid chargers often – alternatively using home, workplace, kerbside and community charging that cost as little as £5 to fill up, instead of up to £40 at a rapid. But having an increasing base of reliable rapid chargers will continue to build confidence and encourage more people to make the switch to clean, green driving.”
Melanie Shufflebotham, Co-founder and COO, Zap-Map: “EV charging infrastructure is already growing at around 60% year on year in the two key areas of ultra rapid charging and on-street provision, but it isn’t equally distributed. Some areas of the country covered better than others — Scotland and London far more so than Wales and Northern Ireland, for example. So more local funding is very welcome, but we need to look at diversity of charging needs and not just the 300,000 headline figure.
“As more drivers make the switch to electric, fewer proportionally will have home chargers and as a result be reliant on the public network for day-to-day charging. This is where the local charging initiatives are critical whether this is low powered on-street provision for overnight charging or local charging hubs. In parallel, the en-route rapid charging network needs to continue to grow with a greater number of charge points at each location, to provide high speed, reliable charging for all.
“It’s brilliant to see greater funding, and a commitment to making charging and paying for charging simpler, as we do through the Zap-Map app, including live status data and cross-network payment with Zap-Pay. Electric vehicles are at the tipping point into mainstream, so it’s crucial we make EV charging straightforward and fair as possible.”
Pilgrim Beart, CEO and co-founder of DevicePilot: “A tenfold increase in electric charge points is a start, but the UK is still deeply divided between the EV haves and have-nots. There needs to be a more even distribution of EV funding across the nation, since many local councils are yet to recieve a penny from the Government, while others are flush for EV investment.
“There’s also a big major issue, since many potential EV buyers are still yet to be convinced that it’s a seamless experience. First and foremost, chargers need to work. They need to provide the same experience as the petrol pumps, but they are too often malfunctioning, occupied or in need of repair. We need investment in the quality of the UK’s EV infrastructure, not just it’s quantity.”
Edward Sargent, Business Development Director at Pivot Power, said: “Low or zero carbon transportation must be attractive and accessible for all road users, and we welcome the Government’s focus on fast charging and support for the much needed EV hubs. Decarbonising transport remains an obstacles to achieving net zero, and there is no time to wait. We are really pleased to be working with Oxford City Council to deliver Europe’s most powerful EV charging hub, and have plans to build more across the UK as quickly as we can. As ever, I hope that today’s announcement can act as the gear change we need to cut emissions and accelerate towards a greener future.”