Less than 1 in 5 councils have dedicated EV resource

03/08/2022
Dominic Browne

Only 14% of local authorities in the UK have a dedicated resource for the roll-out of electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure, putting the Government's timetable at risk, a new survey has revealed.

The Government's £1.6bn EV infrastructure strategy aims to see around 300,000 public chargers available by 2030 across the national and local networks.

According to Zap-Map, which supplies data to the Department for Transport, at the end of July 2022 there were 33,281 charging points across the UK - or 11% of the Government's expectation for 2030.

A new survey of 100 local authorities found the expansion of EV charging networks locally is being held back by a lack of finance and guidance, with councils only able to allocate 15 hours per week to EV projects.

Around 75% of councils said budgetary issues were a barrier to infrastructure adoption with a further 59% pointing to a lack of guidance from central government as to where charge points should be located.

In March this year, the Government confirmed plans to give councils a statutory responsibility to develop local charging infrastructure strategies.

Neil Isaacson, CEO Of Liberty Charge said: 'We work very closely with many local bodies and in truth, the roll-out of EV charge points is a brand new concept to many. We cannot just expect they all have the relevant experience and knowledge of how these networks work, nor can we just leave them to figure it out.

'There needs to be a cohesive strategy from the Government as to how we tackle the challenges of resourcing and having just 15 hours a week to dedicate to the issue is not enough to create a sufficient network for all drivers to begin making the switch.'

Almost three-quarters (70%) of local authorities said Government spending should be repositioned 'to level the social inequity and improve accessibility in deprived or rural areas, rather than centrally located urban environments'.

And 77% agreed that investment from central Government should be focused 'on ensuring every household, regardless of postcode has access to a charge point'.

The survey also found 90% of households are more than a five-minute walk from their nearest charge point.

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