Electric car charging needs major overhaul with 'too much focus' on public chargers amid slowing demand

Kia electric vehicle charging

There are hopes that 300,000 EV chargers will be installed by 2030

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 16/06/2024

- 15:54

'The ability for the vast majority of drivers to charge at home is essential for large-scale EV adoption'

Experts have called on the Government and private businesses to deliver more support for at-home chargers to help uptake of electric vehicles amid fears the UK could fail in its installation goals.

The current target stands at 300,000, with the then-Conservative Government stating that drivers would be buoyed with an efficient and widespread charging network across the country.

However, since then, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has delayed the deadline to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2030 to 2035, throwing plans for the uptake of EVs into a tailspin.

So far, none of the political parties that have released manifestos for the upcoming General Election have pledged a firm target for the number of public EV chargers they will install.

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EV charger

It has been predicted that the 100,000th EV charger will be installed next year


The Plaid Cymru manifesto did not include anything about electric vehicles, while the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats simply said they would increase the number of chargers.

The Green manifesto states that the party wants to see "all petrol and diesel vehicles replaced by electric vehicles" within a decade, made possible with a massive scrappage scheme and "rapid rollout" of EV charging points.

There have been concerns from experts that the UK could fail to meet its net zero goals as uptake of EVs remains slower than anticipated, despite numerous charging brands outlining plans to hike the rate of installations.

Denis Watling, managing director at ChargeGuru UK, spoke to X about whether it was possible for the UK to meet its own goals in relation to the installation of EV chargers.

He said: "The purpose of setting a large target is understandable – it encourages the industry to work hard to reach these targets – but we feel there’s often too much focus on public charging when looking at the UK’s EV infrastructure goals.

"The ability for the vast majority of drivers to charge at home is essential for large-scale EV adoption.

"Ultimately, cars spend most of their time parked at home, meaning it’s most time efficient for drivers to charge overnight when parked up.

"This doesn’t mean that public charging infrastructure doesn’t need to stay aligned with EV adoption – of course it does."

According to Zapmap data, there are more than 62,500 chargers around the UK, with forecasts showing that the 100,000th charger should be installed in around a year, although it is still unclear whether the 300,000 target will be met.

The charging database estimates that there are around 700,000 charging devices at homes and workplaces across the country, with these acting as a major lifeline for those with EVs.

Often, drivers will be able to make use of cheaper rates and fairer tariffs when charging at home, especially as the energy price cap continues to fall.

Watling added: "However, just like petrol forecourts today, I believe the increase in public charging locations will be driven by large businesses who see the commercial benefit of doing so.


An electric car home charger

Experts have called for more backing of at-home chargers alongside public chargers


"Enabling home charging en-mass will lessen the pressure on the absolute necessity to reach the 100,000 and 300,000 targets.

"I believe that simple supply and demand dynamics will then come into play and that industry will deliver the number of public chargepoints required to service the market, whilst making it a profitable business."

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