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Six in 10 local authorities are failing to rollout public electric car chargers fast enough to meet government target

Six in 10 (61%) local authorities are failing to rollout public electric car chargers fast enough to meet the government’s 300,000 target, according to research by car leasing comparison site LeaseLoco.

The government has set an ambitious charging infrastructure target of 300,000 public EV chargers by 2030 – but the latest Department of Transport figures* reveal there are currently only 32,011 public chargers across the UK, of which 5,974 are rapid chargers.

With another 268,000 public chargers to be installed to hit the 300,000 target, and only 90 months to achieve this, local authorities need to grow their charger network at an annual rate of 32%; but the majority  are woefully short of this growth rate.

According to LeaseLoco analysis, 228 of 375 local authorities (LAs) missed the target over the past 12 months. More than a quarter (26%) of LAs expanded their public charger network by less than 10% over the past 12 months.

LeaseLoco research also revealed that 22 local authorities actually saw their public charging device network shrink over the past year. While, 12 LAs didn’t add to their existing network of chargers over the same period.

Canterbury had 65 EV charging devices available to the public a year ago, but only 45 today, equating to a 26% drop in the size of its charger network. Luton has seen the number of public chargers in the town fall by 10% over the past year.

Table: Local authorities which have seen their public EV charging network shrink in the past year.

Local Authority EV chargers – July 2021 EV chargers – July 2022 % drop in chargers
Canterbury 65 48 -26.1
Dacorum 23 18 -21.7
Forest of Dean 16 14 -12.5
Luton 50 45 -10.0
Wigan 42 39 -7.1
Milton Keynes 364 343 -5.8
Eastbourne 36 34 -5.6
Renfrewshire 71 67 -5.6
Chamwood 41 39 -4.9
North Somerset 89 86 -3.4
Cheltenham 33 32 -3.0
Ashford 35 34 -2.9
Caerphilly 39 38 -2.6
Brighton & Hove 331 323 -2.4

 

DoT figures reveal that the electric car charger rollout across the UK stalled for the second quarter running. In total, 1,721 public chargers were installed from 1st April to 1st July 2022, down 10% on the previous quarter, and 30% off the number of chargers installed in the last quarter of 2021.

Scotland, North West and South East are the worst performing regions. Although Scotland currently has more EV chargers per 100,000 population (54.7), than England (48.6) and Wales (37.6), the charger network North of the border only increased by 16.5% over the past 12 months.

Table: Growth in EV charging points across UK regions over the past 12 months.

Region EV charging points – July 2021 EV charging points – July 2022 EV charging points per 100k popl. % increase in charging points
North East 887 1,155 43.1 30.2
North West 1,620 2,004 27.2 23.7
Yorkshire & Humber 1,156 1,614 29.2 39.6
East Midlands 1,280 1,718 35.3 34.2
West Midlands 1,591 2,156 36.2 35.5
East of England 1,596 2,083 33.2 32.8
London 7,489 10,482 116.4 40.0
South East 3,254 4,057 44.0 24.7
South West 1,717 2,233 39.5 30.1
Wales 916 1,192 37.6 30.1
Scotland 2,565 2,989 54.7 16.5

 

EV charger hotspots

There are plenty of local authorities that have blazed a trail over the past 12 months. Seven LAs have more than trebled the size of their charger networks since July 21. East Hertfordshire leads the way, increasing public charger numbers by 318%. Dover has expanded its network by 236%.

On a regional level, London has 40% more public chargers than a year ago. The borough of Westminster has the highest concentration of EV chargers anywhere in the country, with 522 per 100,000 population.

Outside London, Coventry (132 per 100k) has the highest concentration of EV points, followed by Milton Keynes (127 per 100k), Brighton & Hove (111 per 100k) and Winchester (91 per 100k).

John Wilmot, CEO, car leasing comparison website LeaseLoco, comments:

“These latest figures reveal the stark reality, that as the UK transitions to electric vehicles, the charging infrastructure rollout is not progressing at a fast enough rate in many areas.

“The government has a colossal task on its hands if it hopes to hit the 300,000 target by 2030, and create a charging infrastructure able to cope with the growth in EV ownership over the next decade.

“Although home charging will have a pivotal role to play, there will still be a huge reliance on the public charging network. And the ramifications on local economies of a substandard charging infrastructure could be severe.

“Also, the public isn’t stupid. They won’t be convinced to early switch to electric if they don’t believe the charging infrastructure can cope with demand. And the government will have scored a huge own goal by declaring such an ambitious target and then coming up woefully short of it.”

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