Smart Transport

Half of UK councils made no investment EV infrastructure last year

Just over half of UK councils (52%) made no investment in electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure last year, according to a freedom of information (FOI) request.

The FOI was made by DevicePilot, which argues as part of its new report Pain Points 2021, the UK is not yet ready for the inevitable arrival of universal EV ownership.

While some parts of the country have made sizable investments in EV infrastructure, others have spent nothing, and/or received no government funding to do so.

The report reveals that nearly two thirds of UK councils (60%) received complaints about the availability, reliability or number of charging points over the last 12 months.

It also highlights that, on average, UK councils received 15% less funding from the Government for EV charging infrastructure in the last 12 months compared to the same period in 2020.

London councils spent more than double the national average on EV charging in 2021 (£204k) and are planning to install 39 new chargers per 100,000 people in 2022, compared to a national average of just nine per 100,000 people.

Nearly half of councils (46%) reported that they don’t know how many chargepoints they will install in 2022, or are planning to install zero 

On average, councils are planning to install 52 charging points in their area by the end of 2022 (up from 28 in 2021). The average cost of a council-bought chargepoint in the UK is £6,000.

Pilgrim Beart, DevicePilot CEO and co-founder, said: “Universal EV ownership is not a target, it’s an inevitability.

“In the next 10 years, more than half the cars on the road will be electric.

“To facilitate this transformation, the UK must install tens of thousands of charge points reaching every corner of the country. 

“EVs are vital to the UK’s carbon emissions targets, but while some parts of the UK are on schedule to meet greater EV demands, others areas lack the funding to do anything whatsoever.

“I have a lot of sympathy for councils whose budgets have been stretched to breaking point by the pandemic and budget cuts, but we cannot continue to let the divide between the EV haves and have nots grow further. It should be the UK’s short-term goal to ensure everyone in the country can reap the benefits of EVs, not just the privileged few.”

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