Drivers of electric vehicles in the east Midlands face increasing problems charging their vehicles in public places as EV numbers soar. A Freedom of Information request by the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) shows that most local authorities in the east Midlands have no plans to install new public electric vehicle charge points.
ECA has revealed that the majority (91%) of local authorities in the east Midlands are yet to put strategies in place for new electric vehicle charge points (EVCPs).
The figures raise concerns about the region’s readiness for the growing number of EVs on Britain’s roads, and highlights disparities in EV charge point provision across the country. Over a third of all Britain’s EVCPs are in London, and over half of the local authorities in the Greater London region have an EVCP strategy in place.
“The east Midlands needs to catch up with other parts of the UK or risk being left in the dust,” says Carol Baker-Wightman, ECA Regional Manager for the east Midlands. “We need a countrywide approach from central government to help the east Midlands plan its own EV charging network.”
Clint Cottee, Contracts Director at ECA Member firm MA Broughton Electrical in Nottingham, says, “Our sector sits at the front lines of the net zero transition. It is vital that low-carbon technologies like EV car charging points, PV solar panels and home battery charging systems succeed in the long run, but the government needs to step up its efforts to get more public charge points up and running.
“At the moment, our infrastructure and regulations are not keeping pace with EVs on the road, and our work towards a net zero Britain could stagnate unless the situation improves.”
The government has set ambitious targets for the uptake of EVs, with plans to phase out the sale of new internal combustion engine cars by 2030 and install 300,000 new charge points. But, with only seven years to go, recent figures suggest we could be up to 20 years off-target.
Luke Osborne, ECA’s Energy and Emerging Technologies Solutions Advisor, says, “More than 8,700 EV charge points were installed in 2022, bringing the UK total up to 37,000. But this is simply not fast enough to keep up with demand, let alone the government’s target of 300,000 charge points by 2030.
“Right now, there are an average of 30 electric vehicles to every charge point in the UK. We must act fast to reduce this disparity and make it as easy to charge an EV as it is to fill up on petrol or diesel.
“With time running out until the sale of new petrol and diesel cars are banned, we desperately need joined-up policy from central government that is passed down to local authorities, and then to the electrotechnical and engineering services businesses – who will be collectively upgrading the nation’s infrastructure and making Britain net zero ready.”
ECA’s research also found that the number of local authorities actively investing in public on-street charging points was growing steadily, but patchily, because of different approaches and levels of funding from central government.