Current electric car charging infrastructure is ‘falling short’

GB News guests debate using electric cars

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In recent weeks, experts have called on the Government to slash the VAT rates on public electric car chargers. When charging in public, motorists are hit with a 20 percent VAT rate, four times the rate levied on EV chargers at homes and workplaces.

With the ongoing cost of living crisis, many are concerned about investing in an electric vehicle, given the rising energy costs.

Almost four in 10 households say they can’t charge an electric vehicle at home.

Because of this, some EV owners are effectively forced to pay a “pavement tax” with the higher costs found at public chargers.

It is believed it would cost just £37.3million annually to overturn it and slash VAT levels.

According to RAC Charge Watch, the cost to charge an EV using a rapid charger is now 63.29p per kWh.

Since May, the price has risen by almost 20p per kWh, despite only increasing eight pence between September 2021 and May 2022.

Massive price increases have also been seen with the average cost to change an EV to 80 percent at a public charger.

Between May and September of this year, the price has increased by £9.60 to 332.41 using a rapid charger, and £32.74 using an ultra-rapid charger.

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Emily Seymour, Which? Sustainability Editor, commented on how energy prices and charging availability will affect the uptake of electric cars.

She said: “Many consumers want to make the switch to electric vehicles, but the cost of living crisis is adding huge pressure to household budgets.

“Which? research has found that the upfront cost of purchasing an electric vehicle is the biggest barrier preventing drivers from switching and many felt that there aren’t enough charge points. 

“Feedback from EV drivers revealed that the current public charging infrastructure is falling short – with unreliable charging points and confusing payment systems.

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“While some may delay choosing an EV during the cost of living crisis, the Government must continue working to improve the consumer experience of using public charging networks so that drivers feel confident making the switch to an electric vehicle when they are ready.”

In June 2022, Which? conducted a survey with 2,050 UK car owners, questioning what would prevent them from choosing an EV as their next vehicle.

Around 44 percent said that EVs were still too expensive to purchase and lease.

A RAC study found that more drivers than ever expect to go electric next time but many are likely to delay making the switch.

As many as 14 percent of drivers say their next car will be electric, according to a new report.

According to Zap-Map, there were 34,860 electric vehicle charging points across the UK, across 20,888 charging locations at the end of September.

This represents a 35 percent increase in the number of charging devices since September last year.

Currently, ubitricity, with its network of lamppost chargers, operates the most public charging devices in the UK, followed by Pod Point, with its network of destination chargers found mainly in retail car parks, particularly supermarkets.

Unsurprisingly, London has the most EV charging points with 11,044, with the South East and Scotland trailing with more than 3,000 in each area.

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