Electric car charging network faltering with broken chargers common

According to data from Zap-Map, at the end of February 2023, there were 38,982 electric vehicle charging points across the UK at 23,000 locations. There were 1,250 new devices added in the last month alone, meaning that March could see the 40,000 public charger mark broken.

Despite this, estimates show that around 480,000 public charging stations will be required to meet the 2030 target when the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles is stopped.

One of the key sticking points for many drivers who are hesitant to switch to electric vehicles is the provision of EV charging stations.

New research, from The Solar Centre, has found that some areas are being left behind with a large percentage of their charging network being out of action.

Derry has the highest number of broken electric car charging points, with a staggering 30 percent of its existing chargers not working.

Zap-Map data shows there are only 390 charging points in Northern Ireland, with the nation only having more chargers than the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

A recent study found that 44 percent of drivers in Northern Ireland felt discouraged from purchasing an EV because of the uncertainty around chargers.

In order to address the fears, the UK Government announced it would investing £3million to upgrade the network by replacing 100 fast chargers and upgrading 20 unreliable fast chargers to rapid chargers.

Following closely behind in second is Worcester in the West Midlands, with almost one in four (23 percent) of available charging points being broken.

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Worcester City Council has unveiled proposals to increase the number of EV chargers to place more around the area.

Ipswich has the third highest number of broken chargers due to 22.7 percent of their EV charging stations currently not working.

Similar to Worcester, the Suffolk town is also looking to increase the number of public charging points, especially around borough car parks.

Brian Davenport, owner and Co-Founder at The Solar Centre, commented on the data, saying it was clear for the need to have a reliable charging network.

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He said: “Electric cars are eco-friendly, convenient, and have lower running costs, but a lack of available chargers and inconsistency in their ability to work could put drivers off.

“With the road to 2030 only a mere seven years away, it’s vital local councils are given additional budgets to ensure their EV charging points are working and placed in convenient areas to encourage more drivers to switch from petrol and diesel cars to electric.”

While Zap-Map does not track the number of charge points installed at home or at workplaces, there are estimated to be around 400,000 chargers.

On the other end of the spectrum, seven cities were shown to have 100 percent functioning EV chargers, including the likes of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire and Darlington, County Durham.

Government projects are available for local authorities which can help with the funding of EV chargers to help increase the uptake of cleaner vehicles.

For instance, Nottinghamshire benefitted from funding provided by the Office of Low Emission Vehicles to expand the public EV network.

Moreover, County Durham council will receive £3.1million in funding to install a further 150 EV charging stations across the county.

UK cities with the most broken car chargers

Derry – 30 percent

Worcester – 23.1 percent

Ipswich – 22.7 percent

Newcastle Upon Tyne – 21.4 percent

York – 21.2 percent

Huddersfield – 21.1 percent

Southend-on-Sea – 21.1 percent

Maidstone – 19 percent

Blackburn – 18.5 percent

Hereford – 18.2 percent

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