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On-street charging increases but the pace needs to pick up

 The new UK Government statistics, published quarterly by the Department for Transport (DfT), show that the total number of on-street chargers across the UK has increased by more than two thirds from 1st October 2022 to 1st October 2023, and has jumped by more than a quarter (27.57%) in the last three months alone.
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16 November 2023

ON-STREET electric vehicle (EV) chargers for homes without driveways have increased by 69% in the last 12 months, with 4,094 new installations in the last quarter, according to new UK Government figures.

 “It’s a good signal, but we’re still at the beginning of the journey,” said Vauxhall managing director, James Taylor. “We need to up the pace if we’re to make sure the 40% of households without driveways are not left behind in the transition to electric vehicles and do more outside of London. 4,094 new installations is a start, but next year it is forecast there will be hundreds of thousands more new EV cars being registered to comply with the Vehicles Emissions Trading Scheme – we are making progress, but more is needed to match demand.”

 Vauxhall launched its Electric Streets of Britain initiative in the summer in partnership with leading charge point operators Char.gy, Connected Kerb and Surecharge, to help councils identify where demand for residential charging is greatest.

 The new UK Government statistics, published quarterly by the Department for Transport (DfT), show that the total number of on-street chargers across the UK has increased by more than two thirds from 1st October 2022 to 1st October 2023, and has jumped by more than a quarter (27.57%) in the last three months alone.

 These findings show that on-street charging infrastructure has greatly increased, despite over 70% of UK councils not having published an on-street charging strategy– a statistic found by Vauxhall as part of the launch of its Electric Streets initiative earlier this year.

 However, despite delaying the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030 to 2035, the Government’s Vehicles Emissions Trading Scheme still comes into force next year. It requires a minimum 22% of cars, and 10% of vans, sold by manufacturers to be electric. With this in mind, and growing numbers of EVs registered on UK roads, up 34% compared to October 20224, the number of accessible chargers will need to continue to rise to meet national demand.

 The overall number of all types of publicly available chargers across the UK, both on and off-street, has also seen considerable growth, rising by 42% since last October.

 

Year

Month

On Street Charging Devices

Total Charging Devices (of all types)

2022

October

11,218

34,637

2023

July

14,848

44,020

2023

October

18,942

49,220

 However, the statistics also indicate that the London area has 151% more publicly available chargers of all types per 100,000 of population than Scotland, which comes second to London for the country and region in the UK with the greatest number of chargers per 100,000.

Taylor added: “Residential charging infrastructure is a fundamental factor in the shift to electric. As the Government rightly says we need to cater for tomorrow’s demand and a greater visible presence will only serve to boost consumer confidence to go from interest to buying.”

Vauxhall will offer a fully electric version of every car and van model in its line-up from 2024. Today, it is the best-selling electric van manufacturer in the country, and its Ellesmere Port plant recently reopened to become Stellantis’ first manufacturing site dedicated to electric models.

The UK Electric Fleets Coalition (UKEFC), run by international non-profit Climate Group, is urging the government to ensure the UK’s charging network can support the ambition of businesses shifting to electric, and the growing number of EVs on the UK’s roads. 

The businesses have backed the group’s call to the government by lending their support to the UKEFC’s latest policy paper, published today. Taking these steps, they argue, will help maintain momentum in the UK’s EV transition. 

 30% of UK households don’t have access to off-street parking, meaning they require kerbside infrastructure to charge their vehicles. Currently, planning rules, lack of local authority action and lack of data and information all contribute to a sluggish roll-out of on-street charging.   

 Access to kerbside charging is a particular concern of fleet businesses. For company drivers that take their vehicles home, the inability to charge due to lack of off-street parking is a major barrier to further EV uptake as it means they can’t charge their vehicles overnight.  

 Without the government recognising the vital role kerbside charging infrastructure must play, UK businesses cannot invest in EVs at the speed and scale required to meet their own commitments.  

 With the majority of new vehicle purchases going into company fleets, UK businesses play a key role in the transition, and are ready to lead. They need clarity and certainty from government to help them as they ramp up investment in EVs, such as the zero emission vehicle mandate now confirmed as applying to sales of vehicles from next year. 

 Sandra Roling, Director of Transport at Climate Group, said: “The UK has shown strong leadership on EVs, but it now needs to stay the course, and keep going further, faster. Our paper sets out clearly the steps the government can take today to help businesses fully ramp up investment in EVs. 

 “Businesses need clear signals of continued leadership from government to enable their investments. We welcomed clarity around 2024’s zero emission vehicle mandate, but this followed the disappointing announcement that the phase-out date for the sale of new petrol and diesel cars has been pushed back from 2030 to 2035.  

 “With 1 in 6 new cars sold in the UK already being zero emission models, we now need to create the conditions to complete the full transition. The vast majority of new vehicles in the UK are purchased by businesses like our UKEFC signatories, who alone have already made ambitious commitments to transition over 750,000 vehicles to electric by 2030.” 

Clive Selley, Chief Executive of Openreach, added: “With over 29,000 vans, we have the second largest commercial fleet in the UK and our engineers travelled some 280 million miles last year alone to build and maintain our network. We know that our fleet has a negative impact on the environment and we’re committed to switching to a zero emissions fleet by 2031. It’s the right thing to do for our customers, business and the environment. 

 “We’ve purchased 2,800 electric vans and installed thousands of chargers at our engineers’ homes so far. But like other businesses, we continue to face challenges including the lack of public charging infrastructure and off street parking which means that some of our engineers can’t charge their vans at home. Therefore it’s now crucial that Government steps up to the challenge and ensures the charging network can support UK’s switch to electric”. 

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