“Less-than-ideal” electric vehicle (EV) chargers were backed in last week’s Budget, which ring fenced £500M over five years to implement rapid charging hubs in public places.
Instead, policymakers should shift their focus away from costly public rapid chargers to investing in the scaled deployment of smaller, slower chargers on residential streets.
So says the report Electric Vehicles: Moving from early adopters to mainstream buyers by EV infrastructure company Connected Kerb. Many potential EV buyers do not have access to the convenience of chargers at home or nearby, and this is hindering take-up of electric vehicles.
The report found that 67% of current EV drivers would not have bought an EV if they did not have access to overnight charging.
Connected Kerb chief executive Chris Pateman-Jones said: “That is a massive red flag when you look at the existing infrastructure deployment strategies.
“Rapid chargers are more expensive and less convenient – inconvenience deters uptake. Focus must be redirected to on-street residential and workplace charging that reflects existing charging behaviours and incentivises more people to transition to EVs.”
Existing charging behaviours indicate that 80% of charging is done at home, with 64% of this being overnight.
“This is where drivers want to charge,” Pateman Jones said. “They use costly public chargers only when their preferred option is not available. They do not think like petrol vehicle owners, going to a fixed location to ‘fill it up’.”
He added: “If we want to go from a few early adopters to near total EV uptake in 15 years, the ideal would be for everyone to have a home charger. But since this is impossible for those without a driveway we need alternatives that meet the same expectations of charging whilst the vehicle is parked.”
The report found that 89% said they would be encouraged to make their next car purchase an EV if they had access to a space – at home or work – where they could charge.
It stresses that radical overhaul of EV charging infrastructure is needed to make ownership accessible.
According to Pateman-Jones, charging infrastructure should focus on “large numbers of slow/fast chargers where people already park their cars for long periods – on street or in work car parks – with ultra-rapids at natural breaks on long journeys such as motorway service stations.”
He said: “For EV adoption to accelerate, inconveniently located and unreliable public chargers – that people have to drive to and wait around for – must become a thing of the past.”
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